When the Mets traded Brian Stokes to the Los Angeles Angels in the offseason they were hoping to get some decent production from Gary Matthews Jr., who they envisioned as a possible starting center fielder.
…Yeah, that hasn’t worked out so well.
Matthews Jr. is hitting .152 with no RBI, and 19 strikeouts in 46 at-bats.
He’s been extremely late on the fastball and his confidence is just about as shot as possible. Hell, my confidence in him is shot, as I’m one of the more patient Mets fans out there. It was tough to back Minaya on sending Frank Catalanotto to the minors rather than Matthews Jr. Sure, they both haven’t been able to buy a hit this year, but at least Catalanotto was putting the ball in play and giving himself a chance. Matthews Jr. hasn’t been able to do that.
The only way to help snap this funk that Matthews is in is to… well, play him. He’s not going to break out of it pinch-hitting every few games. It may not be pretty, but it might be the only way. If he gets a couple starts in and still can’t snap it.. well, it might be time for Matthews Jr. to head down the same road that Catalanotto did.
But striking out in almost 50% of your at-bats is not a good sign.