Posted on June 13, 2017, by Bryan Zarpentine
For the second time this season, the New York Mets have placed shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera on the DL. Cabrera previously spent 10 days on the DL in May with a sprained left thumb. Once again it’s a sprained left thumb that has sent Cabrera back to the injured list. The Mets have called up utility infielder T.J. Rivera to replace Cabrera on the active roster.
The timing of Cabrera’s return to the DL is a little odd. He lands on the DL just one day after hitting two home runs in Monday’s win against the Cubs. However, Cabrera says that he re-aggravated the thumb injury over the weekend. He received a cortisone shot on Tuesday and will now get 10 days to rest.
Cabrera’s thumb is reportedly most problematic when he bats right-handed against left-handed pitchers. With the Mets set to face lefties each of the next two days, the Mets felt the timing was right to give Cabrera a little extra time to rest his nagging injuries.
With the nagging thumb injury, Cabrera has struggled to produce consistently for much of the season. Despite hitting three home runs during the month of June, Cabrera’s hitting just .167 this month. On the season, Cabrera is hitting .244 with an OPS of .713, solid numbers but a noticeable decline from last season.
Aside from the nagging issues with his thumb, Cabrera’s legs also appear to be showing signs of wear and tear. Issues with his legs and thumb have also had a negative impact on Cabrera’s defense. He’s already committed 11 errors this season after only committing seven all last season.
With Cabrera back on the shelf, Jose Reyes will step in as the team’s regular shortstop. Reyes has seen his playing time diminish drastically in recent weeks, and for good reason. Reyes is hitting just .188 with an OPS of .554. Nevertheless, he figures to be the regular shortstop for at least the next 10 days.
The only other shortstop the Mets have on the active roster is Wilmer Flores. Flores has been one of New York’s most productive hitters over the past month. As a result, he has taken over as the everyday third baseman, which is where Reyes began the season. Flores has not started a game at shortstop this season, so it figures to be Reyes at shortstop everyday until Cabrera returns.
It’s also notable that for the second time this year the Mets have declined to call up top prospect Amed Rosario upon placing Cabrera on the DL. Rosario is one of the best prospects in all of baseball and is currently hitting .337 in triple-A. However, the Mets are still not comfortable bringing the 21-year old to the big leagues.
“When he comes up, he needs to play every day and he needs to be ready to succeed, he has to be able to stay,” a source close to the Mets front office said of Rosario. “So it’s going to be a little while longer until we’re convinced he’s ready for that.”
With some recent improvement in their starting pitching, the Mets have won four in a row and pulled within four games of .500, as the team is showing some signs of getting back into contention. Despite some struggles this season, Cabrera is certainly a better option at shortstop right now than Reyes. Until the Mets are ready to call up Rosario, Cabrera going on the DL should be considered a setback and a clear drop-off at the shortstop position for the Mets.