You probably don’t remember who replaced Cleon Jones in left field
Cleon Jones was the starting left fielder for the Mets every year from 1969-1974. In 1975, someone else got the call. His name was Gene Clines.
If you don’t remember Clines, join the club. He spent only the 1975 season with the team, batting .227/.269/.286 with zero home runs. A part-time player for much of his career, this was one of the biggest drop offs at any position in franchise history.
Carlos Beltran’s Opening Day starts ended early
Carlos Beltran represented the Mets in center field on Opening Day for the final time in 2009. In 2011, he was in right field. In 2010, he was injured. So depending on how you want to look at it, we have two options.
In 2010, Gary Matthews Jr. was the Opening Day center fielder. He played only 36 games for the team and batted .190. If you want to go with Pagan as your answer, it’s a little better. Coming off of a good year in 2010, he spent his final season with the Mets in 2011 batting .262/.322/.372. The next two Opening Days would feature Andres Torres and Collin Cowgill at the position until Juan Lagares took over.
There was no immediate answer from the Mets to replace Darryl Strawberry
Darryl Strawberry left the Mets in free agency after the 1990 season and the 1991 Mets opened with a familiar name in right field. Hubie Brooks was brought back to town. No longer an infielder as he was in his early days, Brooks had transitioned to right fielder over the most recent seasons.
Brooks hit for decent power, smacking 16 home runs in only 407 trips to the plate. This didn’t compare to the production Strawberry had given them for so many years prior. The Mets saw this. And the following offseason, the Bobby Bonilla in Queens storyline began.