New York Mets: Can T.J. Rivera Be The Future Second Baseman?
Tommy Gilligan, USATSI

The New York Mets could have a dilemma at second base heading into the offseason. Could T.J. Rivera be the answer?

Come 2017, the New York Mets could possibly have a need at second base. They let Daniel Murphy go last offseason and could possibly do the same with Neil Walker this coming offseason when he too becomes a free agent.

The Mets also traded prospect Dilson Herrera to the Cincinnati Reds in the Jay Bruce deal. Herrera was thought to be the Mets future second baseman before the trade.

So, there could be a question mark on the right side of the diamond. If the Mets don’t bring back Walker, there’s not a lot of options in the free agent market. They might have to look at what they currently have for a solution.

T.J. Rivera could be the answer.

He was brought up from the minors late this year and thus far in 17 games, he has impressed, especially on Tuesday night when he was clearly the biggest reason why the Mets were able to edge the Washington Nationals 4-3 in 10 innings.

Rivera went 3-for-4, none bigger than the game winning home run he hit in the 10th inning off Nats closer Mark Melancon, his first major league homer. That was one of his three RBIs that he had in the game.

Rivera, who is normally a third baseman, played second last night and really impressed, especially in the ninth when the Nats came back to tie it off Mets closer Jeurys Familia.

Even though Murphy led off the inning with an infield hit, it was an infield hit because Rivera made a diving stop and nearly threw Murph out. The biggest play however was after the Nats tied it and were threatening to win the game.

With two runners on and one out, Rivera started the inning ending double play that kept the game tied and led to him being the hero, helping the Mets escape with the win.

Overall, Rivera has hit .333 in the majors so far and as we saw last night, he already has proved that he can thrive in big moments.

Even though Rivera is normally not a second baseman, his defense on Tuesday night, gave the Mets hope that he can perhaps man that position if needed.

So why not Rivera? While last night is obviously too small of a sample size to predict his future, he has definitely impressed and he showed that he can have a future here in the majors, even as a starter. It helped that he already has made a big showing in a game that the Mets needed to win in order to stay on pace in the wild card chase.

NEXT: New York Mets 2017 Schedule Released

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