Mets shortstop Wilmer Flores was a healthy scratch both Saturday and Sunday, as manager Terry Collins turned to Ruben Tejada at shortstop 24 hours after saying Flores’ job was not in jeopardy.
Collins explained to Adam Rubin of ESPN New York that the Mets “are hoping a couple of days refreshes him and gets him back on track.”
Flores’ defense has lived up to its poor billing with seven errors in 21 games and slightly below-average marks in advanced metrics, and hopes that his bat could make up for his glove have not been correct so far. Flores has hit just .240 with three homers and a .665 OPS, including an ugly 16/2 K/BB ratio.
It sounds like Flores will remain the primary shortstop, but if he doesn’t start putting up bigger numbers at the plate Collins isn’t going to keep living with his defensive issues.
One question facing the Twins coming into the season was whether they’d stick with Eduardo Escobar at shortstop or go with Danny Santana there after he thrived as a rookie playing out of position in center field. First-year manager Paul Molitor decided on Santana and has used Escobar in a super-utility role in both the infield and outfield.
And neither guy has drawn a walk all season.
Here’s a list of the MLB hitters with the most plate appearances without drawing a walk this year:
94 – Danny Santana, Twins
62 – Eduardo Escobar, Twins
30 – Geovany Soto, White Sox
They’re lapping the field.
Santana’s last walk came on September 20 of last season, which was 122 plate appearances ago. Escobar’s last walk came on September 3 of last season, which was 111 plate appearances ago. Together during those 233 combined plate appearances Santana and Escobar have totaled 60 strikeouts and zero walks (and a .625 OPS).
And as Mike Berardino of the St. Paul Pioneer Press notes, Escobar also failed to draw a walk in 61 spring training plate appearances and Santana drew a grand total of one walk in 59 spring training plate appearances. Add it all up and they’ve drawn one walk in their last 353 plate appearances.
To put that in some context: Bryce Harper has already drawn 24 walks in just 113 plate appearances this season. Their teammate, Joe Mauer, leads the Twins with 13 walks in 110 plate appearances. Across baseball 55 different hitters have drawn at least 10 walks this year. And there are 19 different pitchers who’ve drawn walks as hitters this season.
Santana and Escobar? They keep hacking.
Alcides Escobar had hoped to avoid the disabled list after being hit in the face by a Danny Salazar pitch Wednesday, but the Royals have placed the shortstop on the seven-day concussion DL.
Christian Colon has been filling in at shortstop for Escobar, who played all 162 games last season and 155 or more games every year from 2011-2014.
Kansas City will miss his defense most, but Escobar’s speed atop the lineup is also a big part of manager Ned Yost’s strategy even though he has a lowly .653 OPS in 652 total games for the Royals.