Byrd and ‘Spin Are In, While Duda and Baxter See Their Stocks Fall
On Friday, Sandy Alderson told reporters that there are no plans to add anyone to the outfield and that what you see is what you get. ”We’re going to go with the guys we have,” Alderson told Marc Carig of Newsday.
“How exactly they’re used is something that we’ll talk about over the next week or so. What we have is what we’re going to have, and we’re not entirely displeased with that.”
Lucas Duda, Collin Cowgill, Marlon Byrd, Mike Baxter and Jordany Valdespin are all likely to head north after the Mets break camp next week and of the five, only Byrd is assured of an everyday job according to manager Terry Collins.
“Due to his background, we need to find out what he brings to the table, because he’s got a track record of being a pretty good player, a pretty good offensive player,” Collins said.
Byrd is expected to split time playing both center and right field depending on whether Cowgill is in the lineup who will play center when the team faces a lefthanded starter.
As for left field, Collins continues to downplay any suggestion that Duda would be his regular left fielder saying only that it’s a possibility.
The biggest winner in the Mets outfield battle this spring is clearly Byrd, with Valdespin a close second. However, both Duda and Baxter have seen their stocks drop considerably.
Byrd and Spin… Who saw that coming?
Original Post 3/20
Marlon Byrd is a very lucky man. Less than a year ago he tested positive for performance-enhancing drugs and was slapped with a 50-game suspension. To his credit, and unlike most users who get caught, Byrd manned up, admitted his guilt and issued a remorseful statement.
“I made an inexcusable mistake. Several years ago, I had surgery for a condition that was private and unrelated to baseball. Last winter, I suffered a recurrence of that condition and I was provided with a medication that resulted in my positive test.”
“I am mortified by my carelessness and I apologize to everyone who loves this game as I do. I will serve my suspension, continue to work hard and hope that I am given an opportunity to help a club win later this season.”
When the Mets signed Byrd, now 35, it didn’t bother me too much. I did a little research and I saw someone who made a mistake and took his punishment like a man. I can respect that.
It’s amazing how the world has turned for Byrd since joining the Mets. Initially looked upon as as just minor league fodder for Triple-A Las Vegas, he is now on the verge of becoming the Mets everyday right fielder.
A team source told Andy Martino of the Daily News that it is “99.9% certain that Byrd will get the job.” The outfielder is moving his family to New York, according to a source close to Byrd.
It’s more of an indication of just how awful the outfield candidates were to begin with, but lets give some credit to Byrd for busting his ass and having a great spring. His .324 average in 34 at-bats is trumped only by the other spring surprise, Jordany Valdespin and his .341 showing at the plate.
How many of you laughed last month when Terry Collins told Mike Francesa that Byrd was going to be his starting right fielder? I must confess, I did…
There’s a couple of prominent Mets sites that love to get on their soapboxes every February and say that spring training stats don’t matter. Shortsightedness like that is why their sites don’t matter. Here on MMO, we know better, and our readers know better…
Like it or not, Marlon Byrd is going to be the Mets Opening Day right fielder… He earned the job because he outhit and outplayed his competition this spring.
Mike Baxter and Kirk Nieuwenhuis, who were initially considered locks to make the team, are now looking at the real possibility of roaming center and right field in the hot, Nevada desert when the season starts. Pack plenty of sunscreen, boys…
About the Author: Joe DeCaro
I'm a lifelong Mets fan who loves writing and talking about the Amazins' 24/7. From the Miracle in 1969 to the magic of 1986, and even the near misses in '73 and '00, I've experienced it all - the highs and the lows. I started Mets Merized Online in 2005 to feed my addiction. Follow me on Twitter @metsmerized.
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