Wilmer Flores walked into Citi Area for the primary time on Monday since signing as a free agent with the Diamondbacks in January.
And boy, did it really feel totally different.
“I used to be coming in from the opposite aspect of the stadium, a brand new entrance,” Flores advised The Put up previous to the primary recreation of a four-game collection between the Mets and Diamondbacks. “That is all new for me. I’ve by no means been [in the visiting clubhouse] earlier than, however I’ll see how it’s on the market [on the field].”
The infielder acquired a roaring standing ovation when he first stepped to the plate within the Mets’ 3-1 win over the Diamondbacks. He tipped his helmet to the followers after which greeted his previous pal Jacob deGrom with a pleasant wink earlier than he grounded out to kick off the second inning.
However Flores received an opportunity to point out the Mets simply what they’re lacking out on — after the crew allowed him to depart as a free agent following final season — with a leadoff homer to convey Arizona inside one run within the fifth. Flores spent the primary six years within the majors with the Mets who signed him out of Venezuela in 2007.
The Diamondbacks picked up the 28-year-old understanding what a passionate participant he was. Flores was dependable and versatile throughout his tenure with the Mets, recording a .262/.303/.424 slash line with 68 homers and 253 RBIs in 581 video games. Final season, Flores hit .267/.319/.417 with 11 homers in 51 video games. He signed a one-year take care of Arizona that included a crew possibility for 2020.
“Yeah, positively [was disappointing], positively.” Flores mentioned of leaving the Mets. “It’s simply enterprise. I’m doing what I like, simply in one other metropolis. I’m nonetheless taking part in baseball, and it’s been nice.”
Followers received a glimpse of Flores’ love for the Mets in 2015 when he wiped away tears in the midst of a recreation in opposition to the Padres simply earlier than the commerce deadline after he was all however dealt to the Brewers in a commerce that by no means truly ended up occurring.
The subsequent evening he blasted a 12th-inning, walk-off homer to win an necessary recreation in opposition to the Nationals and the legend of Wilmer was born. Flores and the Mets reached the World Collection that 12 months.
Following Monday’s recreation, Arizona was 1 ¹/₂ video games behind the Cubs for the second NL wild-card spot and a couple of ¹/₂ video games forward of the Mets. Flores has performed an enormous half within the Diamondbacks’ success, hitting seven homers with 15 RBIs in his final 35 video games. He missed 9 weeks because of a proper foot contusion, however jumped proper again into the D-backs’ playoff push.
The most important problem transitioning to a brand new crew, in response to Flores, is how a lot he has missed his previous teammates. He mentioned it was powerful to select up and depart — although he’s managed to be in contact with a few of them, significantly deGrom, Juan Lagares, Michael Conforto and Steven Matz.
Now virtually by way of his first season within the desert, Flores is having fun with his time with the Diamondbacks, saying he’s been glad the place they’re within the race for the postseason. However there was a purpose he was welcomed again to Citi Area with a video montage of a few of his Mets highlights earlier than Monday evening’s first pitch.
“New York is at all times going to be residence and it’s good to be again,” he mentioned.