Throughout spring training, Terry Collins has tinkered with the idea of having Yoenis Cespedes spend all of his playing time in Center Field. And even when Juan Lagares was in the lineup, he would be set in left field. That was put to an end on Tuesday.
“The manager spoke with me this morning and said the best option for the team is to play both positions, and I have no problems with it,” Cespedes said through an interpreter. (NY Post)
In Tuesday’s contest, Collins originally penciled in Lagares in left and Cespedes in center, but just before the start of the game against the Miami Marlins, Collins flipped the two of them to their natural positions and ended the experiment.
The logic of playing Cespedes full time in center field and using Lagares in left field had a lot of people scratching their heads. Especially given the fact that Cespedes won a gold glove for his play in left field in 2015, and of course Lagares won a gold glove for his unbelievable defense in center in 2014.
Having Cespedes, 30 in left and Lagares, 27 in center gives the Mets their best defensive outfield. As spring training comes to an end, both players are ready to go and defend their 2015 NL Championship.
“I’m happy that spring training is coming to an end and we are going to start the season,” Cespedes said.
Cespedes had a nice spring for himself, aside from the episode of the ball getting “stuck” under the outfield wall. He wrapped up the grapefruit league season batting .386 (17-44) with a .889 OPS. Lagares also has had a strong spring, batting .318 (14-44) with a .405 OBP, seven RBI and three stolen bases.