As the New York Mets continue to search for consistent offensive production to complement their pitching, the time has come to recall Wilmer Flores to supplant Ruben Tejada at shortstop. Since being sent back to triple-A at the end of June, Flores has started to heat up, while Tejada has started to cool off, which means now is the time for the Mets to start playing the former every day in hopes of catching lightning in a bottle.
The way Flores hit at triple-A both this year and last suggests that he has nothing left to prove in the minors. However, it has not clicked for him in the big leagues, as he’s hit just .225/.253/.300 in the majors this season, with just four extra-base hits and seven RBIs. However, he has had no trouble hitting in the minors, and has been especially hot for the past week, accumulating six home runs and 15 RBIs over his last five games.
The Mets have to play Flores regularly to give him the best chance to catch on at the big league level, and the time to try that is now.
Coinciding with Flores getting hot in the minors is the struggles of the team’s middle infield tandem of Tejada and Daniel Murphy. Tejada has three hits in his last 15 at-bats, while Murphy has hit a slump as well with three hits in his last 20 at-bats. Flores could be used in place of Tejada, while also spelling Murphy for a day or two between now and the All-Star break.
At the same time, David Wright continues to deal with a shoulder injury after missing more than a week, and bringing Flores back up would give the Mets more depth in the infield, while they could finally dispose of their one of their extra outfielders — preferably Chris Young, whose time in New York has run its course.
The Mets can’t continue all season with their current excess of outfielders, nor can they continue to play Tejada every day at shortstop with no viable backup on the roster. Flores is bound to come back to the majors at some point, so why not now? He is once again tearing it up in the minor leagues, and the Mets would be foolish not to bring him up in the middle of a hot streak to see if his offensive abilities will finally translate to results at the major league level.