April 16, 2014

N̶e̶w̶e̶n̶h̶i̶s̶e̶ N̶i̶e̶u̶e̶n̶w̶h̶i̶s̶e̶ Kirk Returns, OF Still In Flux

Michael Baron
Kirk Nieuwenhuis was the beneficiary of the Juan Lagares injury, coming back to the big club last night in a big way. He smacked a homer among his three hits and knocked in three runs to boot. It was a good night for a guy who started in the minors this year after the Mets spent the offseason bringing in Curtis Granderson and Chris Young. If he keeps this up, however, it will add to the outfield conundrum of only so many positions for so many outfielders.

When Lagares returns, he needs to go back to playing every day. A good fourth outfielder is a great tool to have, but there is no reason for there to be a regular four man rotation through the outfield. Eric Young, Jr., still strikes me as the guy who should be the odd man out in all of this, but the team seems bent on having him atop the lineup. Nieuwenuis will have to do quite a bit of the same as last night to prove he belongs up here after his previous stints with the Mets have had a mixed bag of success. Granderson, despite his early struggles, and Chris Young are going to see a lot of time this season if only because of the financial investments in them. Lagares is significantly better than EY, but the franchise's fixation on a fast leadoff hitter seems to be blinding them to that.

Of course all of this could be moot if all of these guys are never healthy at the same time. Maybe this overload of playable outfielders isn't an overload at all, with the team already having to dip into the minors.

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