Why are the Mets Wasting Time with Omar Quintanilla?

Quintanilla

Jimmy:

On Sunday, the Mets had a split-squad DH, yet ominously neither Wilmer Flores nor Anthony Seratelli made it into the opening lineups. At 2B, TC played Murphy — who needs the work — and EY. I like EY getting time at 2B, and still halfway suspect that’s where he might end up.

At SS, Tejada and Quintanilla got the starts.

I just scratch my head: Is there anything we don’t yet know about Omar Quintanilla?

Mike:

Well, I would love to see how he would react to an outright release.

Jimmy:

If it fits into the Mets Wellness budget, there's even talk of investing in a Jack LaLanne Power Juicer for the clubhouse!

If it fits into the Mets Wellness budget, there’s even talk of investing in a Jack LaLanne Power Juicer for the clubhouse!

Ha, he’d take it like a man who could see the writing on the wall. The question is, can Sandy read it? My conclusion is that TC must believe that neither Seratelli nor Flores can play SS. That’s a reasonable point of view, yet it’s also in conflict with the plan for Wilmer to play more SS in Vegas.

Mike:

Flores has played more shortstop in his minor league career than anywhere else on the field. Of course that was the old Flores, before the Mets discovered the innovative secrets of exercise.

Jimmy:

You know these Mets, always exploring new frontiers. They dusted off the old Jack LaLanne video cassettes that Jay Horowitz had stuffed in his closet. And if it works in the budget, Sandy might even invest in a power juicer.

Meanwhile at Metsmerized, I read another nice piece about Seratelli. Until I read it, I had been under the mistaken impression that Seratelli was just a new kind of linguini. Little did I know! The writer, David Conde, goes with the headline, “Anthony Seratelli Is Finally Close to Making a Major League Squad.” It’s strange, because yesterday I read a beat reporter who opined that Quintanilla has the edge, despite his abyssmal spring (.161/.257/.193) and, well, unsatisfactory career.

While Conde notes Seratelli’s excellent numbers at Triple-A last season — power, speed, high OBP — he wonders why Seratelli has never gotten a look at the major leagues. Clearly, there must be doubts about the glove as well as the bat. This Spring, I’ve read that TC was unimpressed with Seratelli’s brief, nano-tryout at short.¬†Kansas City moved Seratelli to the outfield last season. Even with his success last year in the PCL, Seratelli hit for an unsustainable 8% line drive rate. Sad to say, he appears to be another great human being who is out of luck and short on talent. He and Zach Lutz can go have beers together. I respect that he has worked so hard to realize the dream, and wish him the best.

Sad to say, but when the KC Royals give up on a guy, it's not usually a good sign.

Sad to say, but when the KC Royals give up on a guy, it’s not usually a good sign.

But I have to ask: Didn’t Justin Turner play SS in 18 games last season? For the backup SS position, isn’t that where the bar is located? Can Flores or Seratelli handle it as well as Justin Turner? One thing we should be clear about is that Ruben Tejada, under the best circumstances, should sit a lot more often than he has in the past. TC has a tendency to play his shortstops into the ground regardless of performance.

Mike:

Seratelli probably can’t play at the major league level. We have seen enough of Quintanilla to know he can’t do it. Who picks none over slim?

Jimmy:

With Flores cut, they have to decide between Omar or Anthony. No way can I put Omar on the 25-man squad. But it’s a circular line of thought: When Omar and Anthony are the choices, how do they cut Flores? How when SS was the critical focal point of the winter are we left deciding between Omar and Anthony? Isn’t that a radio show? I mean, it’s possible that Ruben goes bust, don’t you think? Then what?!

Mike:

Duck and cover.

No worries. If Tejada stuggles, this is the backup plan!

No worries. If Tejada stuggles, this is the backup plan!

Jimmy:

As an aside, there’s not much about Didi Gregorius that makes me think he’s worth a lot on the open market. He’s a LH-bat and not much of one at that. So unless you believe he’s going to hit, I certainly wouldn’t give up much to get him.

Mike:

I have never seen Gregorius, but the career numbers do not indicate he can hit. The glove is supposedly real. One thing to consider is what the Diamondbacks would want in a trade. They are trying to win now. I could see them being more interested in Dillon Gee than a prospect for their future.

Jimmy:

Possibly true. OTOH, maybe only the Mets view Mejia as a prospect. The Diamondbacks maybe see a guy who can join the rotation and win games right now. But regardless of price, my hunch is that Gregorius would not be an enduring solution.

232146mI keep feeling like Billy Beane is watching all this very closely, knowing that he can deal with Sandy at his convenience. They have that kind of relationship. He’s the one who tipped Sandy to Omar Quintanilla in the first place.

Jed Lowrie is starting to make real money ($5.25 million this season) and they have some infield prospects knocking on the door. For now, I see Sandy holding firm with Ruben, fingers crossed; Beane does not feel urgency either, just yet, but I strongly suspect he’d like to move Lowrie at some point, provided the heir apparent continues to progress. BP has listed SS Addison Russell as the #7 prospect in baseball, though 2015 seems like a more realistic time-table. Worth keeping tabs on. Worth noting, too, that 5 of BP’s top 7 prospects are shortstops, while 7 crack their top 30. We may well be entering a new era of the shortstop.

Mike:

I think Beane is content to win with Lowrie now and pick up a draft pick later through a qualifying offer. The A’s are clear contenders and if Beane needed to move that one year obligation he would have done it already. Russell is probably persona non-grata in Oakland for months no matter, due to everyone’s favorite CBA tricks, the extra year of control and Super 2.

Now if they fall out of the race and we were in at the July deadline, maybe then, but that would be some parlay. I should call Wally, see what kind of odds we can get on that.

Jimmy:

There you go, dashing my dreams with hard, cold facts. Rats and snails. Now I feel down-hearted and depressed. Well, there’s only one thing to cheer me up. The miracle of exercise!

 

 

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28 comments

  1. Eric says:

    My hope is that they move real prospects only for a legit SS prospect or player. Why get Didi if you could hopefully get by with Flores?

    More important question: If the Mets do get that juicer, would the players have to pay for half of it out of their own pockets?

    • The Power Juicer would be absolutely free to the players, one of the perks of playing for the NY Mets. The key is that funds for it come out of the “Wellness” budget, not payroll. And that, of course, the Juicer was picked up at an Estate Sale.

  2. Eraff says:

    Omar provides depth with a capable SS Glove…a Good guy for a 10 games “Injury Replacement”. He can Be That at Vegas or Bingo…. he has almost zero value as a bench player because he doesn’t have an Offensive Skill.

    Flores as the Bench guy provides much more….with growth opportunity. He’d get 300 ab’s, and he’s capable of taking “rest day” starts at Short Stop while pich hitting and providing support across all 4 IF Positions. Mneh….makes sense on EVERY level— so they didn’t do it!

  3. What we don’t know — certainly what I don’t know — is whether Flores can actually play adequate SS even as a backup. A year ago, the unanswered question was whether he could play a Murphy-esque level of 2B. Now suddenly he’s going to try out as a Triple-A shortstop? Based on the decisions they’ve made to date, this Spring and going back to 2011 when they moved him off the position, the Mets don’t think he can play SS at the ML level.

    It feels like Duda in LF, that type of thinking.

    It’s all pretty confusing to me. Feels bungled, desperate, and wildly inconsistent.

    He’s been in the Mets system forever, and yet there’s appears to be no clear plan for him, or concept of who he is as a player.

    Guaranteed he finds an outfielder’s glove in his locker at some point this season. Remember last season, when he was absolutely too slow to play out there? Now he’s a shortstop again. It’s baffling.

    We are left with the 3rd year of Omar Quintanilla.

  4. wkkortas says:

    Cesar Izturis is on the market. Be afraid.

  5. James Preller says:

    In span of 3 days, the Tigers traded for2 shortstops in minor deals. The Mets have not made a trade this entire winter.

  6. Eraff says:

    Flores…Martin Prado… That’s my hope…. Prado was brought up and got 250 ab’;s 1st year—moves around with the glove—effective player who grew in to long term position

    • Wow, Prado is a nice comp. However, he’s only started 13 games at SS over the course of his career — so he might be, in fact, too good of a comp.

      I do think a team needs a backup SS, especially when the starter is going to struggle, go through bouts of depression, lose confidence, etc.

      What a waste if Omar Quintanilla is one of the four “useful” bench reserves on the roster (not including backup catcher).

  7. Eraff says:

    Tejada should play 145-155 games, if he’s actually a STARTER. If he’s injured, then you bring up a “glove” such as Tovar or Q…otherwise, on the 1 and 2 game “rests” “Martin Prado” can play SS.

    Flores would get similar starts at 1b, 2b and 3rd base….. that adds up to 50-60 starts…maybe more if he’s a RH Platoon Piece at 1b. Kevin Mitchell, anyone? This is how Prado Started his career…and Placido Polanco. It’s a meaningful roll and provides for growth.

    The bench of Duda (I’m fearing!), Satin, Recker, EYJ, Q….. other than EYJ, there’s not an acceptable “double switch tool” in the lot….. and lot’s of defensive exposure with Satin and Duda.

    • Tejada breaks down, he can’t sustain that kind of playing time. At best, he survives and his productivity declines. This is the mistake the Mets have been making at SS for the past few years. That’s not Jose Reyes out there.

      Again: Flores has never played 1B, it’s not going to suddenly happen because you or I wish it were so.

  8. Patrick Boegel says:

    The Mets. A funny organization. You know you would think they would recognize when a gift falls in their lap.

    But instead they focus on nonsense like fearing the distraction Matt Harvey would be rehabbing in New York, or whether Omar Quintanilla can be well, Omar Quintanilla.

    September 24, 2008 seems like a millennium ago.

  9. Eraff says:

    They are still Bridge Building…that’s the answer. The Arms are very nice and the Arms are the Only way forward, given the poverty of ownership.

    It all makes sense when you stop playing make believe, “We’re expecting 90 Wins”.

    • Michael Geus says:

      I’ve heard of that bridge, the bridge to nowhere. There is urgency from these guys to build their mall, and not much else.

  10. Eraff says:

    Please Michael…Do you doubt their Unbridled Passion to PLAY MEANINGFUL GAMES IN SEPTEMBER???!!!

  11. Reese Kaplan says:

    Personally, if they are determined to let Flores find his inner Ordonez at Las Vegas, then I’d not only advocate Seratelli over Tejada, but I’d even advocate batting him leadoff as the starter at SS. Just as you know what you’re going to get with my El Paso brother from another mother, you also know what Tejada is going to give you. On his best day .289 with 0 HRs, 0 SBs and 30 RBIs. Given what Seratelli has done at the minor league level in terms of power, speed and OBP, why the hell not? Also, if he is truly awful at SS, then the transition to Flores will not carry as much of a microscope as it will now.

    More importantly, if you had Seratelli leading off it would finally put Eric Young’s butt on t he bench and allow Juan Lagares to play every day.

    Of course, that kind of outside the box thinking is for winning organizations, not a Terry Custer, er, Collins-led group.

  12. Reese Kaplan says:

    Over at Mack’s Mets I asked the rhetorical question What Purpose Does Spring Training Serve?

    http://macksmets.blogspot.com/2014/03/reese-kaplan-what-purpose-does-spring.html

    • Yeah, nice idea for a post, well done. I appreciate that when on any given day there are five nearly identical posts on the Metsblogosphere — you can predict them by reading Adam Rubin’s tweets the day before — you always work to bring a fresh angle.

  13. Raff says:

    I think the right move is to have Flores on the 25 man roster- And I would hope they would find a way to get him 250-300 AB’s, filling in at short or elsewhere.. Quntanilla should go to AAA. If Tejada is healthy, Quintanilla is a wasted roster slot. If Tejada has a serious injury, the Mets would still have a(barely) “competent” shortstop- Quintanilla. That’s what I think SHOULD happen. But I think what will happen is Seratelli on the 25 man roster, and both Flores and Quinty in AA & AAA. I think this actually makes some sense, from the standpoint that TC is really bad a getting young prospects enough game-time to help their development. I fear that Flores would just rot on the bench. As for the speculation about Lowrey- I suspect that if Beane was ready to move him, it would have already happened. .Further- the thought that Beane is going to give him a qualifying offer doesn’t seem likely, either. I don’t think he’s about to risk paying him $14mil +. Perhaps Beane is waiting-out the time until the trade deadline further assess his young “phenom” at SS – then he makes his move to someone who is desperate and in the hunt for a playoff spot

    • Michael Geus says:

      You have a good point on the qualifying offer, and moving Lowrie at the deadline and promoting Russell at that time fits from a Super 2 perspective.

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