Mets outfielder Juan Lagares will have surgery to repair a partially torn ligament in his left thumb. He’s expected to need six weeks to recover. Lagares sustained the injury while making a spectacular catch back on June 4. He didn’t hit the disabled list right away, tried to play through the injury, and then hit the disabled list on June 16.
He didn’t stay there long, as the Mets activated him on July 2. While his defense looked very good all along, he hit just .189/.283/.358 after sustaining the injury. In total, he’s hit .243/.303/.386 with an 88 wRC+ this year. For more on Lagares’s injury and recovery, be sure to read Ketul Shah’s piece.
Lagares’s absence leaves the Mets without a sure-thing defender to play center field. With Yoenis Cespedes limited to left field because of lingering quad soreness, the Mets’ other four outfielders at the moment are Michael Conforto, Alejandro De Aza, Curtis Granderson, and Brandon Nimmo. All but Cespedes are left-handed hitters. The Mets have given Conforto three starts in center—the first three of his professional career—but have been reluctant to put him in the lineup against left-handed starting pitchers.