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Mets designate struggling outfielder Chris Young for assignment

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PHILADELPHIA - The New York Mets designated outfielder Chris Young for assignment on Friday night.

Signed to a one-year, $7.25 million deal in the off-season, Young has struggled with the Mets. He hit .205 with eight homers and 28 RBIs in 88 games.

"We tried to give him opportunities to get it going," New York manager Terry Collins said. "I told him, 'I feel terrible about it, but we're in a spot now where we want to see some young guys.' We've got to find spots for them."

Young was batting .148 in his last nine games and hadn't homered since July 12.

"Chris Young is an outstanding teammate, I like him a lot," Mets general manager Sandy Alderson said. "Unfortunately, it didn't work out as we would've liked."

Young was an All-Star with the Diamondbacks in his best season in 2010 when he batted .257 with 27 homers and 91 RBIs. But his production steadily slipped, and he hit .200 with 12 homers and 40 RBIs in 107 games with Oakland last season.

But the Mets took a shot that he would resurrect his career in New York.

"We were looking for a bounce back from him and were willing to take a risk," Alderson said. "He fit all of our check marks."

Collins said playing in pitcher-friendly Citi Field didn't make it easy on Young.

"Our park is tough," he said. "One of the reasons we got him is we knew he had some power. He's pretty much a dead-pull hitter, and it makes it tougher."

To replace Young, New York called up Matt den Dekker from Triple-A Las Vegas.

Den Dekker has appeared in 17 games with the Mets this season, batting .156. He hit .334 with eight homers and 46 RBIs in 92 games with Las Vegas.

"He's been outstanding at Las Vegas," Alderson said. "We needed a left-handed hitter in the outfield. At some point you have to make a move."

Kirk Nieuwenhuis started in left field in New York's 5-4 win over the Philadelphia Phillies on Friday night, going 1-for-4, as the Mets want to look at some of their young players.

"We're going to give them a chance," Collins said.

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