ATLANTA — Jose Reyes is still a Met in part because the team lacks other options, general manager Sandy Alderson said Tuesday.
Reyes, 35, once the franchise shortstop and now a struggling utility infielder, headed into the Mets’ series with the Braves batting .149 with a .415 OPS. He also has six errors in 23 games.
“The decision on Jose or any other player is going to be on the merits,” said Alderson, who decided Sunday to cut Adrian Gonzalez (.237/.299/.373) based on performance. “People may quibble with that decision or any decision of that type or the timing of a decision of that type. But we are committed to putting the best team we can on the field and these personnel decisions will be made based on the merits.”
Alderson added that one factor in potentially dropping Reyes is “an indictment of other personnel,” i.e. the Mets’ organizational depth. Infielders Gavin Cecchini (foot) and T.J. Rivera (Tommy John surgery), for example, would be potential replacements but are injured. All of the Mets’ healthy 40-man infielders already are in the majors.
“At this point, Jose is on the team,” Alderson said.
Alderson said he would not hesitate to cut Reyes if he decided on the merits it was the right move, but separately noted that he is “obviously aware, very cognizant, of [Reyes’] history with the Mets.”
“Again, he’s on the roster. He’s a viable player for us,” Alderson said. “I am cognizant of his history with us, no question about that.
“It’s not just that a Jose Reyes has the attendant issues. We’re mindful of the team and the importance of the team, but we’re also aware that human beings are involved. But it’ll be on the merits and a function of both short-term and long-term considerations.”
Noah Syndergaard (right index finger strain) and AJ Ramos (right shoulder strain) received second opinions on their injuries in recent days.
Ramos’ issue appears to be more serious. He is considering surgery “or a more conservative treatment,” said Alderson, who expects a decision in the next few days.
“We certainly don’t expect him back anytime soon,” Alderson said.
Syndergaard received a second opinion Tuesday in New York.
“Nothing else has happened. We want to make sure that the next step we take and he takes is the right one,” Alderson said. “We want to be careful. It’s not like he can suffer a permanent injury that’s going to be career-threatening. We want to make sure he’s not out for any longer than he needs to be.”
The Mets are considering promoting first baseman Peter Alonso and infielder Jeff McNeil to Triple-A Las Vegas from Double-A Binghamton in the coming days, Alderson said.
Alonso, 23, is slashing .310/.441/.567 with 15 homers and 50 RBIs.
“It appears teams are starting to pitch around him a little bit. That’s really not good for his development,” Alderson said.
With first baseman Dominic Smith back in the majors, it opens playing time for Alonso in Vegas. Alderson said that once Alonso reaches Triple-A, the Mets will not send him back to Binghamton, even if Smith also returns to the minors.
McNeil, 26, also is mashing: .333/.406/.647, 14 homers, 42 RBIs. He’s not as much of a buzzy prospect because he’s old for Double-A, but he has seen time at every infield position and centerfield in the minors.
“He’s having a very legitimate season in Double-A and we have to see more,” Alderson said.
Yoenis Cespedes (strained right hip flexor) was still sore during a physical-therapy session Tuesday in Port St. Lucie. “We have to get that out,” Alderson said. “I can’t give you any real prognosis.” . . . Infielder Wilmer Flores (sore lower back) began a rehab assignment with High-A St. Lucie Tuesday, going 1-for-3 with a double and playing five innings at third base. . . Seth Lugo will stay in the rotation for at least another turn, starting Friday against the Diamondbacks. Jason Vargas, who had his previous turn skipped, will start Saturday.