April 30, 2007

The Situation At Second

Ed Ryan at Mets Fever (Shea Nation Network), writes about Jose Valentin and the "situation at second":

When Jose Valentin was resigned this off season, initially it was thought that Valentin was going to serve as the utility player off the bench. But then David Newhan and Damion Easley were signed as bench players and most of us realized that Valentin would remain the full time second baseman.

The free agent market was full of young second baseman this year. Adam Kennedy, Julio Lugo, Ronnie Belliard, Frank Catalanotto, Mark DeRosa andMarcus Giles all were available and considered up grades at the position.

It wasn't that Valentin's performance last year wasn't appreciated but there were concerns over his durability. Once the year started we all understood what the club saw in him. In his second year at the position (that he rarely played during his career), he has clearly become comfortable and his range has been tremendous. But the most important asset Valentin has brought to the table is his chemistry with Reyes, he clearly has influenced the development of the young short stop and they now make an incredible double team tandem.

But now all those concerns about his durability may have come to fruition. Valentin's injury to his knee may land him on the disable list, he will under go further testing today.

If Valentin goes on the disabled list the team will have to choose from Ruben Gotay and Anderson Hernandez. Hernandez is a spectacular fielder but has always struggled offensively on the major league level. Gotay has a better bat but is a limited fielder. Ben Shpigel of the NY Times takes a look at the second base situation.

Second baseman José Valentín is scheduled for further testing in New York on his right knee Monday, perhaps indicating that the injury he sustained Saturday may be more serious than expected. “It’s too early to comment,” Minaya said. “When we get a final report, we’ll be ready to announce something.” If Valentín requires a stay on the disabled list, the Mets will probably recall Anderson Hernández, the New Orleans shortstop who, unlike the second baseman Rubén Gotay, is on their 40 man roster. Hernández has eight errors.

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