By Taryn “The Coop” Cooper
I’m going to make a not-so-bold assessment and say that Andres Torres does not figure into the long-term plans of the Mets. Being that he’s currently on the books for 2012, and arbitration eligible for 2013, unless he has a monster-tastic year, will probably be elsewhere then. Just call it a hunch. But it makes a lot of sense.
I was probably one of a few Mets fans who actually was thrilled to see Angel Pagan go via trade in the offseason. I didn’t think Andres Torres was necessarily an upgrade at centerfield or necessarily as a leadoff batter in the lineup.
What I believe though is that he’s a placeholder. A placeholder for the team as the kids get more mature in the minors.
By “kids,” I mean Kirk Nieuwenhuis or Matt den Dekker.
Yet as we are well versed, the best laid plans of Mets and men Gang aft agley (or “often go awry,” in lay terms). Torres is currently touch and go, questionable for Opening Day, and is currently feeling “awkward” in the minors and each day there is a different analysis. Earlier this week, the Mets announced that Torres is anticipated to be ready by Opening Day. Then out of the other side of their ass, it seems a certainty that Torres won’t be joining the team for the Opening Day festivities.
On one hand, at least they seem to be taking this news in stride. Look, even the best case scenario of possibilities for the Mets, Torres (nor Scott Hairston, who is also having some troubles of his own) are the make-or-break guys for the team. They were just touch-and-go characters. Sure, Torres must have been considered to be an every day player because there’s not a good reason why the Mets should be rushing den Dekker or Nieuwenhuis.
Haven’t the Mets learned their lessons for rushing prospects?
Now, here we are, less than a week away from Opening Day, and Torres is up in the air. His status is touch-and-go but the sooner the Mets can figure their stuff out, the sooner we can know whether den Dekker is figuring into the picture. The Daily News reported the other day that den Dekker is a realistic option for Terry Collins to use in centerfield, that’s for a few things falling into place for the prospect. While he’s never been above AA yet, his main competition in Nieuwenhuis is also nursing an oblique injury. Oh, the Mets and those oblique injuries. At least this time they are happening in Spring Training, not in July. But still, it’s been frustrating to say the least.
Here’s the roundup. Torres was to be used as a placeholder this year, to give more time to develop Kirk Nieuwenhuis in the minors. Yet, they are both hurt, leaving the prize behind Door #3, Matt den Dekker, to be on the team. A bit of a precarious situation.
Like most things Mets these days, it’s all touch-and-go. I suppose that’s the attitude that will be taken though on Opening Day going into 2012. The payroll? David Wright’s long-term status? Ike Davis’ valley fever? Like, who is our starting centerfielder?
Eh, it’s touch-and-go.