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Juan Lagares suffers injury during Winter League game

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Initial x-rays came back negative.

New York Mets v Philadelphia Phillies Photo by Hunter Martin/Getty Images

While playing in a Dominican Winter League game for the Aguilas Cibaenas on Saturday, Juan Lagares dove for a ball, landing awkwardly on his left shoulder. The injury was serious enough to pull Lagares out of the game and sent for x-rays. The initial x-rays came back negative, but the Mets are flying Lagares to New York for additional tests.

Lagares, one of the many outfielders the Mets are trying to find playing time for, is the best defensive outfielder and the only credible center fielder the Mets have on their roster. Lagares will likely get the majority of his playing time against left-handed pitching, in addition to as a defensive replacement late in ball games.

Lagares had an outstanding 2014 season, where he collected a Gold Glove and put up a league-best 28 defensive runs saved, along with a 102 OPS+. In 2015, both sides of his game took a step back, partially due to an elbow injury. That trend that continued in 2016, where his season was marred by a thumb injury. While his defense bounced back and elements of his offensive game improved (walk rate and line drive rate, specifically), his limited playing time kept him from putting up the numbers that many feel he is capable of producing.