With less than two weeks to go until opening day, the New York Mets still have several problems and questions that they need to answer. Among those problems are finding playing time for four outfielders, finding an every day leadoff hitter, and figuring out who’s going to play first base. There are other problems facing the Mets, but those three problems could be solved by moving Eric Young Jr. to second base.
Moving Young Jr. to second base and subsequently moving Daniel Murphy to first base could potentially solve all three of those problems in one move. For starters, it would ensure that Juan Lagares plays center field every day, with Chris Young and Curtis Granderson playing the corner outfield spots, giving the Mets three every day outfielders and no platoons.
It would get Lagares’ defense into the game without sacrificing Young Jr.’s presence in the leadoff spot, as the Mets have little team speed and no true leadoff hitter outside of him.
Moving Murphy to first base this late in Spring Training isn’t ideal, but he’s played the position before. At this point, he may be a better option than either Ike Davis or Lucas Duda, who have both missed roughly three weeks with injuries and are running out of time to get healthy and get back on the field before the season starts.
Even if it’s not a permanent solution, the Mets should consider starting the season with Young Jr. at second base and Murphy at first base. Davis and Duda could start the season on the disabled list and play rehab games in the minors to sort out which player should be the team’s primary first baseman. It would also allow the Mets to use the regular season to decide which asset is more valuable between Young Jr.’s leadoff ability and the defense of Lagares.
With so many issues left undecided this close to the regular season, the Mets moving Young Jr. to second base is a simple solution that could, at least temporarily, solve many of the team’s problems.