What to do with Mets Outfield?

In about a year the Mets have gone from “what outfield” to actually having too many outfielders. It is not a terrible problem to have, but it is still a problem and it will be interesting to see how Sandy Alderson and Terry Collins handle the Mets outfield.

mets outfield
Juan Lagares ready to rejoin Mets outfield.

Juan Lagares is expected to rejoin the Mets at some point during the weekend series with the Rockies, giving them four starting outfielders. For those new to the game of baseball, that is one outfielder too many.

Collins has already said that he will try to play all of them, that none of them will be out of the lineup for more than a game. That is a tall order.

Lagares has to play. He was hitting .314 and was the only reliable bat in the lineup before he got injured. Perhaps more importantly, he is already one of the best defensive center fielders in baseball.

Regardless of his pitiful .136 average, Curtis Granderson has to be in the lineup, for 60 million simple reasons. He has to be given a chance to justify that contract. Jason Bay was given three years and Granderson will surely get more than a month.

Chris Young falls under the same category. He is only signed for a year, but his $7.25 million contract is the fourth highest on the team. He and Granderson are also two of the few power threats in the lineup.

Then there is Eric Young. He is second in the league in steals, tied for third in runs and in the top 20 in walks. But he is also in the top 20 in strikeouts and is batting just .215. His .315 on-base percentage is decent considering his batting average, but it far from outstanding.

Eric Young seems the most likely candidate for a reserve role, but can the Mets afford to bench a player who seems like he is always on base, providing a spark that no one else seems capable of doing?

This is why I thought the Mets would trade Daniel Murphy over the winter and install Eric Young at second. They could still do that, but right now Murphy is the team’s leading hitter at .304. That would leave five regulars mired below .220 (and Lucas Duda is always an imminent threat to join them). Could the Mets really afford to lose Murphy’s bat at this point?

A trade is unlikely, so Alderson and Collins will have to make a decision. Playing all four of them just will not work. We saw how the similar first base scenario worked out. The Mets should bench Eric Young and see how the lineup reacts. If the rest of the team can pick up the slack, then all will be well. If not, go to Plan B, whatever that might be.

3 thoughts on “What to do with Mets Outfield?

  • April 30, 2014 at 3:26 pm
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    i disagree. here’s what i’d do:

    if you’re simply going to bench an OF, i’d bench chris young. he’s a one year commitment, and while the mets will never do this, they should just eat the loss. i think eyj brings more on offense and defense than cy does.

    However, assuming eyj is not a starting OF, then i would move him to 2b, move murphy to 1b, and problem solved. Otherwise, i’d move murphy to 1b, and play flores at 2b. the mets (as of today) are apparently not sold on flores at ss, so i’m not going to assume that, but if he went to ss, eyj at 2b, and murph at 1b would solve everything. However i’d most prefer murph at 1b to get duda out of there (although he’s been playing well recently), and then play flores/eyj at 2b. in this case, eyj is a backup if he’s not starting, and flores becomes a trade piece. the other scenario to avoid messing with murphy is to simply put flores at 1b and see what we’ve got. either way it’s nice that the mets have options for once

  • May 1, 2014 at 5:37 am
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    Let’s not get carried away. Other than Lagares, who still has to prove that he can hit consistently, they are collectively just above the Mendoza Line.

    It is not like we are talking about Agee in CF, Jones in LF, and a platoon of Shamsky and Swoboda in RF.

    I think they just have to go on a day by day basis. Play the matchups – they have data on everything – Let Murphy spell Wright at 3B from time to time and have EYJ spell Murph at 2B from time to time.

    But in reality, one of those outfielders will be hurt in a week or two, so as Hillary Clinton said: “What difference does it make!”

    Moving forward, if the Mets are serious about competing THIS year then I think they have to address the shortstop situation. At this point, I think Tejada is what he is. He is an average fielder and a below average hitter. Last year Tejada and Q hit something like a combined .208. By far the worst combo in major league baseball. AND THEY ARE BOTH BACK!!!!!!

    If we get into June – past all the draft pick business, etc.. – and the Mets are still competitive (I have not sipped the Kool-Aid yet), I think it would be imperative to take a run at Stephen Drew on some sort of a “to the end of season” deal. They have to get production or at least the threat of production from that position.

  • May 1, 2014 at 6:07 am
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    Whether they play CY or not, the money is spent. The PLAYING TIME, however, is not. That is the commodity that stands the risk of being wasted at this point. So, if EY is being more productive than CY, then play EY. Lagares needs to play. Granderson needs to get hot. I’d put him in the 6-hole for the time being, take the pressure off and maybe allow him to be the lower part of the lineup sparkplug.

    Lagares – CF
    Murphy – 2B
    Wright – 3B
    Duda – 1B
    C Young – LF
    Granderson – RF
    d’Arnaud – C
    Tejada – SS

    or

    E. Young – LF
    Lagares – CF
    Wright – 3B
    Duda – 1B
    Murphy – 2B
    Granderson – RF
    d’Arnaud – C
    Tejada – SS

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