But seriously, as much as I hate to lose Jose Reyes for any amount of time I don’t think losing Reyes is a game changer. As good as he is, I think the Mets will do fine with Alex Cora at the bottom of their lineup. Can you say Rafael Santana?
In ’84 Rafael Santana was the backup shortstop for the Mets. In ’85 he was promoted to starting shortstop, and then in ’86 the Mets won it all with a shortstop that batted .218, 1 HR, 28 RBI’s and led the team with 12 intentional walks. He was a solid defensive shortstop, not a Gold Glove by any means. Fundamentally sound.
Also remember Kevin Elster was the backup shortstop who batted .167, 0 hr’s, 0 RBI’s in ’86. He was a better defensive player than Santana and was such a smooth fielder. A pleasure to watch on the field but an automatic out at the plate.
Now check out this interview with Cora at MLB.com. Ron Darling and Keith Hernandez both get chances to ask Alex questions and he does a good interview. He comes off as a leader on camera and we already know he’s a leader in the clubhouse and on the field. We saw that last year when he subbed for Reyes.
I haven’t had a chance to see Ruben Tejada play, but if he is a good defensive shortstop then we have a workable shortstop tandem for the entire year if need be. I hope it doesn’t get to that!
I’m actually fine with Reyes being out. We still need pitching. Pitching and defense wins games. As Keith would say, “FUNDY’s”.