Apr 16, 2014; Phoenix, AZ, USA; New York Mets manager Terry Collins against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The Mets outfield decision should be simple

With center fielder Juan Lagares set to be activated from the disabled list prior to Thursday’s series-opener in Colorado, the Mets are faced with the same “issue” they thought they had a few weeks ago when Chris Young was about to return: how should the outfield playing time be distributed?

A few weeks ago, before Juan Lagares‘ hamstring injury rendered the issue moot, manager Terry Collins was planning to rotate every outfielder (except for Curtis Granderson) in order to get each player regular at-bats. That idea was poor, but the current one Collins has is even worse.

On Tuesday, Collins had the following to say when asked about what he would do when Lagares returned:

I think all of them deserve to be out there at some time. They all have a key part on our club, and I don’t know how I’m going to rotate it just yet, but I think they all deserve an opportunity. I don’t think there’s one guy you can point your finger at and say, ‘Hey, you’re not playing.’”

In actuality, there is one guy you can point your finger at and say ‘hey, you’re not playing’ to. That guy is Eric Young, Jr.

In Collins’ current plan, though, he may sit Curtis Granderson just as often as he sits Eric Young, Jr. That simply doesn’t make any sense.

Curtis Granderson, because of his track record, and the expectation that he’ll be one of the main suppliers of power in the lineup, should be playing every day.

Chris Young, who averages 24 home runs per 162 games and plays plus defense, should be playing every day.

Juan Lagares, who is arguably the best defensive center fielder in baseball and whose offense has been a bright spot this season, should be playing every day.

Eric Young, Jr., who has gone 10 for 47 since Lagares’ injury, who doesn’t play plus defense, and who has a triple slash of .215/.316/.269 so far in 2014, should be coming off the bench.

Yes, Young, Jr. has stolen a bunch of bases and scored lots of runs.

No, he shouldn’t be taking playing time away from any of Granderson, Lagares, or Chris Young.

As has been stated before, if this decision is too difficult for Collins to make on his own, Sandy Alderson needs to step in and make it for him.


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Tags: Juan Lagares New York Mets Terry Collins

  • Bill

    100% agree with you . . Chris Young in Left, Lagares in Center, Granderson in Right, Lagares leading off – let him score the runs (and more) that EY was getting … The stolen bases are nice and I am a huge advocate of an aggressive running game, but I believe Lagares can run just as much in the right scenario. That scenario is leading off – not hitting 6th or 7th. It leads to more balance in the lineup if he is at the top as well – why have three rightys in the 6-7-8 slots.

  • Jenffrj

    I was glad to see Granderson leave the Yanks and I was not at all thrilled to have the Mets sign him. Yes, I am a fan of both! As nice a person as he apparently is, he seems to me to be Bay II. His hitting in friendly Yankee Stadium had deteriorated and Citi field will make it even worse. He should be platooned and face only righties at this point. Maybe that will awaken his bat. Personally, I’m afraid that it wont.


    my head will explode if anyone says sit murph