Michael Conforto gave the Mets a spark last year in their second-half push toward the playoffs. He started this season in the lineup, but low in the order. Manager Terry Collins said Conforto’s future was third in the order, but that fizzled, as did the plan for him to play against left-handers.
When Yoenis Cespedes was injured, Collins said Conforto would get time in center. That didn’t happen, either. The Mets placed Conforto on the Vegas Shuttle today when they optioned him to Triple-A to make room for righty reliever Seth Lugo.
We’ll see Conforto again, perhaps even before the rosters are expanded Sept. 1.
Collins keeps saying Conforto is a big piece of the Mets’ future, so why doesn’t he show it?
WHEELER NOT CLOSE: Perhaps the Mets should start thinking about shutting down Zack Wheeler for the season. The plan was to activate him from the disabled list around July 1, but he’s had several setbacks.
He made his first rehab start earlier this week, but it lasted 17 pitches before being washed away by rain. Today the Mets said Wheeler will be examined by orthopedic surgeon James Andrews because of persistent elbow discomfort.
There’s no reason to push him when he’s clearly not ready.
LINEUP vs. SAN DIEGO: The Mets are supposed to beat up on the San Diego Padres, then again they were going to get back into the wild-card race against Arizona. Instead, they were swept and have lost 11 of their past 15 games to fall to .500 at 57-57.
On Thursday, Collins said, “starting tomorrow we’re going to go after it.” They try to do so with Logan Verrett (3-7, 4.66).
Here’s the lineup behind him:
Curtis Granderson – LF: Batting .229 with 18 homers and 31 RBI. … Career .288 hitter (21-73) vs. Padres. … Hitting .135 (10-74) with RISP.
T.J. Rivera – 3B: Made his major league debut Wednesday and got a hit. … Was leading the International League with a .349 average.
Neil Walker – 2B: Is batting .275 with 20 homers and 51 RBI. … Lifetime .232 hitter (36-155) vs. Padres. … Batting .270 (20-74) with RISP.
Jay Bruce – RF: Is batting .257 with 27 homers and 84. … Lifetime .232 hitter (41-177) vs. Padres. … Overall, is batting .344 (33-96) with nine homers and 55 RBI with RISP.
James Loney – 1B: Is batting .277 with six homers and 25 RBI. … Lifetime .255 hitter (83-325) vs. Padres. … Batting .229 (11-48) with 16 RBI with RISP.
Travis d’Arnaud – C: Is batting .228 with three homers and 11 RBI. … Lifetime .235 hitter (4-17) against Padres. … Batting .147 (5-34) with RISP.
Alejandro De Aza – CF: Is batting .200 with three homers and nine RBI. … Lifetime .226 hitter (7-31) vs. Padres. … Is hitting .080 (2-25) with RISP.
Matt Reynolds – SS: Is batting .208 with two homers and 10 RBI. … Has never faced Padres. … Is hitting .294 (5-17) with RISP.
Verrett – RHP: Has no decisions in four of last five starts. … Hitters are batting .235 (20-85) with 14 strikeouts with RISP.