Monday, July 7, 2014
Despite hot bat, Campbell here for a pinch
By Adam Rubin
NEW YORK -- Since stepping into the lineup in Pittsburgh on June 27 because of David Wright's left shoulder injury, Eric Campbell has hit .464 (13-for-28) in eight games (seven starts).
Despite the success, however, Campbell is returning mostly to a pinch-hitting role with Wright back, according to Terry Collins. The exception is starting at first base on the limited occasions when the Mets face left-handed starting pitching, which is the case in Monday's series opener against the Atlanta Braves, with Mike Minor on the mound.
"He's probably more of a bench guy right now," Collins said about Campbell. "That's what he came here to do. Those guys, when you need them when someone goes down for a period of time, they step up. And he stepped up. He's done an outstanding job of doing that. And what we need right now is for him to come off the bench at certain times in a game and get a big hit. And it helps out when you get some consistent playing time like he did."
Asked what makes Campbell effective as a righty bat for the bench, whereas Josh Satin struggled toward the end in that pinch-hitting role, Collins suggested that Satin's quirkier swing can make it more difficult coming off the bench cold.
"The two swings are completely different. Eric is real quiet. Josh has got a lot of movement to get him ready to hit," Collins said. "Even when Josh was here, I told him: When he plays, he's dangerous. That third and fourth at-bat he can be really dangerous because he gets into the flow of the game, gets his rhythm down and gets his timing down. But when you walk off that bench for the first time and walk up there, it's a little harder."