Eric Campbell Deserves Shot at Resolving New York Mets’ Mess in Left Field
Out of the many negatives that came from the disastrous four-game series against the San Francisco Giants this weekend, the mess in left field became more apparent. The New York Mets need to make some changes, and here are some that would help.
First, Bobby Abreu‘s magic has worn off. After a fast start, he’s now hitting .238/.331/.336, and is hitless in his last 10 at bats. He has only two hits as a pinch hitter, which is the role he is best suited for considering his lack of mobility in the field. It’s time to part ways with him.
It’s also time to part ways with Chris Young. The Mets hoped for a revival from Young this year when they signed him to a one-year, $7.25 million contract, but Young is still the same player he was last year in Oakland. He’s hitting .205/.282/.349, and has shown diminished range in the outfield.
Eric Young, Jr. has shown the only value he brings to a club is his ability to steal bases. He leads the team with 26 swipes. But his .308 on-base percentage precludes him from being a regular leadoff hitter. Maybe if he played every day in left field, he’d get into a groove, but he played almost every day for the Mets last year, and could only muster a .315 OBP.
The Mets need offense, and a guy who can provide it only gets spot starts against left-handers. He’s not a corner outfielder by trade, but can play at least as well as Abreu, if not better. Eric Campbell is hitting .319/.362/.412. He hit well while filling in for an injured David Wright at third (even though his defense was atrocious), but now he only gets an occasional start at first base. At this point, Lucas Duda should be starting against left-handers.
Campbell should start every day in left field. Eric Young can spell him for defense in the late innings and/or pinch run for him. Meanwhile, Kirk Nieuwenhuis and Andrew Brown are much better options than Abreu and Chris Young at this point, if the Mets want to recall one or the other for depth. But for now, Campbell deserves the shot in left.