The Mets have a gaping hole at second base. Enter prospect Anderson Hernandez, a converted shortstop who could be promoted from Triple-A Norfolk as soon as today.
“I’d like to see maybe this kid Hernandez come up eventually,” Randolph said Sunday in St. Louis. Two things are significant about that: The manager mentioned Hernandez without prodding, and at the time he spoke, Norfolk’s season wasn’t over.
It is now, as the Tides were eliminated from the International League playoffs Sunday night. The only obstacle in Hernandez’s way is the Mets’ 40-man roster, which is full. Team brass huddled yesterday to decide when and how to add Hernandez, who is likely to be the only significant minor-leaguer the Mets bring up before season’s end.
“I’ve heard some good things about him,” Randolph said. “Just to get a look at how he handles himself and see if he’s overmatched or anything like that. He’s a switch hitter, had a nice little year in Triple-A, so you’re kind of curious sometimes in what those kinds of guys can bring.”
Hernandez, 22, batted .315 with nine home runs, 54 RBIs and 35 stolen bases in a season split equally between Norfolk and Double-A Binghamton. The Mets acquired him from Detroit on Jan. 6 for Vance Wilson and he wowed them in spring training with his glove at short.
One youngster who will be getting a good look the rest of the season is first baseman Mike Jacobs, who started the last three games of the road trip and had a key RBI double in Sunday’s 7-2 win. The Mets want to see what they have in the 24-year-old before the winter shopping season opens. First baseman Doug Mientkiewicz understands.
“I knew it was going to happen,” he said, “as soon as we fell out of the race. This ain’t my first rodeo.”
The New York Daily News’ Adam Rubin reports that Mike Piazza wanted to have a quiet word with the head-hunting Julian Tavares Saturday night, but the Cardinals reliever was unavailable at the time.