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Sandy Alderson: Mets 'won't panic' if Flores is Opening Day shortstop

The 23-year-old might not actually be a shortstop.

Mike Stobe

Speaking to reporters at the general manager meeting today, Mets general manager Sandy Alderson said that if the team had to go into the 2015 season with Wilmer Flores as its starting shortstop, he "wouldn't panic." In doing so, Alderson acknowledged that some fans would not like to hear that.

There have been plenty of rumors about the Mets' interest in trading for a shortstop this winter, but if the team does not make a move, Flores seems to have the job heading into spring training, at least over Ruben Tejada. Of course, coming into the 2014 season, the consensus scouting opinion was that Wilmer Flores is not a shortstop, and he very well might not actually be a shortstop.

In his time in the big leagues this year, Flores played 443 innings at shortstop. In that very limited time—an incredibly small sample for defensive metrics—he rated at -3 DRS and +4.0 UZR. So the early returns were mixed, but there's still a pretty good chance that Flores is not actually a shortstop. Throw in that Daniel Murphy is not a stellar defender at second base, and the Mets would be sacrificing infield defense up the middle to begin the season.

At the plate, Flores has yet to impress with the Mets. He hit just .251/.286/.378 with an 88 wRC+ in 2014, and his strongest month by far was September, during which he hit .278/.313/.500 with a 129 wRC+. For reference, the average major league shortstop hit .255/.310/.368 in 2014. There's clearly a chance that Flores could hit significantly better than that, and he has a strong record of hitting in the minors. But if the "Flores is not a shortstop" analyses were right, he would probably have to hit a whole lot better than the average shortstop to worth of the everyday gig over the course of the 2015 season.