|Photo by Michael Baron|
Cody Ross isn't the first time we have heard that the Mets are looking for a right handed outfielder. Metsblog in this post reported that Alderson was looking to round out the bench with a right handed hitting outfielder.
While the line-up is balanced with four lefties (Thole, Murphy, Duda and Davis), three righties (Wright, Bay and Tejada) and a switch hitter in Torres. The potential bench candidates are already righty dominated, the front runners for bench positions are all right handed (Nickeas, Cedeno,Turner and Hairston) the only left handed candidates are long shots ( Mike Baxter and Adam Loewen).
It seems obvious that they're prepared in the event that Murphy can't field 2B as a starter by not trading right handed Justin Turner and signing Ronny Cedeno. If either were to take over at 2B then Murphy would be a lefty off the bench.
Hairston maybe seen as strictly a bat off the bench who will see very limited time in the field, we didn't see much of it last year but Hairston came over with the knack of clutch hitting off the bench.
If the Mets are concerned with anointing Duda the starting right fielder and view Hairston as a limited player, then Ross or any other right handed outfielder makes sense. Like Murphy if Duda is on the bench there's your lefty with a righty on the field.
Let's not forgot that in 2008 it took just 30 games and a .313 BA to decide that Murphy could be the starting left fielder in 2009. Without a back-up plan we saw a rotisserie of Gary Sheffield, Cory Sullivan, Fernando Tatis, Fernando Martinez, Marlin Anderson and Angel Pagan.
Duda has only 42 games in two seasons in right field and while the dimension changes have made right easier to field, I still say that he moves more like a 1B then an outfielder. Couple his defensive limitations with the fact that last year his offense struggled due to his own confidence issues and your almost foolish to not have a back-up plan. With Ross you would have both a replacement for Duda and a fill-in for Torres.
And yet, first manager Terry Collins and then Duda -- both unprompted -- used that word in dissecting the rookie's 4-for-5, three-double, four-RBI performance Saturday in a 14-5 rout of the Texas Rangers. As in, maybe this finally will give Duda the confidence to believe he belongs at the major league level. source ESPN NY