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Lagares' return raises outfield questions

6/25/2014

NEW YORK -- The plan has been for Juan Lagares to return to the New York Mets on Thursday in Pittsburgh. And that means the plan for how manager Terry Collins uses his outfielders is about to become more complicated.

"Good question," Collins said Wednesday afternoon. "Great question."

Juan Lagares

#12 CF
New York Mets

2014 STATS

  • GM42
  • HR2

  • RBI18

  • R19

  • OBP.337

  • AVG.295

Lagares, who has missed more than three weeks with a right intercostal strain, figures to get most of the time in center field. Curtis Granderson, who has shaken off his early-season slump and is the top 10 in the majors in June OPS (1.043), will continue to play virtually every day, as well.

That leaves one spot, with Collins wanting to find at-bats for Chris Young, Eric Young Jr. and Bobby Abreu. While the Mets discussed releasing Chris Young when Lagares is activated, any chance of that happening seemingly ended when Young hit two home runs Tuesday.

"You look at what Bobby Abreu has done when he has played, it's been very, very good," Collins said. "When Eric Young is in the lineup and he gets on base, we win. And you're hoping that what Chris Young did [Tuesday] is just the start.

"I don't have an answer [for who plays], but I'm going to make sure those at-bats are divvied up. Right now, I don't know."

Lagares went 0-for-4 with three strikeouts Tuesday at Double-A Binghamton, before being scratched from the Binghamton lineup on Wednesday because of a wet field. Collins said the Mets' plan for him hasn't changed. While the manager didn't come out and say that Lagares will be activated Thursday, he had indicated earlier that the plan was for him to be in the big leagues by the middle of the week.