Matt den Dekker was called back to major league camp and is now getting a good look for an outfield spot. Captain Kirk better hope he fails because if den Dekker passes him on the depth chart he is going to be stuck.
den Dekker would not have been my choice. He is a centerfielder but he is not ready to hit in the majors yet. He made the jump to Double-A last year and struggled. Double-A is the hardest jump to make not counting the jump to the majors. He was destined to start at Double-A this year but with Andres Torres down, Kirk Neuwenheis down and Scott Hairston still not there yet, he is getting an opportunity. But when you strikeout over 25% of the time there is a lot of work that needs to be done.
The competition is now between den Dekker, Adam Loewen, Baxter and Valdespin. Baxter and Loewen were competing for the 5th outfielder spot but it’s possible they may even use one of them for CF though neither has stood out among the competition.
Would a guy who can field be better? Yes. But the others at least bring a bat with them. If it’s temporary then move Bay to CF and have Loewen and/or Baxter for LF.
If you’re going to give a guy a chance then let it be Valdespin. He has shown he can hit but he’s had attitude issues. I can deal with attitude issues if the guy can hit. Valdespin is a man without a position right now because Murphy is at 2B and Tejada is at his natural position of SS.
Torres was out a long time last year but this happened early so maybe he won’t be out long and it sounds like Hairston won’t be out long either though I don’t even see why they need him on the team. If it’s going to be like a week or two then why not give Valdespin a chance.
den Dekker may at some point be ready but right now is not the time. If Neuwenheis can be ready before the season starts then throw him out there. It seems like the Mets want a natural CF on the roster but that’s nto a good enough reason to carry someone who won’t help on the offensive end when you have so many question marks as it is.