It seems like whenever a player is heating up for the New York Mets, manager Terry Collins sits him on the bench in order to get someone else some reps.
Earlier this week, with rumors flying about his pending release, outfielder Chris Young hit three home runs in two days. The next day, with Juan Lagares returning from the disabled list, Collins benched Young. Yes, Lagares should have played center field, but Young could have played in left. Instead, Collins chose to put Bobby Abreu in left field against the right-handed pitcher, since Abreu hadn’t played in five days. When Young came back into the lineup the next day, he went 0-for-5.
Today, Collins sat catcher Travis d’Arnaud, who was coming off his first three-hit game of the season. D’Arnaud has brought his hot bat with him from Triple-A Las Vegas. He has six hits in 16 at-bats with a homer and three RBIs since returning to the Mets. But Collins decided to give Anthony Recker the start today, probably because The Book says you have to rest your starting catcher in the day game after a night game.
Some players need to be in the lineup every day in order to find their rhythm. Chris Young is one of those players. He has a long swing that’s dependent on timing, and it’s easy to lose that timing with irregular play. D’Arnaud is trying to build confidence as a major league hitter while finding his swing. He tore up Triple-A on his three-week assignment there, and continued to play well once he came back up. Why interrupt him while he’s making progress?
The point is, Collins should keep playing his hot hands. It’s not like the Mets’ lineup is full of superstars, so when a guy is seeing the ball well, the Collins should keep him in the lineup.