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Michael Conforto's role not likely to change for the playoffs

The young outfielder will probably continue his role of playing against only righties into the playoffs

Michael Conforto
Michael Conforto
Scott Cunningham/Getty Images

Michael Conforto has become a key contributor for the Mets since being called up from Double-A in late July, sliding in as an everyday player and one of the hottest bats in the Mets' lineup. However, if (and, dare we say, when) the Mets do reach the playoffs, Conforto may not always be on the lineup card regardless of how well he’s swinging the bat.

It’s almost a forgone conclusion that the Mets and Dodgers will be meeting up in the NLDS in a few weeks, and the Dodgers' army of left-handed pitchers will pose a threat to Conforto’s regular spot in left field. The Mets will be facing at least two lefties—possibly three—in Clayton Kershaw, Alex Wood, and Brett Anderson. Terry Collins said on Monday that while Conforto’s future will eventually have him hitting against lefties and playing every day, that’s just not the case right now.

"I don’t think at this particular moment there’s a lot he can do to change it,"......."His opportunities to face left-handed pitching are going to be pretty thin. There’s some people here whose job it is to hit left-handed pitching. … Down the road this kid will be one of them. But right now I think we’ll stick with what we’ve done.’’

Conforto is hitting .277/.351/.514 since being called up from Binghamton on July 23, and has added eight home runs and 23 RBI while establishing himself as a part of this team's long-term plans. Conforto’s opportunities against lefties have been few and far between, as he’s only 2-for-11 in 12 plate appearances against southpaws in 49 games.

So, when will we see Conforto in the NLDS? He'll be starting either Game 1 or Game 2, depending on when the Dodgers decide to pitch Zack Greinke, but after that, it seems as though the only time he'll see is as either a pinch hitter or a late-inning sub if the Mets get to the Dodgers' bullpen. Conforto spoke about what he thought of his use against exclusively righties.

"Not a lot you can do except go out there and keep performing and playing well against the guys you do face, that’s not my call, whether I’m in there or not. But we’ve been having success, we’ve been winning games and we’re in a good spot right now….. "The situation where I’m not hitting against lefties has worked, so until that stops working I don’t see a reason why we should change it. … For me, for whatever Terry and the rest of the coaches think is best for the team, I’m all in."

For now, Conforto will just bide his time and continue to rake when given the opportunity to do so.