I was afraid this was going to be the case as I wrote right after the New York Mets signed Yoenis Cespedes to that three year deal with the opt-out.
“Not only does the signing squash literally any substantial playing time for Alejandro De Aza, it may have just placed him squarely on the trading block. And then there’s Michael Conforto, does he go back to a straight platoon and sit against left-handed starters? I sure hope not.”
After today’s exciting 7-2 win against the Phillies, Terry Collins made it crystal clear. Asked about playing time for Juan Lagares, the Mets manager responded that he will be in a straight platoon with Michael Conforto.
Asked for his reasoning, Collins responded: “We’re in a situation where we’re trying to win games. This is not a time to develop players.”
Marc Carig of Newsday pondered if this was simply a matter of “shoehorning Lagares’ glove” in the outfield configuration, but Collins said, “I want his bat in there against lefties.”
It’s really a tough situation. I love Lagares and he showed up to camp in terrific physical condition and then went out and had a great Spring Training.
Then on the other hand, you have quite possibly the best home grown hitting prospect since David Wright in Michael Conforto – and he is way too young to pigeon-hole into a platoon role during his very critical development years.
It’s quite the Metsian conundrum. But here’s my big question… I know he’s a veteran and all but why does Curtis Granderson get a free pass here? Granderson has no business being in the lineup against lefty starters with his .558 OS. He’s a dead out – especially at the top of the order.
I love the idea of getting Lagares in the lineup against LHP, Collins is right, Lagares is solid against them and plus you upgrade defensively.
But Michael Conforto shouldn’t be the one that’s benched with Lagares in center field, that distinction should fall on Curtis Granderson. You go with Cespedes in LF, Lagares in CF and Conforto in RF. That makes the most sense.