Curtis Granderson staying in right field is a bad idea

By Danny Abriano

At Mets camp on Sunday, Terry Collins said that he’s leaning strongly toward leaving Curtis Granderson in right field and asking Michael Cuddyer to shift to left field.

The reason?

According to Collins, Granderson played an “outstanding” right field last year, a claim that is false. Additionally, Collins is worried that if he uses Cuddyer in right field, Granderson will have to slide over to right field during games when Cuddyer plays first base.

Ever since the Mets signed Cuddyer, the thought has been that he would be in right field (where he’s played almost exclusively during his career) with Granderson shifting to left field. Collins wanting to do the opposite is foolish for two reasons.

For one, per Marc Carig of Newsday, Granderson was rated as having the worst arm out of all 16 right fielders who qualified last season, costing the Mets 7.4 runs with his arm alone. While Cuddyer is viewed along with Granderson as having poor range, his arm is miles better than Granderson’s.

Another huge issue is the fact that Cuddyer is deaf in his left ear – something Cuddyer says won’t have an impact if he shifts to left field.

However, while Cuddyer is being a company man in saying he’ll adjust if asked to play left field, it’s hard to argue that it’s smart to have a player who’s deaf in his left ear playing left field – where the center fielder will be racing toward him calling fly balls.

With the fences having been moved in in right field at Citi Field again, the quirkiness Collins is worried about is close to non-existent. Citi Field will now play neutral, and having the player with the better arm in right field is logical. When you also factor in that Cuddyer is deaf in his left ear, having him in right field becomes a no-brainer.

Terry Collins makes many curious comments and decisions, but the Granderson/Cuddyer outfield issue is one where general manager Sandy Alderson should step in and overrule his manager.

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