All throughout the off-season, the New York Mets have stated that the centerfield job would belong to Kirk Nieuwenhuis. Manager Terry Collins has also made it known that acquired Collin Cowgill could platoon with Nieuwenhuis against left-handed pitchers. Is it possible now that Cowgill sweeps the job out from under the feet of Nieuwenhuis with his play altogether?
Anything is possible when you are present in a Mets spring training. The one thing that Collins should welcome is an opportunity to have to choose between MLB players.
The vote of confidence is there for Nieuwenhuis. If he plays well in the spring, he will have a starting job in the summer. But with the outfield set up the way it is with players such as Nieuwenhuis, Cowgill, Lucas Duda, Mike Baxter, Marlon Byrd and any others, open competition is good.
“You’ve got to take advantage of situations,” Cowgill said. “Runs matter, every opportunity matters. I mean I want to make the most of all those opportunities.”
It seems as if Collins is giving Cowgill and the others a chance to succeed instead of setting them behind the eight ball where they will not be noticed.
Cowgill is a smaller outfielder who comes in at 5-9 and 185lbs but is showing a much bigger heart than his size would indicate. Collins has stated that what Cowgill brings to the table is exactly what he was informed about:
“Early in camp I was anxious to see him play and he is exactly what people have told me about him. He plays hard, he is aggressive at the plate and aggressive on the bases. I am anxious to see him all spring.”
Hopefully the Mets can go north with a better than expected outfield unit. If Cowgill is a part of that, then we can only hope that translates to a good season in Flushing and they can prove their naysayers wrong.