When the New York Mets first signed aging slugger Bobby Abreu on the advice of now former hitting coach Dave Hudgens, there was a lot of skepticism, and rightfully so. He’s 40 years old and didn’t play in the majors at all during the 2013 season, and even if he could still hit, he would likely be a liability in the field on a National League team. But the Mets have been vindicated in their decision to sign Abreu to the point that they’d likely be in a bind without him.
For the season, Abreu is hitting .279 with seven doubles and one home run, driving in nine runs. He’s obviously not putting up All-Star caliber numbers the way he used to, but he has been a productive player for the Mets as a pinch hitter and an occasional starter on a team that needs all the offense it can get. He’s also held his own as a defensive player and has not been a glaring liability despite an obvious lack of range at his age.
Even more surprising than Abreu’s steady production this season is the fact that the Mets actually need him in their outfield rotation. Both Eric Young Jr. and Juan Lagares are on the DL, which has opened up a spot in the Mets’ outfield. They have also been unable to make Chris Young an everyday player due to his profound struggles, freeing up even more at bats for a bench player like Abreu. With Curtis Granderson out of the lineup on Thursday with a minor injury, Abreu could find himself in the starting lineup with more regularity.
With the injuries in the outfield starting to pile up and the Mets becoming increasingly desperate for offense, Abreu could play a large role on the team throughout the summer. It’s been surprising to see Abreu get so many at bats during his time with the Mets, but he’s justified the Mets signing him with his production thus far. The team may need even more from him moving forward.