Can Juan Lagares pick up where he left off?

juan lagaresAfter spending just a little more than the minimum time on the disabled list, Mets’ outfielder Juan Lagares is set to return to the field on Thursday night and play against the Colorado Rockies.

At the time of Lagares’ injury, he was posting an impressive .313/.345/.470 slash line to go with five extra base hits and seven RBI’s in 51 at-bats. He was also, of course, playing the sparkling defense that we’re all accustomed to seeing. Lagares was doing everything right.  With the start he was off to, it was a shame he had to go on the DL with a hamstring injury.

So, can he pick up where he left off?

Lagares will now have to readjust himself and get caught up to speed while trying to play catch up. He may have to prove his worth again and he will also have to ward of Eric Young Jr. and Chris Young for playing time. At this point, Mets’ manager Terry Collins will have four guys (not even including Bobby Abreu) playing for three spots in the outfield.

They say you should never lose playing time when you’re injured and that should certainly apply here with Lagares. Even if he wasn’t hitting well, Lagares should still be starting based on his ability to cover center fielder like few in the game can. At this point, it’s an added bonus that he was hitting well.

We should all be interested to see if Lagares can keep up his offensive numbers, because Lagares had looked like a different player at the plate this year. His approach was solid, as he was swinging mostly at balls in the strike zone. If Lagares can keep up that consistency at the plate it will go a long way in enriching the Mets so-far meager offense.

Thus far, the Mets rank 28th in the majors in batting average (.220), 23rd in on-base percentage (.300) and last in slugging (.319). It’s a wonder the Mets are four games over .500 with this offense. It goes to show how far great pitching can take you.

Obviously, Lagares will not and should not be considered the Mets’ offensive savior, but it would be nice if he picks up where he left off and gives the team the boost he’s capable of doing.  He will certainly not make the Mets’ offense any worse.

Here’s hoping Lagares can quickly get back into the groove of things.

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11 comments for “Can Juan Lagares pick up where he left off?

  1. May 1, 2014 at 8:17 am

    it is my opinion, which doesn’t mean much, Lagares should play everyday. Collins should juggle the other three outfielders.

  2. Metsense
    May 1, 2014 at 8:39 am

    At the beginning of the year the Mets would have been satisfied if Lagares could have held his own offensively with EY. Juan has far exceeded that expectation and because of this should start in CF and lead off. The Mets should not deliberately impede Lagares progress. Only Juan, by not hitting better than EY, should impede his own progress. He is young and this maybe the start of something good.
    I like EY and believe he is an elite baserunner, an asset to the team, but a weak batter and not an everyday player.
    Over the last 7 games Chris Young has heated up to a 1.067 OPS and Granderson is still slogging along at 503 OPS.
    EY over the same span of games is at .476 OPS. It seems obvious to me that EY would be better utilized as a pinchrunner off the bench with an occasional start mixed in.

    • Chris F
      May 1, 2014 at 11:54 am

      Exactly correct Metsense IMO.

  3. DED
    May 1, 2014 at 8:40 am

    Did anyone out there see the 51′s game last night? Thor was the story, of course; but I would be interested in reading of Lagares’ play in the first inning. It was an outfield-initiated double play; he doubled someone off a base or threw someone out or something, the sort of thing we’ve come to expect from Lagares.

    I sure would like to hear the details.

  4. Patrick Albanesius
    May 1, 2014 at 10:41 am

    I hope that Collins goes with the hot hand. If Lagares and Young play well, then they should start everyday. Maybe EY and Granderson need to share time. EY is perhaps the best 4th outfielder in the game, but he is a 4th outfielder. Abreu is a non-factor for the future of this team.

    • May 1, 2014 at 10:49 am

      Patrick I don’t think SA gave Granderson 60 million for 4 years to platoon him. EY’s numbers are closer to Tejada than Lagares. And aren’t Met fans clamoring to bench or trade Tejada?

      • Jerry Grote
        May 1, 2014 at 11:46 am

        Odd you should pair the two – Eric Young and Ruben Tejada.

        Based on WAR, according to BB-Ref, one of the two is the best performer on the team and the other is the worst.

        I’ll let you figure it out.

        • Jerry Grote
          May 1, 2014 at 11:49 am

          My apologies. In retrospect, that was taunting/belligerent and if the system had the means to edit and delete the last sentence I would.

          • May 1, 2014 at 12:01 pm

            No apologies necessary. It was done in good taste and I know you weren’t belittling me.

  5. steevy
    May 1, 2014 at 5:06 pm

    TC is going to bat Lagares leadoff.

  6. Chris F
    May 2, 2014 at 7:38 am

    Apparently, yes!

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