Now Commenting On:

Mets want Lagares' bat to catch up with glove

Mets want Lagares' bat to catch up with glove


WASHINGTON -- Seeking to give Juan Lagares at least two consecutive games in center field, Mets manager Terry Collins offered the rookie a rare start Wednesday against a right-handed pitcher. Lagares should start again Thursday, with lefty Gio Gonzalez on the mound.

Whether he receives more opportunities going forward is entirely up to him.

"He needs to hit," Collins said of Lagares, who entered the game with a .146 average in 48 at-bats. "We're making enough outs, let alone just to give them away."

If nothing else, playing time in center field these days is certainly up for grabs. Though the Mets are curious to see what Lagares can provide on both sides of the ball, they are also wary of overexposing the rookie. That led them last month to acquire Rick Ankiel, who has struggled while starting regularly against right-handed pitchers.

With Kirk Nieuwenhuis recently catching fire at Triple-A Las Vegas, the Mets may soon jettison either Ankiel or Lagares to make room for him. So the next few days should be telling.

"I think both of them are good defenders," Collins said. "Because the ceiling's so high on Lagares, you hope that the playing time is going to get him to be a better player, where maybe even offensively he'll grow."

Anthony DiComo is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDicomo. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Boys and Girls Club of America

©2014 MLBAM, LP. All rights reserved.

The following are trademarks or service marks of Major League Baseball entities and may be used only with permission of Major League Baseball Properties, Inc. or the relevant Major League Baseball entity: Major League, Major League Baseball, MLB, the silhouetted batter logo, World Series, National League, American League, Division Series, League Championship Series, All-Star Game, and the names, nicknames, logos, uniform designs, color combinations, and slogans designating the Major League Baseball clubs and entities, and their respective mascots, events and exhibitions. Use of the Website signifies your agreement to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy (updated May 24, 2013).

View MLB.com in English | En Español