Although it happened a little later than it should have, the New York Mets have finally cut ties with unproductive outfielders Bobby Abreu and Chris Young, doing so in favor of younger outfielders Kirk Nieuwenhuis and Matt den Dekker. Thus far, those moves have worked for the Mets, and now it’s time for the team to cut ties with another unproductive outfielder in Eric Young Jr.
Young Jr.’s role has dissipated significantly over the last month and a half, getting just 36 at-bats in the month of July and a mere 12 at-bats through the first three weeks of August with just seven total hits over that span. With den Dekker getting most of the playing time in left field, Eric Campbell seeing some time there as well and Nieuwenhuis in the picture, there will no few opportunities for Young Jr. a start a game during the final month and a half of the season. And considering his production as of late, there’s no reason for Terry Collins to go out of his way to get Young Jr. into the starting lineup.
As a bench player, Young Jr. brings little to the table other than his speed, but with his inability to hit and get on base, his speed is mostly useless unless he’s used as a pinch runner on rare occasions. With Young Jr. unlikely to get many starts and unable to contribute much off the bench, there’s little reason for the Mets to keep him around for the rest of the season, especially since he’s unlikely to be in the team’s plans for 2015.
It’s not as if the Mets have another player like den Dekker who’s deserving of a big-league promotion before the rosters expand in September, but either Andrew Brown or Josh Satin could bring more to the table coming off the bench for the Mets than Young Jr. has of late. Cutting ties with Young Jr. now would also allow the Mets to bring up more prospects in September. With Young Jr. unlikely to be a part of the team’s future, the Mets don’t need to keep him around to rot on the bench as they attempt one last playoff push in 2014 before time runs out.