The New York Mets are banking on the 2018 season being kinder when it comes to injuries. Still, they’re taking no chances in the outfield where uncertainty still exists by adding a major league-ready minor leaguer to their roster.
The New York Mets have driven the same old clunker car around the block several times looking for a place to park overnight, or in this case, for a full season. It’s been especially frustrating when it comes to the team’s outfield. This explains the reason why they signed Zach Borenstein to a minor league contract.
Mets fans were invigorated by the performance of Michael Conforto last season. Long predicted as a “comer,” Conforto finally blossomed into a full-fledged major league talent. Batting .279 with 27 home runs and 68 RBI in less than 400 plate appearances, Conforto provided the Mets with comfort in knowing that at least one of their outfield positions was filled for the next decade.
But as we move forward to Spring Training, the odds appear to be against Conforto being ready as he continues to rehab following shoulder surgery. Together with the departure of both Jay Bruce and Curtis Granderson during the Mets salary dump last summer, Conforto’s probable temporary absence provoked Sandy Alderson to make a move adding Borenstein.
And then, of course, there’s Yoenis Cespedes, whose season last year produced less than 300 at-bats due to a never-ending series of minor injuries which caused him to lose a considerable amount of playing time. Presumably, though, he never missed a foursome and eighteen holes on the golf course.
Cespedes gets treatment like this because he’s earned it. He’s the only professional athlete I know of who needed to be told to drink plenty of water so he could avoid those troublesome leg injuries he had umpteen times last season. He’s been an enigma wherever he’s been and, unfortunately for the Mets, they own him for better or worse. Hence, the need for the Mets to buy more insurance.
According to a report in the New York Daily News today, “Borenstein is a career minor leaguer, who hit .279 with 27 doubles, seven triples, 24 home runs, 91 RBI and a .351 on-base percentage in 127 games Reno, the Diamondbacks’ Triple-A affiliate. He batted .200 with three doubles and two RBI in six games for Israel in the 2017 World Baseball Classic.
“A one-time minor league Player of the Year in the Angels’ organization, where he was drafted in the 23rd round of the 2011 draft, Borenstein has never appeared in a major league game.” Borenstein is also capable of playing a bit at first base when needed.
While this is not an earth-shattering move by Sandy Alderson, it does demonstrate he is in the game as a far as trying to fill as many holes as he can before spring training begins. The invitation extended to Borenstein to attend spring training with an opportunity to make the team that goes North is a step in the right direction.