New York Mets star outfielder Michael Conforto left Thursday’s game with a dislocated shoulder meaning he will, at the very least, need a stint on the 10-day disabled list.
Conforto’s injury leaves the Mets with Yoenis Cespedes, Brandon Nimmo and Juan Lagares as the only outfielders left on the active roster. Matt Reynolds has played there some this season, but would be a stretch for a fourth outfielder.
Thus, the Mets need an outfielder and the one left on the Mets 40-man roster that isn’t injured or active is Wuilmer Becerra.
The 22-year-old Becerra was added to the 40-man roster this offseason though he has struggled mightily this season in his return from major shoulder surgery. He’s slashing just .257/.324/.328 for the Single-A St. Lucie Mets.
The Mets are considering Travis Taijeron as a replacement for Conforto according to Mike Puma of the New York Post.
Given that Becerra isn’t a reasonable option let’s take a look at the Las Vegas 51s outfielders:
The Mets traded for Snider on August 15 with the 51s needing outfield depth to finish the season. The former Blues Jays top prospect made his big league debut at just 20-years-old in 2008 for Toronto. He’s a career .244/.311/.399 hitter with experience at all three outfield spots. He’s hitting .300/.381/.444 with 10 home runs in Triple-A this season and is 10 for 26 since joining Las Vegas.
The powerful 28-year-old has been in the Mets system since being taken in the 18th round of the 2011 draft. He’s slashing .273/.383/.527 with a career-high tying 25 home runs. He has 135 career home runs in 769 minor league games. Big problem is that he has 883 strikeouts in that span too. He’s also mostly a right field only guy that is a below average defender.
If the Mets were going to go with the hot hand it would easily be Boyd and his 1.121 OPS in 37 second half games. Overall this year, the 26-year-old Boyd is hitting .300/.377/.543 with 16 doubles, 11 home runs and only 41 strikeouts in 210 at-bats. However, he’s really a first baseman the Mets have stuck in the outfield and only played left.
Cruzado is the best defender of the group and has hit .271/.349/.398 in 266 at-bats this year. The switch-hitter has been better against righties this year with a .763 OPS. He has played a majority of his time this year in center field where his defense is stretched.
Not an outfielder by trade, but as we’ve seen with Reynolds the Mets are trying to increase players flexibility and have done so with Evans giving him 17 games in left field this year. The infielder is hitting .271/.333/.399 with 20 doubles and 10 homers. The 24-year-old has been much better in the second half with a .876 OPS.
None of the players above are on the 40-man roster which will be at 37 players tomorrow when Jeurys Familia is activated off the 60-day DL.
Of course, the Mets could always just activate Jose Reyes off the DL and play with him and Reynolds as the backup outfielders. Or they could simply activate Familia to replace Conforto on the roster and play with a short bench, for the millionth time this season.