Lefty-hitting Matt den Dekker and righty-hitting Andrew Brown are not going to be a straight platoon in the lineup spot vacated when Marlon Byrd was traded to the Pittsburgh Pirates.
Terry Collins noted the Mets need offense. And Brown is hitting. So the manager has Brown, not den Dekker, in the outfield along with Eric Young Jr. and Juan Lagares at Nationals Park.
Brown is hitting .378 (14-for-37) with three doubles, two homers and 10 RBIs in August. Den Dekker went 0-for-5 with two strikeouts and a steal in his major league debut Sunday.
"We know he's got a chance to hit," Collins said about Brown. "When we first brought him up, I got a report -- because he's had a history of hitting lefties -- that said, 'Don't be afraid to leave him in there against righties, because he can hit righties also.' Right now, he's swinging the bat great. He's driving in runs. We know that it's still important for us to score. So we'll try to get him as many games as we can. Again, that will change, because I know I want to get den Dekker out there along with Lagares at the same time."
Brown turns 29 on Sept. 10 and is with his third organization -- not exactly the profile of a prospect. Still, Collins agreed, there is somewhat of an unknown with Brown.
"To be honest, you probably really can't judge a good major league hitter unless he's playing every day, and when you look up he's got 450 at-bats or 500 at-bats, where he's spending the season in the lineup," Collins said.