Conforto returns to Mets, ready to try center field

by Steven Clarke July 21, 2016, 0:57

Mets outfielder Michael Conforto, that is. He then homered twice in Game 4 against Kansas City. Syndergaard goes up against Cubs right-hander Jake Arrieta, the 2015 NL Cy Young Award victor who has struggled with three losses in his last four starts. Mets right-hander Matt Harvey is officially gone for the season, but his 2017 prospects improved on Monday after undergoing successful surgery in St. Louis to treat a thoracic outlet syndrome injury.

"I thought I'd put the guy in center who's been there", Terry Collins said, noting he wanted an experienced center fielder in there for starting pitcher Noah Syndergaard. 222 with 10 homers and 65 RBI before being optioned to Las Vegas on June 25.

On Sunday, Cespedes announced that he would prefer to play left field, as his legs are not fully healthy. I never want us to ever work with that dimmer switch, definitely not with an on-off switch.

Granderson appeared in two games a year ago in center field.

Tuesday afternoon, Conforto was out on the field at Wrigley early working with outfield coach Tom Goodwin on playing center field. Cespedes has recently been bothered by discomfort in his right quadriceps and is less than 100 percent healthy.

"I'm going to certainly talk to him in the morning or when he gets here tomorrow", Collins said. He made his third straight start in left field on Tuesday.

Granderson said he wasn't consulted by Collins before Tuesday's lineup was posted, but that wasn't necessary. "I think we're taxing his body pretty heavily by putting him into center field". Now he gets his swing back and he comes up and the first thing that hits him in the face is to play center field. "I just think if he's in left field, where he's comfortable and where's there's not as much emphasis on the defensive side, that he'll go back and do what we hope he can do and that's being a big production guy".

"When you play outfield, see the ball, catch it", Granderson said. But he said he was ready to play wherever Collins puts him.

Conforto said he thinks his last game in center was in college at Oregon State.

A team source said Monday the reason that they brought Conforto back from Triple-A Monday is that the front office was anxious he was not being challenged enough against minor league pitchers.

But make no mistake, the Mets need him to adapt quickly, because Granderson can't play there long term and the Mets are not convinced Lagares can hit right-handed pitching consistently.

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