With David Wright expected to miss the next 3-5 weeks with a Grade 3 strain of his right hamstring, Mike Puma of the New York Post reports that there’s a “good chance” the Mets will call up prospect Wilmer Flores to play third base in the next week.
Mets fans have been clamoring for Flores’ arrival for a while now. And it’s easy to understand why, as he’s batting .322/.358/.532 with 15 home runs and 86 RBI in 106 games this season with Triple-A Las Vegas. However, the biggest issue has been finding him a position. While he began his pro career at shortstop, he has mostly played second base this season. He has made 90 starts at third base in the minors, including two over the weekend.
Flores’ production has undoubtedly benefited from the hitter-friendly Pacific Coast League, but it’s worth a shot to see what he can do with Wright sidelined. He doesn’t turn 22 until tomorrow and it wasn’t too long ago that he was considered one of the organization’s best prospects.
Mets manager Terry Collins was previously considering moving Daniel Murphy to third base and Eric Young, Jr. to second, which likely would have opened the door for Lucas Duda to play left field coming off the disabled list.
UPDATE: The Mets announced via their team Twitter account that Flores is being called up to the majors.
Terrible, terrible news: Christian Moreno of ESPN reports that Royals pitcher Yordano Ventura has been killed in an automobile accident in the Dominican Republic. His death has been confirmed by police. He was only 25 years-old. There are as of yet no details about the accident.
Ventura was a four-year veteran, having debuted in 2013 but truly bursting onto the scene for the Royals in 2014. That year he went 14-10 with a 3.20 ERA in 183 innings, ascending to the national stage along with the entire Royals team with some key performances in that year’s ALDS and World Series. The following year Ventura won 13 games for the World Champion Royals and again appeared in the playoffs and World Series.
Ventura was often in the middle of controversy — he found himself in several controversies arising out of his habit of hitting and brushing back hitters — but he was an undeniably electric young talent who was poised to anchor the Royals rotation for years to come. His loss, like that of Jose Fernandez just this past September, is incalculable to both his team, his fans and to Major League Baseball as a whole.
Our thoughts go out to his family, his friends, his teammates and his fans.
Free agent right-hander Tim Lincecum isn’t ready to hang up his cleats just yet. At least, that’s the word from Lincecum’s agent, Rick Thurman, who says the 32-year-old is still “throwing and getting ready for the season” (via Andrew Baggarly of the San Jose Mercury News).
Lincecum may not be ready to enter retirement, but another quote from Thurman suggests that he’ll be picky about where he pitches next. He doesn’t appear open to pitching overseas, and despite not having a contract for 2017 (or even any serious suitors), the right-hander is set on pitching in the big leagues this year. Whether or not he’s willing to take a bullpen role to do so remains to be seen.
While Baggarly predicts some interest in the veteran righty, there’s not much in Lincecum’s recent history to inspire faith in him as a starter, or even a reliever. He picked up a one-year, $2.5 million contract with the Angels following his hip surgery in 2015, and went 2-6 in 2016 with a 9.16 ERA, 5.4 BB/9 and 7.5 SO/9 over 38 1/3 innings. At this point, a minor league contract seems like the surest path back to major league success, though he’s unlikely to find an open spot on the Giants’ or Angels’ rosters anytime soon.