First off, I’d like to start this post by congratulating Collin Cowgill. The man had a great Spring Training and a smashing Mets debut. He deserves to be a part of the Mets outfield in 2013. I look forward to watching him.
“It’s a special day. My first time being in an Opening Day lineup. A lot of jitters but it’s exciting. The fans were unbelievable. Beautiful day for that,” Cowgill said. “It was an exciting day and Jon Niese, what a game for him. Just an outstanding day for us and we’re looking forward to keeping this going.”
Secondly, I’d like to congratulate Lucas Duda on retaining his position in left field. It looked bleak at the start of Spring Training. He got back on track and proved enough to win his spot back.
Thirdly, I’d like to congratulate Marlon Byrd for putting Father Time in a headlock – for the moment. No one expected Byrd to produce like he has. He’s proved that he has the will to continue playing.
Fourthly, I’d like to extend my deepest condolences to Jordany Valdespin for not separating himself enough from these candidates to earn himself an everyday spot.
I’m kind of confused with the flip-floppyness that has come from Terry Collins. First he said:
“Right now, the way Valdespin has been swinging the bat in that spot, we’re leaning towards him.”
Collins then confirmed yesterday that he will use a regular outfield of Lucas Duda in left field, Collin Cowgill in center field and Marlon Byrd in right field.
I’m confused. I’m not sure what happened within the span of a little more than a week, but apparently, it was enough to warrant throwing Valdespin back on the bench. Obviously, I’m not the utmost expert on things that happen in the locker room. Maybe a new attitude issue arose. Maybe he hurt himself. I suppose it’s possible I’m missing something. I just don’t buy that “he isn’t good enough defensively” to play every day. Is the solution to keep him on the Major League squad just to leave him on the bench and not play a position?
At any rate, it will be interesting to see how Valdespin deals with this decision. Will he revert back to his old antics or continue to be the changed man Collins said he had become? Time will tell. I hope that people will recognize how frustrating this might be for ‘Spin.
It’s worth noting that Collins is in the last year of his contract. He reminds me of Art Howe in Moneyball where Howe keeps playing Carlos Pena at first base because he’s trying to maintain his reputation and get a future job someplace else. So instead of fitting Valdespin in the lineup every day, he’s going to play Byrd because that’s the safer move. With all due respect to Byrd, he has no place in the Mets’ future. I don’t know why he’s an everyday starter now.
This post isn’t meant to downplay anything these outfielders have done. I think there’s a good competition going on. I just wish Collins hadn’t made such a pusillanimous move. This team’s mantra has been to harvest its young talent to be competitive in the future. I just don’t see how playing Byrd everyday fits into that equation.
What becomes of Valdespin now?