Acquired Saturday, first baseman bats sixth vs. White Sox; Campbell optioned
By Troy Provost-Heron
NEW YORK -- After acquiring James Loney from the Padres for cash considerations on Saturday, the Mets officially activated the first baseman on Tuesday. Loney made his first start, manning first base and batting sixth against White Sox starter Mat Latos.
Loney went 0-for-4 in the Mets' 6-4 loss, including a deep flyout to the warning track, but he made his presence felt at first, recording the first putout of the game and demonstrating a nice scoop for an out in the fifth.
"You can tell they have something special going on here, and I've always wanted to be a part of something like that," Loney said. "I've always wanted to be in a winning atmosphere. I've had that in my career in the past, and it feels great to go to the playoffs, but I've never won a World Series, so I'm looking forward to working toward that."
The 32-year-old was expected to be part of a first-base platoon alongside Wilmer Flores after Lucas Duda was placed on the 15-day disabled list with a stress fracture in his lower back, but with third baseman David Wright battling a herniated disk in his neck, Loney could become the Mets' everyday first baseman for the time being.
"I've seen James Loney a lot," Mets manager Terry Collins said. "I looked up everything in his last few years and, to be honest, he's hit lefties better than anybody else we got here who has played first base.
"In his career, he's around a .260 hitter against left-handed pitching, so right now he's probably our No. 1 option."
In a corresponding move, Eric Campbell was optioned to Triple-A Las Vegas. Campbell was batting .159 (10-for-63) in 30 games with New York.
"With [Flores] being back, we have a guy that can play around the infield," Collins said. "We like to have the switch-hitter [Ty Kelly] on the bench right now with his versatility, especially having another left-handed bat late in the game, so we decided Eric had to go."
To make room on the 40-man roster, the Mets designated pitcher Jeff Walters for assignment.
Troy Provost-Heron is a reporter for MLB.com based in New York. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.