Terry Collins said last week if Eric Young Jr. shows in camp that he get on base more frequently, the Mets will have to find a spot for him in the lineup because he has the ability to change their offense (Kernan, Feb. 3).
“This level, the major league level, all I can do is just play baseball and let them do their job and fit me in there,” he said Tuesday in St. Lucie (Daily News, Feb. 11). “Left field, right field, center field, second base, it doesn’t matter to me, just as long as I am in the lineup.”
In addition to fielding fly balls in the outfield, Eric Young Jr. worked on turning double plays and fielding grounders in the offseason (Daily News, Feb. 11).
In 122 games between the Rockies and Mets last season, Young hit .254 with a .318 OBP when batting leadoff.
Matthew Cerrone, Lead Writer
I still think Chris Young will end up starting the season in right field, with Curtis Granderson in left and Juan Lagares in center. That said, Collins keeps talking about Eric Young Jr.’s speed and how he changes the dynamic of the batting order and improves the team’s offense. So, I assume he’s going to work to get Eric Young Jr. in as much as possible.
It seems like he can get at least 80 starts and close to 300 at bats by using him to spot start in the outfield and spell Daniel Murphy at second base, while also squeaking him during interleague play. Is that enough, though? There’s also a chance Lagares stumbles, Chris Young eventually moves to center and EYJr gets more time in left field. Or, I suppose Ike Davis and Lucas Duda both slump, Murphy could go to first and Eric Young can take over on the infield. In other words, stay tuned…