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.

Joe Janish began MetsToday in 2005 to provide the unique perspective of a high-level player and coach -- he earned NCAA D-1 All-American honors as a catcher and coached several players who went on to play pro ball. As a result his posts often include mechanical evaluations, scout-like analysis, and opinions that go beyond the numbers. Follow Joe's baseball tips on Twitter at @onbaseball and at the On Baseball Google Plus page.
  1. Joe April 19, 2011 at 2:13 pm
    I figure how bad the team is playing and all, patience won’t be deemed a virtue, especially for those on the lowest levels of the totem pole. This doesn’t make not even letting the guy play out April right,but it doesn’t really surprise.
  2. Walnutz15 April 19, 2011 at 3:14 pm
    Not much of an audition for Emaus – but we’ll see where it goes from here.

    2 glaring cons:

    – weak arm
    – not much in the way of an authoritative bat

    I think that botched double play is really what did him in [preventing him from getting more of a true look]; but it’s not like Daniel Murphy has displayed anything resembling competency on the basepaths….so that counts for something, too. (In my opinion, of course.)

    Since Turner’s being brought up….I don’t really mind any of this, provided they were never serious about “giving Emaus a shot” to begin with, anyway. And it’s clear that Collins wasn’t – given his “someone has to win the job/no plan to platoon” chatter.

    Get the next “near-ready” 2nd baseman a chance, too – I guess. I liked Turner then, still like him now…..figured Emaus would’ve stuck around longer though.

  3. xDanTanna April 19, 2011 at 3:29 pm
    I just woke up to see this news. I would have to agree this is a surprise to me. Only because he was given the job over actually winning it outright in Spring Training. So I figured he would have been given more time here. But, you have to give Sandy & Company some credit here. Because going this route so soon is akin to admitting you made a mistake. In the past Emaus (in all likelihood) would have managed to stick all year. It would have been easy for Sandy to be stubborn here & drag out the inevitable w/ him. So I score this as a positive for the new regime.

    The funny thing to me is in debating (in various places, but particularly one) w/ other fans on this issue over the last month or so. They would have killed you if you said Emaus was not major league caliber. But, they will be the first to say today they believed he was out of his element. Because Sandy decided that was the case. 🙂

    • Joe Janish April 19, 2011 at 4:10 pm
      Dan, good points.

      I’m a bit torn on giving Sandy & Co some credit, because after all they were the ones who forced Emaus into the situation in the first place. And I don’t know that it would have been so “stubborn” to keep Emaus up here for at least the end of the month / 100 plate appearances.

      Many of the same fans echoing your feelings — that Sandy is smart by acting quickly — were also angry when Lastings Milledge, Fernando Martinez, Nick Evans, and Ruben Tejada (for example) weren’t given longer looks and a chance to work through their struggles. And I’ve heard almost zero backlash re: the demotion of Lucas Duda. Imagine if Omar Minaya demoted Duda while keeping both Willie Harris and Scott Hairston around?

      Agreed on your last point — if I wrote a post yesterday saying that Emaus should be demoted, people would be DESTROYING me for not having patience. I hope Sandy is enjoying the honeymoon.

      • xDanTanna April 19, 2011 at 4:22 pm
        That is true with the guys you mentioned. Heck, there is still a large outcry for Evans to be up here now. In having Harris / Hairston (not major league caliber IMO) here. I can’t say I disagree w/ them on that. I always thought w/ Milledge they waited a year too long to trade him. If it was not for Peter Angelos squashing a trade. The Mets would have acquired Oswalt from Houston in a 3-way. Then perhaps the entire direction of Mets history would look different now.
    • Izzy April 20, 2011 at 6:56 am
      Joe Janish is right. The revious admins did nothing different than this one is doing about leashes for kids. Or vets. It was only one year ago when Omar admitted the Jacobs mistake a mere 12 games into the season and brought up Davis. So enough with the false history. Alderson lives on his moves or dies with them and so far bringing in guys like Hairston and Boyer and Emaus and this horrid bullpen make him look like a total failure. And plaeas, don’t respond with the worn out he had no money line.
      • Joe Janish April 20, 2011 at 9:53 am
        OMG, Omar brought up Ike Davis last year? I thought Sandy Alderson imposed it upon Minaya via his power from the commissioner’s office.
  4. murph April 19, 2011 at 6:41 pm
    The message is clear: screw up and your out of here!
    Lucas Duda, Blaine Boyer and now Brad Emaus.
    At this rate, the Mets will completely turn over their roster by the All-Star break.
    • Joe Janish April 19, 2011 at 11:28 pm
      It’s reminiscent of George Steinbrenner in the late 70s / early 80s. Visions of Bobby Meacham ….
    • Izzy April 20, 2011 at 6:58 am
      Really would like to know how Lucas Duda forced to play right field where he never played before and given all of 17 ABS, deserved a demotion. This blind suport of every alderson move is reaching utter folly. When you turn on him will it be total as well? LOL.
      • CatchDog April 20, 2011 at 9:26 am
        Before completely bashing Sandy, let’s see what happens to Emaus. Perhaps the FO already knows the Jays will pass on Brad. Also, another team would be required to keep him on the 25 man roster all season. IMO, his current numbers don’t exactly scream “keeper”.

        That said, it’s possible that Emaus winds up back in Buffalo, where he gets another look. Only this time with no strings attached. In the meantime, we get a look at Turner.

  5. Walnutz15 April 19, 2011 at 9:26 pm
    If that message rings true, then Hairston and his joke of a $1.1MM deal will be gone very soon…….haven’t seen that good a Bobby Abreu defensive impression in a long, long time.

    This team is god-awful.