55° Good Evening
55° Good Evening

Mets seem likely to leave infield alignment alone

Miami Marlins second baseman Dee Gordon is safe

Miami Marlins second baseman Dee Gordon is safe against New York Mets second baseman Daniel Murphy during the fourth inning of a baseball game at Citi Field on Saturday, May 30, 2015. Photo Credit: Kathleen Malone-Van Dyke

SAN DIEGO - In theory, the Mets again could reshuffle the deck.

With the once-exiled Ruben Tejada back in the starting lineup, he could be moved from third base to shortstop, where he'd be a defensive upgrade over the range-deprived Wilmer Flores.

The same goes for Daniel Murphy, who despite playing much of the last few years at second base remains the best third baseman on the roster not named David Wright, in manager Terry Collins' estimation.

But don't expect any changes in the Mets' infield, at least not until the club gains more clarity about Wright's status.

"Anything's possible," Collins said before Monday night's series opener against the Padres. "But right now, there's no plan to do that just yet. We've got to wait to see where David's going to be. Is it going to be 10 days, two weeks, two months? I don't know."

The Mets could gain a clearer picture on Tuesday, with Wright expected to come by. He has spent the past week in Southern California working with a back specialist after his diagnosis of lumbar spinal stenosis. Wright has been sidelined since April 15, first with a hamstring strain and then with recurring back soreness.

"If it's going to be a lengthy period of time, we'll certainly revisit what our best [infield] alignment is," Collins said. "But right now, I don't like moving guys around. They should come, know where they're playing and get ready to play there."

The Mets have shuffled Murphy once this season, sending him to third base with Dilson Herrera settling in at second. But Herrera's broken finger forced the Mets to revert.

Collins doesn't seem anxious to move Murphy again, especially now that he has heated up at the plate. After hitting .198 in April, Murphy batted .330 in May, the eighth-best average in the National League.

Entering Monday night, he was hitting .405 (15-for-37) in his last 10 games to help bring life to the middle of the lineup.

"I just don't think you take one of your best players, who right now is swinging the bat well, and add another dimension to his game," Collins said. "Let them be comfortable."

Stability also has proved valuable for Flores, who has played exclusively at shortstop despite being plagued with throwing struggles earlier in the season.

"It definitely helps," he said. "You don't worry about 'where am I playing today? What am I going to have to work on today?' Now I know what I have to work at. It's going to be at short."

Tejada was the starting shortstop before Flores took over late last season. With the Mets viewing Flores as a potential long-term fix at short, they have shown little desire to move him off the position.

Thus far, that patience has paid off. With eight homers, Flores is tied with the Cardinals' Jhonny Peralta for the most home runs by a shortstop in all of baseball.

Flores committed nine errors in his first 30 games, but in his last 15 games entering Monday night, he had only one error.

"Errors are going to happen," Flores said. "It's tough to get through it, but you've got to get through it and make the next play. And I did that, made the next play. All I'm worried about now is going out there and trying to get Ws for us."

According to Flores, part of that turnaround stemmed from not having to worry about switching positions.

"I'm very comfortable right now," he said. "I'm right where I want to be."


We're revamping our Comments section. Learn more and share your input.

New York Sports