Wilmer Flores – who was statistically superior defensively to Ruben Tejada – is the Mets starting shortstop again
Now that Ruben Tejada is out for the year with a broken leg, the Mets need to pick up the pieces and move on from what ultimately became negative drama in their game two loss to the Dodgers on Saturday night in Los Angeles.
As the Mets fly home to Los Angeles on Saturday night, they will do so knowing Wilmer Flores will take over once again as the club’s starting shortstop for the remainder of the postseason.
And David Wright is confident Flores will step up and serve the team well.
“Flo’s played plenty of shortstop, and we’ve got a lot of confidence in him at short,” Wright said after the loss. “You never want to see somebody take over because of an injury, but Flo’s logged plenty of innings at short and done a great job over there.”
Wright expects the club to rally around Tejada and feed off of the events from Saturday night in a positive way.
“You try to rally around that,” the third baseman said. “You try to go out there and get a win or two for Ruben. It’s a guy that sticks his neck out there trying to turn a big double play knowing that he’s going to get hit. That’s the definition of a great teammate — a guy that tries to make that play knowing that he’s going to get hit.”
Terry Collins shares the same sentiment as Wright that the team will only become energized off of what happened to Tejada.
“I believe it will help, yes.” the manager said.
Tejada was installed as the club’s shortstop in the playoffs because he was viewed as a superior defender to Flores, and the team wanted to strengthen their middle-infield defense even at the expense of some offense.
“Wilmer basically lost the job,” Collins explained. “Ruben stepped up and said entering this series defense is going to be important, very important. So we thought he would be the guy. Now we’re going to have to ask Wilmer to step up.”
But interestingly enough, Flores was the superior shortstop defensively, according to the advanced metrics on FanGraphs.com, although the numbers are not pretty for either Flores or Tejada as they were both considered well below the league average defensively.
Flores recorded -10 defensive runs saved (DRS) and a -2.5 ultimate zone rating (UZR) in 2015.
Tejada recorded -15 DRS with a -5.6 UZR.
As for who might replace Tejada, neither Collins or Sandy Alderson said a decision had been made, although Collins ruled out Juan Uribe at this time.