Coming into spring training, the competition between Ike Davis and Lucas Duda for the first base job was supposed to be the most exciting position battles going on in camp for the New York Mets. However, both players have missed several spring training games with injuries, and while that has delayed the competition at first base, it has given the Mets an opportunity to play Wilmer Flores at first base which is something they should take advantage of.
Flores isn’t a primary contender for the first base job this spring, but with his size and lack of foot speed, it’s a position that may be in his future. The Mets can’t pass up an opportunity to get him some game action there during spring training while Davis and Duda recover from their minor injuries. The future at first base is far from determined even if Davis or Duda wins the job outright coming out of spring. And if the Mets intend to keep Flores long term, first base could be his home even though it’s the infield position he’s played the least in the minors.
Instead of taking advantage of the temporary vacancy at first base, the Mets have continued to play him at second base and foolishly experiment with him at shortstop. It’s a wasted opportunity to get Flores some exposure at first base, especially since the Mets don’t have a firm position for him or a plan on how to utilize him going forward.
Eventually, Davis and Duda will be healthy and the Mets will have to give them a majority of the playing time this spring at first base in hopes of sorting out the mess the team has at that position. In the meantime, it wouldn’t hurt to give Flores some playing time at first base as it could be a position that suits him.