Michael Conforto has had an incredible rookie campaign, batting .284 with a .360 OBP and .892 OPS in 161 plate appearances since his promotion from Double-A Binghamton on July 25. His production has also been a significant part of the Mets’ offensive resurgence as his 11 doubles, eight homers and 23 RBI would attest.
However, most of that production has come against right-handed pitching and for the time being, that’s exactly how Terry Collins said it would remain. The Mets’ skipper has no plans to start Conforto against left-handed pitching for the rest of this year.
“I don’t think at this particular moment, there’s a lot he can do to change it,” manager Collins told MLB.com. “We kind of like everything that’s happened here with the mixing and the matching. It keeps everybody active, keeps everybody kind of sharp.
“There are some people here whose job is to hit left-handed pitching,” Collins said. “Down the road, this kid will be one of them, but right now I think we’ll stick with what we’ve done.”
Anthony DiComo points out that in the postseason, Collins will continue operating with the same playbook, even in a likely showdown with the Los Angeles Dodgers in the NL Divisional Series.
The Dodgers could very well use four lefties in five games against the Mets: Clayton Kershaw twice, and Brett Anderson and Alex Wood once apiece. The one game Conforto could start would be against this season’s potential Cy Young award winner Zack Greinke.
The problem isn’t that Conforto can’t hit lefties, he’s hit them very well throughout his college and minor league career. But with Michael Cuddyer on the team and still owed $11.5 million next season, playing time against left-handed pitching will be hard to come by for the 22-year old rookie for the time being. However, look for that to change in 2016.