After a long and inexplicable exile, Michael Conforto is finally back with the Mets. He was gone mostly because Terry Collins had to back up a threat he made after an embarrassing 9-0 loss to the Arizona D’Backs.
“And those that don’t want to get after it, I’ll find some who do. Because in Las Vegas there is a whole clubhouse of guys that want to sit in this room.”
Since that time, here is how the outfielders who the Mets decided “really wanted to get after it” have performed between the time of Conforto’s August 12th demotion and his September 1st call-up.
Granderson has been hitting .173/.274/.442 with 11 runs, two doubles, four homers, and seven RBI. Keep in mind, most of that damage started a couple of days ago when Granderson came off the bench to hit two homers against the Marlins. At least with Granderson, Collins followed through on this threat benching him against left-handed pitching.
Bruce has been the team’s main right fielder hitting .190/.277/.259 with four doubles, two homers, and two RBI. Unfortunately, that isn’t too much different than the .183/.262/.290 batting line he has had while joining the Mets. Naturally, since joining the Mets, he has had to deal with nagging leg injuries, which presumably have affected his production at the plate as well as his play in the outfield.
De Aza has had two great games since Conforto’s demotion. On August 16th, he went 2-4 with two runs, two doubles, a walks, and an RBI in a 7-5 win over the Diamondbacks. On August 25th, he went 2-4 with two runs, a homer, a walk, and five RBI in a 10-6 win over the Cardinals. In his other 17 games, De Aza has gone 5-42 with one extra base hit and five RBI.
Ruggiano came off the disabled list, played extremely well in five games, and he has found his way back onto the disabled list. Ruggiano has now been transferred to the 60 day disabled list meaning he’s done for the season. When he initially went on the 15 day disabled list, the Mets called up T.J. Rivera instead of Conforto.
Since his demotion, Conforto has played in 15 games hitting .493/.541/.821 with four doubles, six homers, and 13 RBI while playing both center and left field. Against lefties, Conforto has been hitting .488/.553/.732 with a double, three homers, and 11 RBI in 41 Triple-A at-bats this season.
“Playing every single day was huge for me,” Conforto said before last night’s game. “Just to get some at-bats and really to just get my confidence back and get things rolling in the right direction. I felt great down there. So I’m trying to bring that back up here. I’m excited to get things going.”
In his first game back, Conforto went 1-3 with a double and a HBP. In the eighth, he hit into a back breaking double play, which will likely give Collins his ammunition to bench Conforto again tonight.
It’s a shame too because Conforto can really hit when he is actually given a chance. A closer look at his performance last night and you would have noticed that aside from the results, Conforto produced some excellent at-bats and wasn’t chasing offspeed stuff out of the zone as he was before his demotion.
“I think a lot of the swing stuff is kind of ironed out a little bit. I feel much more natural up there, but really it’s just getting that approach back, which was what made me so successful in the first place.”
I really hope Collins will just let Conforto go out there and hit. Play him at center field if need be, but play him.