CINCINNATI -- With the Mets' roster clearly in an evolutionary stage, Justin Turner continues to be proactive in his bid for a permanent second-base job. After a 2-for-3 night against Cincinnati here Monday, Turner doubled in his first at-bat last night and had manager Terry Collins acknowledging the 26-year infielder's notable progress in his first full big-league season.
Recovered from a thumb injury that knocked him temporarily off balance, Turner entered last night's game hitting .280 and "has had an outstanding season," Collins said. Originally drafted by Cincinnati and having played only 21 major-league games for Baltimore and the Mets the previous two years, Turner "has adjusted very, very well" in 72 games this season and Collins declared "there's no reason he couldn't be the second baseman here.
"I think the thumb was a huge factor," Collins said. "I think he actually changed his swing because of the thumb, and now his thumb feels better, he's feeling a lot better at the plate. This guy has a feel for what it takes to be a successful player."
"I just want to make sure he has a plan going forward this winter, and when we go into spring training next year, he's got to be in the mix."