Lagares Auditioning For Playoff Roster Spot

While it is clear Juan Lagares lost his center field job to Yoenis Cespedes, what is in question is a possible postseason roster spot, and he’s yelling: “Don’t forget about me.’’

Lagares, buried on the bench behind Cespedes and later Kirk Nieuwenhuis, personified what has been going on with the Mets lately.

LAGARES: Auditioning for playoff spot. (AP)

LAGARES: Auditioning for playoff spot. (AP)

These Mets refused to give the Braves that third strike or third out. Sunday’s game was lost – that is L O S T – when Lagares came to bat in the ninth.

He fell behind 1-and-2, fouled off a couple of pitches before lining a ball into the right-center gap Cameron Maybin couldn’t hold after a diving attempt.

Curtis Granderson, who has excelled leading off, drew his second walk of the game, 12th of the month and 83rd of the season. Then Daniel Murphy, who isn’t a power hitter, crushed a game-tying three-run homer.

The three runs the Mets scored in the tenth inning was a formality, and with it, the Mets had their 82nd victory for their first winning season in seven years.

The Mets are on an unconscious roll the past six weeks, or since the deal for Cespedes, and it would be easy for a young player such as Lagares to get down on himself.

Lagares is 5-for-9 this month, with three of those hits coming off the bench. He’s started only one game in September. Those are numbers manager Terry Collins and GM Sandy Alderson will need to evaluate when deciding the postseason roster.

We know the outfielders will include Cespedes, Granderson, Michael Conforto – there’s no way they can even think about not keeping him now – and Michael Cuddyer. If they want a fifth outfielder the candidates are Nieuwenhuis, Lagares and Eric Young.

Nieuwenhuis offers a left-handed bat off the bench and Young gives them speed and a stolen base threat. Lagares offers a right-handed bat – as does Cuddyer – and defense. But, they won’t take out Cespedes for defense in the playoffs.

Where does that leave Lagares? Today he demonstrated his head is still in the game. If not for the playoffs, then for next season.

14 thoughts on “Lagares Auditioning For Playoff Roster Spot

  1. Lagares is ON the post season roster. You can book that. There’s just no way it doesn’t happen if he’s healthy. He’ll play CF is my guess against lefties and come in for defense at times. I see no way he’s not on the roster unless he’s in a Tejada like doghouse.

  2. Wait, did you bring YOUNG up? He’s not even eligible is he? Lets forget the fact that no one on earth thinks he has half the value of Lagares on the roster. EVEN if Young was eligible he’d never make it in a million years over Lagares. Young is up because of the expanded rosters. He’s pitch runner and nothing more. You don’t see a lot of guys make a post season roster as pitch runners.

    AND when Lagares comes in for defense (as has been the case already) Cespedes moves to LF so it’s not a choice of Cespedes’ bat vs Lagares’ glove right?

    • I agree with Patrick. EY can’t hit. His stolen base potential is now questionable as he gets thrown out a high percentage of the time. What he brings is the ability to score easily from any base, a luxury too high to have. Considering that Lagares has 6 HR and 39 RBI’s this year, can run, and field better than the others, I think this article is superfluous.

  3. You have to have Lagares on the postseason roster, he can still play defense and right now Cuddyer’s health cannot be trusted to be the right-handed outfield bat

  4. Pretty sure Eric Young doesn’t even have an at-bat since coming up, which tells you pretty much all you need to know.

    Nieuwenhuis is interesting mainly as a second left-handed pinch-hitting option behind Kelly Johnson, but that’s pretty weak grounds since I’m sure they regard Lagares as the superior overall player.

    That said, bringing Lagares on for late-inning defense has seemed silly given how well Conforto’s played in left. With Lagares’s ongoing arm problems it almost seems like a downgrade (obviously it helps with range, which is a consideration in Dodger stadium).

    • Young’s had 4 AB, and is O-for. He’s in the weird situation of having scored more runs (5) than he’s had AB.

  5. Lagares will be on the roster. They would shatter his confidence for next season, and devalue him for potential offseason trades if they didn’t. You don’t give a kid a 4 year extension and then leave him off the playoff roster even if he’s the 23rd, 24th, or 25th man. Plus this:

    Dodgers lefties: Kershaw, A Wood, B Anderson

  6. Okay first of all EY is definitely eligible for the postseason. And while I do agree that lagares is alot more valuable as an overall player than EY I do think this is a tougher decision than the commenters in the post think. Everytime Collins has put EY in the game to pinch run he has scored. Except for the very first time where he was caught stealing, he has generated a run scored everytime. Maybe it’s just luck and anyone would of scored in those situations but what he brings is something the Mets don’t have and that’s speed. Cespedes is not gonna come out of a game for lagares but can move over while lagares plays center but EY is a decent left fielder and can be a late replacement as well. So it’s basically what you’d rather have. It’s either a marginally better defense for most likely one inning (the 9th) or having the speed factor that no one else on the regular roster can replicate. If it was me I’d keep both of them and be short a pitcher in the pen. Our 7th 8th and 9th innings are in good hands and with one starter going to the bullpen it’ll help shore up possibly multiple innings in relief and even though we don’t have a true loogy all of our righties get lefties out so unless the Mets want to have that loogy like say dario Alvarez or if they still had blevins then I’d understand them using that spot on the pitcher but I think it isn’t needed and they can instead have lagares for late defense and EY for speed

    • I agree. He is a very specific player to fill one role. Is it enough to win a spot? Maybe. But his other skills are just not good enough

    • Wait, did you say Lagares was marginally better fielder than Young? I think the reality is that Young is slightly faster than Lagares and MUCH worse defensively. THe other thing is that if Young wasn’t on the roster before midnight of August 31st then he’s not even eligible right? You have to be on hte roster BEFORE rosters expand. I don’t think he was because I don’t remember them making a roster move to make room for Young. I see no way that Young makes it. I doubt it’s even being considered.

  7. Eric Young will not be on the postseason roster, period. You can’t afford a spot on a 25-man roster for a guy who’s only function is to pinch run. The Mets obviously feel he’s not a big league hitter, and the numbers back them up. There’s no way, with the pitching questions they have, that they’re sacrificing a bullpen spot to employ Young. I wish the Mets weren’t so slow, but EY at the moment is the quintessential September roster luxury player.

  8. On an unrelated note, “In advance of the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline, GM Sandy Alderson and the Mets front office were split on whether to trade for Yoenis Cespedes, sources told Tim Rohan of the New York Times (Sept. 15. 2015). However, Alderson, who had the final call, agreed to the deal after Jeff Wilpon said, “Go for it.” Here we go again, jeffie is the genius behind the team’s success. He was the genius that added never before seen creativity to the Johan Santana contract – jeffie, just have fun spending daddy’s money. no need to be the center of attention.