The New York Mets are probably not going to make the playoffs this year. Everything the Mets do this year should be about discovery for the future. This is why the Mets should start 25-year-old Jordany Valdespin in the outfield and let him get a feel for playing every day while also seeing what they have in him for the future.
Valdespin came up as an infielder but his defense is nothing to drool over and he might be better suited for the thin Mets outfield. At this point is it really worth it to start 35-year-old Marlon Byrd every game? Byrd isn’t exactly a big part of the Mets future unless they can flip for a prospect or two. Byrd also isn’t exactly knocking the cover off the ball as he is sporting a .253 average and .292 on-base percentage. Is it worth it to sit Valdespin in favor of Byrd?
The Mets need to know what they have in Juan Lagares and Valdespin. They are both young, 24 and 25-years-old respectively and figure to at least play important bench roles for the Mets in the future. They might even find out that these players will be key contributors for many years to come as the Mets start to get back into contention again. It has never been about winning now with the Mets this season. GM Sandy Alderson is trying to rework the roster and build a contender from the ground up. Instead of leaving a potentially dynamic player in Valdespin on the bench he should be playing every day.
The Mets should not impede their young players at this point, especially in favor of a 35-year-old who will probably be gone at the end of the year. No offense to Marlon Byrd but he was out of baseball last season and hasn’t shown much to warrant playing over Valdespin in the outfield.
The Mets should, at this point, put Lucas Duda in right field instead of Byrd and put Valdespin in left field while Lagares patrols center. Maybe Valdespin is nothing more than a utility infielder/outfielder or maybe he can be an everyday player. The Mets owe it to themselves to find out what they have on their roster to make planning for the future a little clearer and it starts with giving Valdespin regular playing time.