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David Wright has a "small fracture in the middle joint of his right pinky." It sounds neither serious nor fun. Wright is heading to see a hand specialist today, Wednesday, and Terry Collins seems to hope that he will be back by Friday.

And if that doesn't happen? The people want to know about contingencies.

Kevin writes:

If you had to call someone up to play 3B for the Mets tomorrow who would it be, Zach Lutz from Buffalo or Jefry Marte from Binghamton?  Marte is higher on your list and off to a good start, but a level below with shaky defense.
Jonathan C writes:

Personally, I would really like a look at Lutz in the bigs, the man can hit. He would have (or should have) been here, had it not been for the freakish injuries he has suffered.

Let's discuss!


The first issue is determining the length of Wright's absence. If he'll be back in a few days, the Mets can just play Justin Turner or Ronny Cedeno at third until Wright returns. If it's looking more like 10 days or so, the team would do well to place Wright on the DL, let him heal fully and make a move.

There are lots of options. Terry Collins has repeatedly said that he does not want to move Murphy from second temporarily. Lets assume, for the purposes of this discussion that even if Wright is placed on the disabled list, he will be back around the minimum (15 days). Even if he's out a full three weeks, that falls into the temporary category. Under this scenario, Murphy stays at second, and the Mets need to fill third.  Here too they have choices: they could call someone up and install him at third, or two call someone up and have him help the combo of Cedeno and Turner as third basemen and depth pawns.

It's not going to be Jefry Marte. He's 20 years old, with 19 plate appearances above advanced-a and he's not on the Mets 40-man roster. He's always had some pop, and he made some nice strides in cutting down on his strikeouts and increasing his walks at the end of 2011 which seem to have carried over into 2012. However, he needs the development time in the minors.

Here are the choices: Josh Satin, Zach Lutz and Vinny Rottino.

The arguments for Lutz:

  • He's on the Mets 40-man roster
  • Dude can hit. He's hit a combined .296/.378/.500 in 72 games in parts of three seasons in AAA.
  • He's a better third baseman than Josh Satin. Satin, a natural second baseman, began playing a lot of third base in 2011. Lutz has a better range factor at third (2.13) than Satin (1.97)
The arguments against Lutz:
  • He gets hurt a lot (but he's healthy now).
  • He's not a really good 3B. His career .942 fielding percentage in the minors at third is a touch better than Satin.

The arguments for Satin:

  • He's on the Mets 40-man roster
  • He hit a combined .323/.411/.495 between AA and AAA in 2011 as a 26-year old
  • He's versatile. He can play 1B, 2B, or 3B
  • He's got strong eyebrows
The arguments against Satin:
  • He's not a third baseman. Drafted as a 2B out of Cal, he's played 68 games at third as a professional almost all in 2011. I don't think he has the arm for third base. He committed about one error every 10 games at third, a rate that would put him right near the top (err bottom) among MLB 3B. He has a .931 career minor league fielding percentage at third.
  • He has a complicated swing with lots of moving parts that might fall out of whack coming off the bench without regular game exposure.

The arguments for Rottino:

  • He's hit .293/.360/.433 in almost 2,000 plate appearances over seven seasons in AAA since 2005.
  • He can play first, the outfield corners and is a former catcher if the Mets want a little help or the flexibility to pinch-hit for a catcher more regularly.
The argument (s) against Rottino:
  • The Mets would have to make space for him on the 40-man roster and potentially expose one of the other two guys to waivers.
  • He's not really a 3B. He has not played third in a minor league game since 2009 and looked a little shaky there in spring training.

And the Winner IsLutz. Lutz will be 26 in June while Satin's already 27. For what it's worth, I had Satin ranked #24 among Mets prospects coming into this year and Lutz #28. Lutz is closer to a third baseman than Satin, who's played first exclusively for the Bisons this year.

If the Mets need to place David Wright on the disabled list, I'd sure like to see if Zach Lutz can hit in the big leagues.


Tags: Majors, Joshua Satin, Analysis, Zach Lutz , Toby Hyde
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