In a shocking twist to what has been another typical season under the Terry Collins Era, the New York Mets placed All-Star second baseman Daniel Murphy on the 15-day disabled list with a strained right calf and recalled second baseman Dilson Herrera from Binghamton (AA).
My first reaction was “Whoa!” followed by the obligatory “What?!” and ending with the expected “Are you kidding me?!” in reaction to Dilson’s call up. Let’s say this flat out. This is a move that is very unlike the Mets and the general manager Sandy Alderson. This regime has shown reluctance to call up prospects too soon, as well as opting to have a prospect gain his “Super-2” eligibility which guarantees the Mets will have the prospect under team control for an extra year.
However, it is difficult to ignore what Dilson Herrera has done this season. After being acquired in a waiver wire deal that sent OF Marlon Byrd and C John Buck to Pittsburgh for Herrera and RP Vic Black, this is the first season Herrera has under the Mets farm system. Starting out in St. Lucie, advanced A ball, he only lasted 67 games while hitting .307/.355/.410 with 3 home runs, 23 RBI and 14 SBs. This performance earned him a promotion to Binghamton (AA). Now, the team expected him to finish the year in AA as the jump from A+ to AA may be the toughest jump in competition in the minor league system. If you can excel in AA, that catches scouts’ attention very quickly.
And boy, did he excel. In 61 games, he hit .340/.406/.560 with 10 HR, 48 RBI and 9 SBs. He has hit safely in 50 of his 61 AA games. He is only 20 years old. I will repeat that again. Dilson Herrera is only 20 years old. Scouts have already used words such as “steal” and “future second baseman” and “future All-Star” to describe this kid. While this is exciting, here is where we run into a conundrum.
It seems that a lingering concern many fans have is Daniel Murphy. He is already an All-Star second baseman. He is the only hitter on our favorite ball club that is hitting .300 or better. This team has a question mark at every single position next season, minus center field. Will Travis d’Arnaud and Lucas Duda carry over their second half surge to a full season and, subsequently, reinvigorate their career? Speaking of reinvigorating, will David Wright be able to prove this season was an aberration and, with some time to heal his injuries, will he come back to the David Wright he has always been? What about Curtis Granderson? He is just as crucial to the lineup as David Wright. No to mention that we still do not have a MLB shortstop or a MLB starting left fielder.
Throughout all these question marks, Daniel Murphy has been the one constant. Daniel Murphy has been a constant source of production in an otherwise punch-less lineup. By taking out Murphy, you are taking out our production. If we are really meant to compete in the next year, trading Murphy and bringing in Herrera HAS to have a countermove to not only ensure you don’t lose any production in the lineup, but will make it easier for Herrera to adjust into the major leagues.
Who knows. Maybe Herrera is only filling in for Murphy while he rests his strained calf. Maybe once 2015 comes around, Herrera will be in AAA and Murphy will remain our starting second baseman. “Herrera needed to be added to the 40-man roster anyway! This is just a bonus to that move!” Maybe. These are all plausible theories. However; this move of calling up a 20-year old second baseman seems indicative of the next move.
The Mets better have a plan.