In a game that started with Bobby Abreu, Curtis Granderson and Juan Lagares in the outfield, and with Chris Young, Eric Young Jr., and Kirk Nieuwenhuis on the bench, it was Eric Campbell who ended the game in left field.
In case you lost count, that's seven outfielders on a roster of 13 position players.
Prior to the game, Terry Collins joked with reporters asking if Pirates manager Clint Hurdle might let him using a roving outfielder, like in softball.
“Terry is going to have to get creative,” assistant GM John Ricco said before the game (NY Times, June 27).
That's nice. However, the reality is that this is not likely to play out well for any one involved...
For instance, Chris Young, who has struggled all season, finally hit three home runs in two games. He was on fire, only to ride the bench last night so Abreu could get a start for the first time four days. Collins drools over Eric Young Jr., claiming he's the spark that fuels the offense even when batting ninth, yet he shifts to a late-game replacement with Lagares back in the mix.
Instead of demoting Nieuwenhuis, Sandy Alderson sent Wilmer Flores to Triple-A, where Collins said he will get equal time at shortstop and second base. This is interesting, because Eric Young Jr. is capable of playing second base, as well. And so, I'm starting to wonder if Alderson is planning to field offers for Daniel Murphy more than he's indicated on the record to reporters and fans at Citi Field.
Collins is very good at keeping his team focused and pushing hard. However, who plays when and why often appears to be a weakness. This outfield situation can float for a while, but, eventually, Alderson will have to make a move to bring more predictability and balance to the situation - if not for the player's sake, than for Terry's sake as the guy with pen, dice and the lineup card.