The New York Mets have placed outfielder Albert Almora Jr. on the 10-day IL with a left shoulder contusion and recalled fellow outfielder Khalil Lee from Triple-A Syracuse. Almora Jr. suffered the injury in the eighth inning of last night’s game, crashing into the right-center field wall at full speed with his left arm extended. While he was able to walk off the field, it’s no surprise to see him placed on the injured list, and a bruise or contusion is a relatively benign outcome for what looked like it could’ve easily been far worse.
Replacing Almora on the active roster is the 22-year-old Lee, who the Mets acquired from the Royals in a three-team trade this February. New York sent right-handed pitcher Josh Winckowski and a player to be named later to the Red Sox in the deal, while Boston received Franchy Cordero and a couple players to be named later from the Royals in exchange for outfielder Andrew Benintendi.
This is Lee’s first ever call to the show, and what he’ll look like in the bigs is a bit of an unknown. He’s made the Baseball Prospectus list of the game’s top 100 prospects in 2019 on a potential power-speed combo profile, though he’s likelier a corner outfielder with a good arm defensively who can stretch to center. He’s played a mixture of both so far this year in Syracuse.
Lee is a patient hitter who has run double-digit walk rates every year of his career, but the raw power has long been generated from a high-effort hack that exposes him to an elevated strikeout risk, particularly coupled with his take-heavy approach that gets him into two strike counts with frequency. If his swing has in fact smoothed out consistently, as has been a focus it seems since even prior to his acquisition, he could carve out a role given the lack of health in the Mets position player group. With how poorly Almora Jr. was hitting prior to the injury and Brandon Nimmo still healing up, Lee should get at least a taste of the bigs in this first call up.