With center field prospect Matt den Dekker still a long way from returning from the DL (read more here), and Rick Ankiel now hitting only .218 with a .286 on-base for the Mets, Terry Collins will look to give rookie Juan Lagares some extended play.
Lagares has been languishing on the bench since being promoted, but Collins is resolved to change that and will start playing the toolsy centerfielder against righthanded pitching.
“We’ve got to start taking a look at Juan against right-handed pitching,” the manager said after Saturday’s game. “We’ve got to put him out there and make sure he understands what he has to do to play here. He is part of a young bench that’s going to be the future here.”
The Mets were trying to platoon Lagares with Ankiel, but with the team exclusively facing right-handed pitching this series and in Washington, Collins said he may bend and start Lagares against a righty to get him playing time, according to Adam Rubin of ESPN New York.
For weeks I’ve wondered why the Mets promoted Lagares only to have him sit mostly on the bench instead of further developing by playing everyday at Triple-A Las Vegas.
In extremely sporadic play, Lagares is batting just .146 in just 48 at-bats. He was batting .346/.378/.551 at Triple-A before his promotion, and before that he batted .304/.347/.470 in 661 at-bats with Double-A Binghamton.
The 24-year old International signee was originally a shortstop before being converted to center field where scouts and Las Vegas manager Wally Backman have said he’s a better defender than Matt den Dekker.