New York Mets manager Terry Collins has officially named Collin Cowgill his everyday center fielder, as the team heads for Opening Day. Cowgill was brought in this offseason and was supposed to be a platoon player in the Mets questionable outfield, but has now earned a spot as an everyday player.
Kirk Nieuwenhuis was supposed to be the Mets starting center fielder but has had a disastrous spring training. After getting only one hit in 18 at bats to start spring. Nieuwenhuis injured his knee while sliding into second base, suffering a bone bruise and was supposed to miss a week of action, but instead missed three.
In the meantime outfielders like Cowgill and Marlon Byrd have stepped up and had good springs to earn starting spots in the outfield. Lucas Duda was the favorite to start in left field going into spring training and will be there on Opening Day.
This means that utility player Jordany Valdespin is unlikely to get a spot in the starting lineup for the time being. Second baseman Daniel Murphy will likely be ready for the start of the season, which means both of Valdespin’s possible spots are filled. He has been one of the better hitters for the Mets this spring, but so has Cowgill. However if Byrd or Cowgill struggle at the beginning of the season, Valdespin could get his chance to start. Cowgill has been a nice surprise for New York this spring, and will hopefully be able to carry his success into the regular season.