Since Mets center fielder Juan Lagares landed on the disabled list on April 15 with a pulled right hamstring, Eric Young, Jr. – the beneficiary of lots of playing time in his stead – has struggled at the plate.
Between April 15 and April 27, Young, Jr. has gone 9 for 42 at the plate, while his batting average has slipped from .255 to .216. As his batting average has slipped, so has his on base percentage – from a season high of .361 on April 19 to its current mark of .320.
When digging a little deeper, you’ll notice that Young, Jr’s. BABIP , as well as his line drive, ground ball, and fly ball rates, are all right around his career norms – meaning he isn’t getting terribly lucky or unlucky thus far in 2014.
While Young, Jr. has swiped lots of bases (second in the National League) and scored his share of runs (also second in the National League), he’s simply not a player whose presence on the roster should prevent Juan Lagares from playing every day upon his return.
Mets manager Terry Collins may be enthralled with Young, Jr.’s speed, but the speed can’t mask the fact that Young, Jr. is a bench player.
If Collins is unable to properly make the decision to play Lagares every day at the expense of Young, Jr. when he returns, the decision needs to be taken out of his hands by general manager Sandy Alderson.