WASHINGTON -- Juan Lagares was not the only starter-turned-bench-bat back in the Mets' lineup Saturday. Manager Terry Collins also inserted Wilmer Flores into the starting nine for the first time in a week, playing him at shortstop over Ruben Tejada.
The change will not be permanent. Though the Mets recalled Flores from Triple-A Las Vegas last week to serve as their starting shortstop, Collins reiterated Saturday that Tejada has earned the job back with some strong play in the interim.
"Ruben has had some very, very good at-bats," Collins said of Tejada, who is batting .227 with a .664 OPS since Flores' promotion. "Just because the results aren't necessarily hits, he's still swung the bat very well lately and worked the count and got on base and done the things we want him to do. And he's played outstanding defensively. He's getting to be the guy we know."
For as long as Tejada is the starter, then, it becomes a question of whether having Flores on the big league club is counterproductive. Still just 22 and one of the organization's top overall prospects, Flores might be better served playing every day at Las Vegas.
"That's a decision [general manager] Sandy [Alderson]'s got to determine," Collins said.