Sandy Alderson’s $7.25 million gamble that Chris Young would suddenly revitalize his career by offering him an everyday role has come up snake-eyes for the New York Mets GM.
As Young shown throughout his career, he was not able to suddenly start hitting righthanded pitching the way Sandy thought he would simply by letting him face more of them. You see the trick to this game is to try and minimize the bad at-bats, the bad matchups, the bad results.
You can’t put out a fire by dousing it with gasoline, and that’s essentially what has happened here with Chris Young.
Alderson believed that CY’s .219 batting average over the last two years was an aberration and the result of inconsistent playing time. Wrong.
However, all the extra playing time has now resulted in career worst numbers for Young who went 0-for-3 on Wednesday and is now batting .195 with three homers and 11 RBI for the season. Hardly the middle of the order slugger Sandy thought he was getting when he decided to invest 9 percent of his payroll budget on him.
Young’s playing days are now winding down and the rebuilding Mets have turned to 40-year old Bobby Abreu as their short term solution, opting for the grizzled veteran instead of younger options like Eric Campbell or Kirk Nieuwenhuis, who homered two more times last night for Triple-A Las Vegas.
The impetus for the Mets underperforming offense which led to the firing of hitting coach Dave Hudgens, is as much on the shoulders of Chris Young more than any other player on the roster.
Seeing Young fail again and again in endless RBI situations may have been the tipping point for what transpired after the weekend series with the Diamondbacks.
What happens now?
It’s tough to say now that Collins has grown enamored with Abreu, who was only supposed to be the bat off the bench and not someone getting a healthy diet of everyday playing time.
But you have to believe that at some point Nieuwenhuis, who is 14 years younger than Abreu and has hit eight homers this season, more than any other player on the Mets roster, will get another chance to show if he belongs.
There’s no guarantee that Kirk will be the answer. But in a true rebuild and on most any major league roster with an eye toward the future, the choice between Chris Young, Bobby Abreu and Kirk Nieuwenhuis, wouldn’t be as difficult a decision as it seems to be for the Mets.