Oh the fun of spring training. On April 1 we will all look back at March 15th and laugh at the fact that it was reported that day that Luis Hernandez will be named the second baseman for the New York Mets. Not only is he, well, not good, but every single competitor is better off being the second baseman than him. Yes even Luis Castillo. No offense to the New York Post, but I simply cannot buy into this story.
Terry Collins has said all spring that second base is an offensive position now. Well if that’s the case how can you possibly even remotely consider Luis Hernandez? Not only is his limited MLB sample size awful (.245/.286/.298), but his 3,324 at bat minor league stats are pretty poor (.255/.302/.331). Hernandez is out of options, I bet if he doesn’t make the team nobody even claims him on waivers.
It is apparent Justin Turner probably will go to AAA due to having options. It’s looking more and more like Luis Castillo will be released. Daniel Murphy simply cannot in any way handle the position, and probably will be your utility lefty bat off the bench. This leaves you with one guy, Brad Emaus.
Emaus, the Rule V pick from the Blue Jays hasn’t performed much as of yet in spring training. But let’s not overreact about spring training stats. If that were the case let’s all flip out about David Wright’s .100 batting average. I think with more play Emaus will improve. And frankly given the state of the team, why not try Emaus?
If you opt not to start him, Toronto will surely take him back. Why not give the young kid with some projectability to go with solid minor league stats (career .276/.364/.426 slash line). Sure, Emaus may stink up the place to start the year. But given his offensive skill-set it is worth a gamble. He has some power, has a fantastic eye and actually has a chance to be a long-term option at the position. None of the other competitors to me have that possibility.
I think given the team that is being fielded, you have the opportunity where you can take a risk that Emaus ends up being even decent. Would you take a .270/.350 10-12 home run bat at the 7 or 8 spot? That is the kind of offensive season I could see Emaus putting up. If Collins is true to his word that second is an offensive position, then Emaus or Turner are probably the best options. Given Turner’s options, give Emaus a look. Worst case scenario you send him back and you still have Turner, Murphy, or heck even Ruben Tejada to fill in.