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Mets name Collin Cowgill their starting center fielder

Mar 30, 2013, 4:56 PM EDT

Collin Cowgill AP AP

After being acquired from the Athletics during the offseason, Collin Cowgill will open 2013 as the Mets’ full-time center fielder.

According to Adam Rubin of ESPN New York, Mets manager Terry Collins made the announcement following this afternoon’s Grapefruit League finale against the Orioles. He’s planning to go with Cowgill in center field, flanked by Lucas Duda in left field and Marlon Byrd in right.

Cowgill earned the job by batting .303 (20-for-66) with five home runs, 10 RBI, four stolen bases and a .969 OPS in 26 games this spring. The 26-year-old didn’t get much of an opportunity during his limited time with the Diamondbacks and Athletics, but the Mets are hoping that he can emerge as a useful everyday player.

Kirk Nieuwenhuis began spring training as the as the favorite for the starting center fielder job, but he’ll open the year as a backup after seeing limited playing time in the Grapefruit League due to a knee injury. Jordany Valdespin was impressive this spring and could work his way into playing time if anyone struggles.

The Mets outfield batted just .237/.312/.393 with a collective 2.1 fWAR last season. With Duda, Cowgill, Byrd, Nieuwenhuis, Valdespin and Mike Baxter, this year’s group doesn’t instill much in the way of confidence, but it might not take much for them to be an improvement over 2012.

  1. thebadguyswon - Mar 30, 2013 at 4:59 PM

    Marlon Byrd over Valdespin.

    Terry Collins is a fucking idiot.

    • dondada10 - Mar 30, 2013 at 5:52 PM

      I’d imagine it ends up being a platoon in right with Valdespin, being left handed, getting the majority of the at-bats. Byrd is getting the Opening Day start because he’s the veteran…

    • phuckphilly99 - Mar 30, 2013 at 7:11 PM

      thebadguyswon – Feb 1, 2013 at 7:47 PM
      Dude….he’s (Marlon Byrd) competing for the fifth OF spot on a minor league deal. There’s no guarantee he even makes the team.

    • christos99 - Mar 30, 2013 at 10:23 PM

      as a lifelong Mets fan, nothing ever surprises me with that club. The fact that we still Bobby Bonilla on payroll, I’m surprised they didn’t invite him to compete with that OF squad…

      • jerze2387 - Mar 31, 2013 at 12:32 AM

        he probably still hits for more power than Byrd, so not really the worst idea ever…

      • thebadguyswon - Mar 31, 2013 at 1:09 PM

        They might as well have.

  2. coryfor3 - Mar 30, 2013 at 5:16 PM

    That’s an awesome outfield. OMG

  3. jhb64 - Mar 30, 2013 at 5:39 PM

    Bring back clean jones

    • butchhuskey - Mar 30, 2013 at 5:49 PM

      What about dirty jones?

  4. thebadguyswon - Mar 30, 2013 at 6:56 PM

    I’d take back Richard Hidalgo.

  5. rbj1 - Mar 30, 2013 at 7:16 PM

    I guess the Mets thought they needed more cowgill.

  6. stinkypinkee - Mar 30, 2013 at 8:28 PM

    good one on hildago…..don’t forget lawton

  7. thegreatstoneface - Mar 30, 2013 at 9:33 PM

    how badly do the wilpons have to fuck what ought to be a marquee team before they’re forced out? or are we just waiting for them to miss one of their big deadlines?

    • chill1184 - Mar 30, 2013 at 9:58 PM

      Two words: Bud Selig

  8. drubeatz - Mar 30, 2013 at 10:56 PM

    Collins has got to be the worst coach. He lets his personal feelings about the player get the way of making the right decisions. He didn’t like Pagan and traded him for a bunch of bums. The Giants made him part of their championship team. Now he doesn’t like Valdespin and makes him the fourth outfielder. I mean, I do like Cowgill but what has Duda done? Bring Backman in, this guy is a joke.

    • jerze2387 - Mar 31, 2013 at 12:38 AM

      Valdespin is decent. his numbers may not have been great, but everytime i saw the mets last year (not even a mets fan), he was doing something positive. with a little experience (and maybe a consistant position) he could probably be quite decent, which is better than i can say about the majority of that OF. Id say Nieuwenhuis and valdespin are the 2 best hopes for that OF with maybe cowgill/duda in the other spot (with duda and baxter also backing up Davis)

      • unclemosesgreen - Mar 31, 2013 at 7:37 AM

        So what you’re saying is there’s no hope at all.

  9. timpaz - Mar 31, 2013 at 4:21 PM

    I remember when Cowgill was withe DBacks , terrible fielder and light hitter, I guess he was the cheapest choice, sad to see the Mets turn into another Marlins fiasco.

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