Mets infielder Wilmer Flores will begin practicing in the outfield in an effort to add to his versatility and find ways to be in the lineup.
"It's not like I'm going to be out there a lot," Flores said, according to Newsday's David Lennon. "Just as an option. I don't want to sit on the bench. I want to play."
Though he has spent most of his five-year career playing on the left side of the infield with some time at second base, Flores practiced at first base and has played there in 56 games over the past two seasons.
However, Flores' potential infield role is blocked given the Mets' acquisition of Todd Frazier, the emergence of top shortstop prospect Amed Rosario, the first base competition between Dominic Smith and Adrian Gonzalez and the fact they still have Asdrubal Cabrera and Jose Reyes.
"I learned how to play first base to get in the lineup," Flores said. "If I have to play the outfield to get one more game, I'll do it."
Manager Mickey Callaway said he sees Flores' versatility as a positive.
"I don't see it as one position. He can play third, second, first, play short if we need him to in a pinch. He played short in the World Series," Callaway said, according to the New York Daily News' Kristie Ackert. "I've talked to him and he's open to taking some fly balls and be available in the outfield just to allow him to get as many at-bats as possible. This kid can hit. Not only can he hit lefties really well, he does a pretty good job against righties and we need his bat in the lineup."
The Mets are likely to carry four outfielders on their Opening Day roster -- Yoenis Cespedes, Jay Bruce, Juan Lagares and Brandon Nimmo -- while Michael Conforto continues to rehab from surgery. And while Flores has never spent a major or minor league game in the outfield, he said he is looking forward to the opportunity.
"It'll be a challenge," Flores said, according to Ackert. "I am used to playing infield. I am sure that I am going to put the work in and try to be the best I can be out there. We'll see how it goes."