Justin Turner Up, Brad Emaus Down
In a surprising move — to me, anyway — the Mets have designated Brad Emaus for assignment and promoted Justin Turner.
I do realize that Emaus is struggling, but I thought for sure he’d be given a longer leash. Terry Collins mentioned something about a “qualified” number of at-bats to decide whether Emaus was ready to handle big-league pitching. I guess 37 at-bats was that number? Seems like a small sample size.
Though I’m happy that Justin Turner is back up with the Mets — and I believe he was the best choice for second base from the beginning — I’m a little disappointed to see the Mets give up on Emaus so quickly, because the kid does appear to have MLB skills, both in the field and at the plate. Some of his problems — I think — had to do with him being “tight” or nervous; my eyes saw a kid who was tense, pressing, and maybe trying too hard. If he can relax a bit, I believe he can compete at the big-league level; if not this year, then eventually. That said I hope the Mets can work out a deal with the Blue Jays to keep him in the organization.
Back to Turner — who, again, I’m happy to see return. After seeing what he could do in limited action last year, it was clear to me that Turner was the best of a flawed bunch competing for the 2B job this spring. He wasn’t outstanding in any phase of the game, but he was good enough in every phase. I’m not expecting him to be Jeff Kent, but I do think Turner can provide enough offense to justify his average defense. I’m seeing him as a .260-.275 hitter with maybe a .335-.350 OBP, 7-12 HR in 400 ABs, and solid if unspectacular defense. He was hitting .300 with a .893 OPS through 10 games with AAA Buffalo.