In his return to the Mets lineup on Thursday night in Colorado, Juan Lagares once again showed all of us Mets fans why he needs to be in the everyday lineup, by going 2 for 4, with two doubles and one that resulted in his eighth RBI of the season. Now the end result may not have been a win, but he did what we all know he is capable of doing and that is getting on base and making things happen. Now the Mets are only 6-8 when he plays and 9-4 since has has been out, but he can’t do it all, and getting on base and using his speed to score runs and play great defense is good enough for this team.
Prior to his hamstring injury that put him on the DL on April 14th, Lagares batted .314 with an .816 OPS, and after his performance on Thursday in Colorado, he now is batting .327 with a .356 OBP and .865 OPS. Lagares is leading the Mets in all three categories even after missing 13 games while on the DL.
In my mind, the Mets offense flows better with him in it, now I am not saying that he is the catalyst that stirs the pot, but with his speed and ability to now show that he can get on base, and of course his stellar defense, there is no question that the outfield rotation should basically include Curtis Granderson in right, Juan Lagares in center and whoever Terry Collins feels has the hot hand for the day in left field. So far Chris Young is proving that the job should be his and that Eric Young Jr should be the back up, and in reality, that is probably the best fit for this team. Let’s just hope that TC doesn’t change his mind again and start flip flopping the lineup. He needs to stay with a steady rotation so that guys can start gelling and working together to get the job done.
This season can be a special one, but the pitching must hold up and the team has to build on their 15-10 month of April. Then this summer could be the one that we finally see a light at the end of the tunnel. Not to say a championship is in their sights, but one never knows what a team can do, once it all comes together, and the key in my mind, is leaving Juan Lagares alone in center field and allowing him to become a star. What have the Mets to lose, well that is easy, a great defensive player that is only 25 years old and starting to come into his own at the plate. That in my mind is too much to lose.
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