Collins Wasn’t Kidding; Turner Logs First Career Game In The Outfield

An article by posted on May 9, 2013

justin-turner

Terry Collins says a lot of things that will raise eyebrows whenever we go to these pre and post game press conferences. Many times he’ll say one thing on Monday and then do the exact opposite on Wednesday.

Just to cite two recent examples remember when he proclaimed Collin Cowgill the everyday center fielder on Opening Day? Cowgill then proceeds to start in just 6 of the next 15 games.

Or how about two weeks ago when Collins said that he didn’t want to move Lucas Duda up in the order because he was a sensitive guy and in a good groove, and didn’t want to upset the apple cart. The next day however, there was Lucas Duda batting cleanup.

You gotta love it. :-)

On more than a few occasions, Terry said he’s toying with the idea of using Justin Turner in the outfield. Yes, that Justin Turner, how many Justin Turners do you know?

In last night’s loss to the White Sox, Turner came in to pinch-hit for LaTroy Hawkins in the eighth inning and delivered a run-scoring single for the Mets’ second run of the night. How clutch has Turner been this season? He’s as automatic as Jordany Valdespin off the bench.

Anyway, to the surprise of many, out goes Justin Turner in the top of the ninth taking over in left field for Lucas Duda who started the game there.

“When you have a guy like Justin Turner, you want to get his bat in the lineup,” Collins said. “We have some guys who are struggling. We can get him in there, but we’ve already experienced enough guys playing out of position up here and its hurt us in the long run.”

“To ask Justin Turner to go play left field when he’s never played the outfield in his life, to start a game or play there on a consistent basis, that’s a lot to ask in my opinion.”

Getting Turner’s bat in the lineup on a more regular basis makes a lot of sense despite what our friends at Amazin Avenue think about that. He ended up getting another hit in the game and finished 2-for-2 on the night.

He’s batting .372/.391/.442 in 43 at-bats and the next best hitter on the team is David Wright who is batting 74 points lower with a .298 average.

“I haven’t played outfield much in a ballgame either, so I won’t really know too much until I get that first ball out of the way and then we can go on,” Turner said after the game.

“We had talked about it last homestand, on a double switch all the outfielders had been used already, so I knew it was a possibility it would happen. That’s why I’ve been trying to get out there every day and get some work out there.”

No word yet on if Turner is expected to get a start in the outfield as the Mets begin a four-game series with the Pittsburgh Pirates today, but don’t be shocked if it happens.

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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 and interact with other passionate Met fans like you. Follow me on Twitter @metsmerized.

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