When it comes to rookie outfielder Michael Conforto, the Mets plan to choose the path of least of resistance and will continue their platoon system in left field. But, these are the Mets, so expect obstacles.
“We’ve brought people in here that hit lefties, that have a career record of hitting lefties,” manager Terry Collins said. “And right now that’s what we’ve been doing, and I’m going to stay with it.”
One of those hitters is Michael Cuddyer, but with injuries to Lucas Duda and Daniel Murphy, Collins might not execute this platoon plan as they want – and that’s not a bad thing if it gives more playing time to Conforto.
Conforto is on a hot streak going 20-for-50 (.400) with five doubles, four homers and nine RBI in his last 17 games. He is hitting .311 overall, and attributes his success to going to the opposite field.
Sure, Cuddyer is hitting well since coming off the disabled list and is in the first season of a two-year contract. The way he’s hitting he should be playing, but with Duda on the DL it should be at first. Murphy has been playing a lot of first lately, but he’s day-to-day with a strained quad, which should remove some of the obstacles.
Nobody knows how long Duda and Murphy will be sidelined, but this is a perfect opportunity to give Conforto major league at-bats, including against lefties.
As for Yoenis Cespedes, stick him center and leave him there. Juan Lagares hasn’t done anything to justify his multi-year contract, so keep him as late-inning defense.
Conforto will be the starting left fielder with Cuddyer coming off the bench. There’s no reason why the Mets can’t get a head start on things now.