Collin Cowgill is fully aware of the history involved with the No. 4 jersey the Mets have issued him this spring.
The Mets say it’s just a coincidence the 26-year-old outfielder received Lenny Dykstra’s old number, but for years Cowgill has heard he plays the game with the kind of intensity Dykstra displayed during his go-for-broke major league career.
Cowgill began hearing the comparisons in 2010 while playing for the Diamondbacks’ Double-A affiliate in Mobile, Ala., where former Mets first baseman Rico Brogna was the manager.
“Rico would have me hit leadoff sometimes in Double-A because he said I reminded him of Lenny Dykstra,” Cowgill said yesterday. “He was like, ‘Man, I was thinking about Lenny today and I want you to lead off.’ I tell you, that’s big shoes to fill right there.”
The Mets see Cowgill as joining a possible center-field platoon with Kirk Nieuwenhuis, after failing to sign Michael Bourn or upgrade the outfield through a significant trade this offseason. It turns out getting Cowgill, whom the Mets acquired in a December trade with Oakland for Jefry Marte, was the team’s most significant outfield addition of the winter.
In 38 games for the Athletics last season, Cowgill batted .269 with one homer and nine RBIs. He became expendable this winter after Oakland’s acquisition of center fielder Chris Young.
If Cowgill can provide the Mets with any sort of offense, it’s likely he will emerge as a popular figure in Flushing.
Mets’ outfielder Cowgill being compared with gritty Dykstra
New York Post | Feb 15