The Mets have received positive reports on Michael Conforto’s recovery from the major shoulder injury he suffered in late August. Doctors have told the Mets that the young outfielder is making great progress in his recovery and should be allowed to swing a bat by late January. Without setbacks, it would put Conforto on track for a full spring training.
In the midst of a standout campaign that appeared to solidify him as one of the club’s budding stars going forward, Conforto dislocated his left shoulder on a swing during the Mets’ game on August 24. Further tests showed that Conforto tore the posterior capsule, an injury for which he would undergo surgery on September 5. Initial diagnoses had the recovery time at around 6 months, a length of time that initially put a full spring training and Opening Day 2018 in some doubt.
Conforto quickly returning to health and playing a full or close to full spring training would be a boon for the Mets, who desperately need healthy seasons from Conforto and fellow outfielder Yoenis Cespedes if they plan to contend in 2018. The dynamic outfielders are the best two hitters on the team and despite all of their injuries, still hit a combined .285/.371/.548 with 44 home runs and 110 RBI’s while only playing in a total of 179 games –– 109 for Conforto, 81 for Cespedes.
Given the uncertainty surrounding all three outfield spots and the August and September struggles of young first baseman Dominic Smith, the Mets are reportedly planning to shop for players who can play both the outfield and first base this offseason. While the news on Conforto thus far is positive, there is still a long way to go before we get to spring training. It will be just as important to see how his shoulder reacts to swinging and then how his swing looks in games once he eventually returns to the field.