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We Want Omar!

Posted By Howard Megdal On May 8, 2012 @ 1:21 pm In Today's Mets headlines | Comments Disabled

So in writing about the Mets and their catcher/shortstop situation, I lumped the two results of the injuries to Josh Thole and Ruben Tejada- the premature promotion of Jordany Valdespin and the ineffective catching tandem of Mike Nickeas and Rob Johnson- to a lack of organizational depth.
Somehow, I completely forgot about Omar Quintanilla, a player a href=”http://mets.lohudblogs.com/2012/01/03/a-pair-of-acquisitions/”whose acquisition I praised this winter./a My bad. The Mets did well on shortstop protection.
Now assuming Tejada is out for a while, the worry here is that Valdespin, a highly unfinished hitter who has not excelled defensively at shortstop, will have his development stunted by trying to master the position, and the strike zone, on the fly at the major league level. After the game, a pumped-up Terry Collins said that Valdespin had “paid his dues” in the minor leagues, but he hasn’t, not really, and especially not at shortstop.
If the Mets turn to Quintanilla instead, they could employ a plus defensive shortstop who is hitting quite well at Triple-A. (He had two hits last night, and is at .300/.382/.522 for the season).
Perhaps this is mooted by the return of Ronny Cedeno, which would be a shame, since Cedeno’s bat doesn’t belong anywhere near a major league roster, let alone a starting role. In fact, when the Mets signed Quintanilla, I assumed they did so to get a better Cedeno alternative for less.
Anyhow, I thought it was worth clarifying. The catcher problem is an inventory one. The rushing of Valdespin? My guess is the Mets are simply looking for impact bats at this point. Valdespin profiles as a marginal prospect if he doesn’t figure out how to take a pitch or catch the ball consistently, so I’d sure prefer to see him doing that at Triple-A. And let the veteran depth they do have- Quintanilla really stands out relative to Triple-A alternatives at other positions, let alone the pitching staff- man shortstop for a few weeks.

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