Mets center fielder Juan Lagares underwent surgery on Monday to repair a torn ligament in his left thumb.
Lagares was diagnosed with the injury after making a fantastic catch on June 4. The Mets originally opted to have their stalwart defensive center fielder go the non-surgical route, and after a short stint on the disabled list, Lagares was back with the major league club. However, it soon became clear that the 27-year-old was not the same player at the plate—he hit only .189/.283/.358 after tearing his ligament.
The timetable for recovery on such a surgery is six weeks, though Lagares will likely also need a week or two to complete a rehab stint in the minors, pushing the potential length of his absence to eight weeks. Given that there are roughly nine weeks left in the regular season, it is fair to wonder if we have seen Juan Lagares patrolling center field in Flushing for the last time in 2016.
In 70 games this season, Lagares has hit .243/.303/.386 with three home runs and 10 walks in 155 plate appearances. With Lagares out and Yoenis Cespedes too banged up to play center field, the Mets will likely go with some combination of Michael Conforto, Alejandro De Aza, Curtis Granderson, and the newly acquired Jay Bruce in center field.