The New York Mets designated utility infielder Omar Quintanilla for assignment and announced that Triple-A infielder Wilmer Flores will be promoted in his place, according to ESPN New York's Adam Rubin. Flores is projected to be a much better major league hitter than Tejada, but he's considered a below average defensive shortstop.
If only the Mets could splice together Ruben Tejada and Wilmer Flores ...
Then, they might have a decent shortstop, but it'd probably be hard to convince Tejada and Flores to consent to a Zaphod Beeblebrox-sort of experiment. The science just isn't quite there yet.
It's not as if Tejada is a defensive wizard. In fact, he's been among the worst at the position in the game so far this season according to admittedly volatile defensive metrics. However, Flores' ceiling as a defender is not the worst, and the reality of the club using him everyday at short will likely be another "frustrating" endeavor.
Flores is still just 22 years old, despite having been mentioned as a prospect for several years. It seems like he's been around for a while. He's still listed as a top prospect in the Mets' system because of his bat, but his future is likely at second base. He's hitting .307/.360/.500 with five home runs and 25 batted in over 126 plate appearances. That should translate to a much better batting line than the .183/.302/.207 Ruben Tejada is sporting after 98 plate appearances.
Flores' glove will be an issue, but the Mets appear willing to stomach the poor defense in order to get at least some semblance of a major league hitter into the lineup at that position.