The Mets are considering moving Wilmer Flores from shortstop to second base, according to a team source. After Daniel Murphy returns from the disabled list—which is expected to come sometime this weekend—the Mets have discussed playing Ruben Tejada at shortstop and Murphy at third base while Flores slides over to second base.
The source also said that this is the best defensive alignment for the Mets. Murphy's natural position is third base and Tejada has proven himself to be a solid defensive shortstop in the major leagues. Flores also has a few seasons of minor league experience at second base, so a move to a less demanding position could help him defensively.
While this alignment is under consideration, the Mets remain undecided on the setup because they feel that a move to second could hurt the 23-year-old Flores's confidence. Manager Terry Collins has declined to move Flores in the past, saying that a move would cause a "firestorm." But with the Mets in the midst of a seven-game losing streak, a "firestorm" revolving around Flores playing second base may be the least of their worries.
Despite leading the Mets with 32 RBI, Flores has struggled in the field all season. Advanced defensive metrics like UZR and DRS, which tend to be most useful when measuring a season's worth (or more) of games—are split on his performance, though he has committed ten errors this season and hasn't looked especially adept at the position.
As a team, the Mets' defensive struggles have been a major contributor to their recent poor play. They've committed the fifth-most errors in the National League, and these defensive problems have been exploited several times during their most recent skid.