The New York Mets have a lot of problems offensively. One adjustment probably isn’t going to turn their lineup into the Queens Crushers, but they can make one move that will help. They need to sit Chris Young for a few games, or at least get him out of the fifth spot of the order.
This week, the Los Angeles Dodgers and Arizona Diamondbacks have been pitching around red-hot Curtis Granderson, knowing they have a much better chance against Young. They’ve been correct so far. Since he reached a season-high slash line of .273/.344/.455 on May 4, Young has gone 7-for-50 with 12 strikeouts. He’s stranded countless runners on base, which has been a huge problem for the Mets lately.
The Mets can still use his glove in the outfield, but he’s costing them too much at the plate to justify his defense. Right now the Mets would be better off with either Eric Young Jr., Eric Campbell or Bobby Abreu in the lineup, and that’s not saying much.
New York signed Young to a $7.25 million, one-year pact during the offseason, hoping he could return to the form that made him a legitimate power threat up until 2012. He struggled with the Oakland A’s toward the end of that season, especially after suffering a shoulder injury, and he scuffled again last year.
Over the winter, Young worked with Hall-of-Famer Rod Carew to shorten his swing. Young’s new approach looked good in Spring Training, but it hurt his quad. When he came back from his injury, he got off to a decent start, but over the last few weeks, his swing has lengthened again and he’s gone into a long slump.
Until Young can figure out how to bust out of it, the Mets need to move him out of an RBI spot in the lineup and give more playing time to other outfielders. It won’t cure all the Mets’ ills, but it might at least help relieve their symptoms.