Via ESPN’s Adam Rubin, Mets GM Sandy Alderson said that Wilmer Flores will likely be his team’s starting shortstop on Opening Day. This would mean Ruben Tejada would be relegated to a back-up role after serving as the starting shortstop last season.
Flores, 23, hit .251/.286/.378 with six home runs and 29 RBI in 274 plate appearances in 2014. Flores neither gets on base nor plays defense as well as Tejada, but he has shown considerably more power — Flores posted a slugging percentage 68 points higher than Tejada during the regular season.
Of course, the Mets could also upgrade at shortstop via free agency or a trade, but for now, Flores should see some regular playing time. Flores was considered a top-100 prospect in all of baseball from 2009-11 as well as prior to the start of the 2014 season according to Baseball Prospectus.
The loss of a close, well-pitched game is hard enough for any team to take, but when you lose two key players to injury in the process it’s gotta be damn nigh intolerable. That’s what happened to the Angels last night in their 3-1 loss to Minnesota, losing Andrelton Simmons and Shohei Ohtani. And it happened on consecutive plays in the bottom of the eighth inning.
Simmons is likely to be gone for an extended period after suffering a sprained ankle which was later deemed “severe”. Indeed, they weren’t sure it wasn’t broken until the X-rays came back negative. He sustained the injury running to first base, trying to beat out an infield hit. He came down on the ankle and it twisted in ugly fashion — there are Gifs of it on Twitter and stuff, but you don’t wanna see them — before tumbling over the bag to the ground. Simmons will have an MRI today to see how bad things really are.
Ohtani got off more easily, getting hit in the right ring finger with a pitch while striking out. His X-rays were also negative, but they will reassess him today.
Simmons is hitting .298/.323/.415 on the year while playing his usual spectacular defense. Ohtani, who just came back from Tommy John surgery as a hitter a couple of weeks ago, is hitting .250/.345/.375.