Following the bad break (literally speaking) that Ruben Tejada suffered in the ninth inning of Wednesday night’s comeback victory against the San Francisco Giants, Terry Collins said yesterday the organization will be calling up Wilfredo Tovar to take his place. The news was first reported by Adam Rubin of ESPN New York.
The plan for the remainder of the season (which is now less than two weeks away) is to employ a platoon between Tovar and Omar Quintanilla at shortstop. With Tovar’s season being over for a couple weeks now following Binghamton’s playoff loss to Trenton, Collins won’t throw him into the fire tonight against Phillies starter Cole Hamels. However, it looks as though Wilfredo’s MLB debut will come no later than Sunday, against left-hander Cliff Lee.
This is a big moment for the young shortstop, who signed with the organization in October of 2007, and was ranked as the 16th-best prospect in the system by MLB.com heading into this season. After a horrid start to his year in the Eastern League (.205/.250/.253 in April), he saved his season by increasing his monthly batting average significantly from May to July. He finished 2013 with a .263/.323/.340 line, including four home runs, 36 RBIs, 12 stolen bases, and 70 runs scored in 441 at-bats. It was his first full season in Binghamton after spending 57 games there in 2012 following a mid-year promotion from St. Lucie.
Tovar displayed the positive steps he took at the plate this season following the EAS All-Star game. In 277 at-bats (84 games) prior to their mid-summer classic, he was hitting just .242, with his slugging percentage (.292) lower than his on-base percentage (.301) — and neither one of them were stellar. Following the All-Star break, he hit .299/.359/.421 in 164 at-bats (47 games).
If you recall, John Bernhardt recently penned an article telling us that we shouldn’t overlook Tovar when it comes to a potential internal solution at the shortstop position. While Tejada remains as the best internal option for 2014, his injury does allow the Mets to get a look at their next best internal option. Given this opportunity, maybe Tovar proves he should be considered for the job next season…or he becomes a more valuable trade chip this winter than was previously thought.
We’ll see what will be the outcome of this promotion, but congratulations to Wilfredo on this honor!