{}
CLOSE

Now Commenting On:

Mets want to check out Valdespin in infield

After playing outfield in winter ball, second baseman hopes to make opening roster

|

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- Though Jordany Valdespin may finally be growing comfortable as an outfielder, the Mets believe his immediate future lies on the infield dirt.

"He played a lot of outfield in winter ball. This spring, we need to put him back in the infield a little bit," manager Terry Collins said Saturday after Valdespin reported to camp. "We know if need be, we can play him in the outfield. We need to take a look at him in the infield right now."

Though second base is Valdespin's natural position, that may hurt his already-slim chances of making the Opening Day roster. Coming into camp, all four of the Mets' starting infielders are entrenched in their roles, with Justin Turner an overwhelming favorite to secure one bench spot. That leaves one slot open for Brandon Hicks or Brian Bixler -- and Hicks is out of Minor League options, making him the early favorite for the assignment.

Valdespin, who played mostly outfield for his Dominican winter ball team, understands his situation.

"I won't keep my head down if I don't stay on the team Opening Day," he said. "The only thing I can do is play hard and then go up. But my plan is to stay on the team on the Opening Day for all year."

Ideally, the Mets would like to see Valdespin mature both on and off the field before handing him another big league job. On the diamond, Valdespin showed a propensity for chasing pitches during his rookie season, striking out in 19 of his final 68 plate appearances. Off the field, he displayed continued immaturity this winter when he posted a Twitter picture of himself wearing a Marlins cap -- a photo that he claims his cousin posted without his consent.

Regardless of intent, the Mets hope that Valdespin grows both as a person and a player this spring.

"My game is to stay on the bases, steal bases, help my team how I can do it," Valdespin said. "That's my plan for this year. I'm prepared 100 percent in my mind, and physically too, and we'll see what happens in Spring Training."

{}
{}
Boys and Girls Club of America

©2014 MLBAM, LP. All rights reserved.

The following are trademarks or service marks of Major League Baseball entities and may be used only with permission of Major League Baseball Properties, Inc. or the relevant Major League Baseball entity: Major League, Major League Baseball, MLB, the silhouetted batter logo, World Series, National League, American League, Division Series, League Championship Series, All-Star Game, and the names, nicknames, logos, uniform designs, color combinations, and slogans designating the Major League Baseball clubs and entities, and their respective mascots, events and exhibitions. Use of the Website signifies your agreement to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy (updated May 24, 2013).

View MLB.com in English | En Español