Why Is Scott Hairston Still Here?

As Ted Berg from Tequarters mentioned today in an article about Bobby Parnell’s apparent finger injury:

The other thing: A bunch of Mets fans seem really eager to show Scott Hairston the door, and I certainly hear that. He has looked awful at the plate and underwhelming in the field. The last time I said a guy needed more time he got cut (specifically: today), but I have to figure the Mets will have a longer leash with Hairston. Unlike Brad Emaus, Hairston has years of experience to show he can be a capable if unspectacular part-time outfielder. Cutting him because of 28 miserable plate appearances (again) seems a bit rash.

While I do agree with this, in terms of 28 AB’s is a very small sample size to judge from, it stems from a quality of all aspects of play. Currently, Scott Hairston has 28 AB’s, with 12 ending in a strikeout. Hairston has five hits, one of which being a home run that drove in two runs. He has 5 RBI on the season. I am listing all of these facts as separate, since in a sense they are not directly tied to each other. Hairston’s home run was a major rally-point in a 6-5 loss to the Rockies, but outside of that home run, Hairston has looked awful at the plate. Against lefties, who Hairston has a career .279 BA, Hairston has managed one hit, a double, his two walks and struck out EIGHT times. For someone who was brought in to be a good righty bat against lefties, this is unacceptable. A .077 BA from your primary RH pinch-hitter is ridiculous.

Forgiving this fact and saying well Hairston, the .228 career hitter versus RHP’s is hitting .267 with four hits and only four strikeouts is better, but this goes against his career platoon split, and the odds of starting Hairston against RHP’s over Willie Harris (the quicker defender) is slim, especially once Jason Bay is expected to return, possibly today is low.

NOW…on to the fielding misplay yesterday that could’ve ended the inning. Scott Hairston completely lost track of the ball, took an awkward body positioning and could not locate his glove/prevent his moment of ineptitude and allowed the fly ball to go off his glove, as he was actively prepared to catch it. This lead to a double that scored the third run of the game, and blew open the flood gates. A fifth outfielder, which is what Hairston will become upon the return of Bay is expected to either mash, or be a great defender. Hairston is neither, and the way the bat looks this season seems as if Hairston’s regression wasn’t an anomaly but an actual decline.

I am not promoting the release/DFA of Scott Hairston YET. But this isn’t as much a spur of the moment decision as much as it is a compilation of failures both offensively and defensively, in clutch spots on both sides of the ball. Unless Hairston picks up the pace with the bat and the Mets continue losing games, I believe Hairston will be the next to go, possibly with Chin Lung-Hu.