Thursday against the Dodgers, Mets infielder Eric Campbell started in left field for the first time in his professional career.
He had a sacrifice fly and later made a sensational catch, initiating a double play, in the eighth inning. >> Watch it here
Since being promoted on May 10, spanning 22 plate appearances, the 27-year-old rookie is batting .368, despite going hitless in three at bats on Thursday.
“I’m going to play this guy in the middle of the infield one of these days, too, because if he can play there, he’s got a chance to get a lot of at-bats,” Terry Collins said after beating the Dodgers late Thursday. “He played there in Vegas.”
Campbell got time at all four infield positions, as well as right and left field, at Triple-A this year before joining the Mets.
He told reporters that he is confident he can handle playing middle infield at the big-league level.
“I’m sure it’d be fine,” he said (ESPN, May 23). “It’s just fielding a groundball and throwing it to first.”
Matthew Cerrone, Lead Writer
He got the team’s attention in Spring Training, traveling with them right up until final cuts. They love his bat. And, how can you blame them? So far, he’s looked terrific. He covers the plate well and makes good contact. He’s been around the block, playing seven seasons in the minor leagues. He’s 27, which is a notorious break-out season for players. It’s rare a guy comes up and sticks. But, who knows? It happens, and as long as he’s hitting he should keep playing.
He’s a natural third baseman, pegged as being a ‘corner guy,’ be it first, third, left or right. He can stand at second and shortstop. By no means do I think he’s an every-day middle infielder. I’m not even sure he can be a consistent, reliable back-up middle infielder. But, he knows the position, he knows where to stand, where to be, etc., and he can do it in a pinch. So, again, as long as he’s hitting, I like the idea of using him in the old school, multi-position, at least one-or-two at bats a game-type utility guy.