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Sunday, August 10, 2014
den Dekker turns 27, begins audition

By Adam Rubin

PHILADELPHIA -- On Sunday, Matt den Dekker makes his first major league start since June 14. And Terry Collins acknowledged this time the outfielder will get a legitimate look, unlike previous cameos in which den Dekker was filling in for an injured player.

The Mets designated Chris Young for assignment on Friday and intend to give den Dekker a regular look in left field against right-handed pitching for the foreseeable future.

Den Dekker, who turned 27 on Sunday, was leading the Pacific Coast League in batting at .334.

"We brought him up for a purpose this time," Collins said.

Collins noted den Dekker will be tested quickly. The Mets exclusively see right-handed pitching through the next series, including Doug Fister, Jordan Zimmermann and Stephen Strasburg in a three-game series against the Washington Nationals that begins Tuesday at Citi Field.

"If it gets better than that, tell me who it is," Collins said. "So he's going to get challenged."