As the Mets have finally claimed their position as first in the NL East, all eyes are now on the Amazin’s and their plans for maintaining the top spot. The team’s outfield situation is now being analyzed as it has undergone a few changes in the past few days.
For starters, Michael Cuddyer, who was having a good season in right field before landing on the DL on July 21, is expected to join the Mets roster once again on Saturday. Up until he suffered from a bone bruise below the left kneecap, Cuddyer was hitting .250/.303/.380, and a consistent starter in the Mets outfield. With Cuddyer’s return, he will be joining an already crowded lineup for the team’s outfield positions.
Prior to news on Cuddyer’s expected return from the DL, the Mets traded for outfielder Yoenis Cespedes last week to fill his spot in the outfield. He had a strong first game, contributing three doubles and four RBIs in the team’s win against the Marlins on Monday. Even though he was only traded last week, Cespedes has already been open about wanting to stay with New York for this season and into next season as well, but with the team’s already full lineup of strong outfielders, they may not be very likely for the twenty-nine year old.
To add onto this list of Mets outfielders, Michael Conforto was called up from Triple-A to play also on Monday’s game against the Marlins. He has played in the Majors throughout the season, but he was recently demoted to Triple-A after being hitless for 12 at-bats straight. Conforto was able to break his streak, however, with a three-run homer in the second inning to kick off the game.
This crowded lineup of outfielders makes for a tough decision for the Mets on who to start, sit or send down. When Cuddyer makes his return from the DL he should be the player that starts, though, because he has been a strong and consistent player all season up until his injury. Cespedes should be the outfielder to sit on the bench, but he should stay with the Mets for a little while longer. He may prove to be a good replacement for Cuddyer late in the games as he recovers from his injury. Even though Conforto did have a good game on Monday, he should be sent back down to Triple A once Cuddyer returns, as he has not made that big of an impact offensively in his last few games in the Majors.