I suppose I need some help from the smart people who post on this site. You see, I am trying to figure out why Juan Lagares didn't start last night--no, it's more than that. I am trying to figure out why he doesn't start every night.
I do understand that the Mets have a surplus of outfielders, the kind of surplus that isn't a good thing. They have two or three very promising outfielders in the high minors and then with Granderson, C. Young, E. Young, and Lagares on the ML roster, they have four players for three positions. I guess both C. Young and Granderson have played centerfield. But Lagares is the only true center fielder in the bunch. He has superb range and a strong arm. The others, with the possible exception of E. Young, have average range and average to sub-average arms. So why isn't Lagares starting every night? I hate to bully the point, but isn't he also the best hitter of the four? And, after C. Young, the best baserunner? And, after Granderson, the headiest?
The Mets have too many outfielders because even though they had a surplus at the end of last year, they elected, for some mad or terminally stupid reason, to spend a lot of money to get two more. They needed help in the bullpen, so they signed outfielders. They needed a shortstop, so they signed outfielders.
What I am leading up to is a confession. I was lying when I said I didn't understand why Lagares wasn't starting every game. I think I know why. I think he isn't starting because management is trying to cover up their off-season ineptitude. They are hoping that C.Young will hit. Then they can declare victory and maybe trade him for a prospect or two.( As for E. Young, he can bat lead-off, and Granderson is a good player who also contributes intangibles to his younger teammates.)
In trying to save face this way, management is standing in the way of improving the team and in the way of the developing one of their best prospects of recent years. Lagares must start every game not only because he is a far better fielder than C. Young but because he is young and needs to play every day. Lagares must start every game not only because Lagares (.296/336/.489) is a far better hitter than C. Young (.222/.286..389) but, again, because he is young and needs to play every day.
Let me put this another way. How many votes are there for boycotting this team until management puts it performance before its own potential embarrassment? And I don't think it's Collins who is to blame here. I think he is just doing what he is told to do.
During last night's broadcast, it was clear how disgusted Ron Darling is with this situation. Let's support him. Let's make a noise.
P. S. I just found out that Lagares isn't starting tonight either. We have Granderson in center, and that latter-day Willie Mays, Abreu, in right.