May 13, 2014; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Mets center fielder Juan Lagares (12) and New York Mets shortstop Ruben Tejada (11) sit in the dugout during a game against the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

What is going on with Terry Collins & Juan Lagares?

On May 3, Terry Collins said that Juan Lagares, who had recently returned from the 15-day disabled list, was his ‘everyday’ center fielder. That proclamation shouldn’t have had to be made, since Lagares was the team’s most productive player by far, but Collins felt the need to say it anyway.

Just about a week after saying that Lagares was – rightfully – the full time center fielder, Collins has made an about-face, nailing Lagares to the bench for two of the last three games in order to play Eric Young, Jr.

Lagares, who is hitting .296/.336/.439, and is playing his regularly spectacular brand of defense in center field, should be in the lineup on a daily basis. Wednesday night, during Rafael Montero‘s major league debut, the best defensive alignment should’ve been behind him, but it wasn’t.

In left field, Eric Young, Jr. cost the Mets a run with an ill-advised dive that turned a triple into a single with two outs in the second inning and the pitcher on deck.

So, why isn’t Juan Lagares playing?

Terry Collins said prior to Wednesday’s game that Young, Jr. was “too hot” to take out of the lineup.

Young, Jr. – like most of the Mets during their offensive explosion in the Bronx – had two very good offensive games on Monday and Tuesday. When you look at the bigger picture, though, you’ll see those two games are Young, Jr’s. only multi-hit games over the last month.

When someone is your everyday center fielder, as Lagares is in both name and ability, he shouldn’t ever sit two games in three days as Lagares has.

In Lagares, the Mets have perhaps the best defensive center fielder in baseball, who is blossoming offensively.

In Young, Jr., the Mets have a poor defender with one plus tool (speed), who is best suited as a fourth outfielder.

As has been the case since spring training started, this isn’t a hard decision.

If Collins returns Lagares to the starting lineup on Thursday night, in what is Jacob deGrom‘s major league debut, the last three days can be looked at as an aberration.

However, if Lagares remains out of the lineup again – for a third time in four days – this will have become a trend. And if this becomes a trend, that will represent an enormous problem for the Mets.


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Tags: Juan Lagares New York Mets Terry Collins

  • Robby D

    Do you have an editor, or someone who reads your articles to makes sure there aren’t any stupid mistakes?

    • Winkster

      “to makes sure”??? LOL. People who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones.

      Anyway, nice post. Totally agree. Don’t know what’s up with TC. I can only
      assume he’s getting pressure to start Chris Young because the Wilpon$
      (over)paid $7M for him. Lagares is doing better offensively AND
      defensively than everyone else in that outfield. EY does have a knack
      for scoring first inning runs and of course steals bases, but tonight (deGrom’s
      debut) CY cost them. Letting the glacial Brian McCann score from 1st on a double is something that never would have happened if Lagares had been in CF.

    • Victor Chu

      Nice call out Winkster of Robby D …

      Robby D … can you specify the “stupid mistakes” (as opposed to just regular mistakes) in the article?

      As for the topic of the story, Lagares should play everyday and only get some rest on occasion against tough right-handed pitchers … I agree that the outfield “gave” the Yankees a couple of runs in the last two games, but with the way the Mets offense performs at Citi Field, it didn’t really matter … although you have to give Tanaka and the Yankee bullpen some credit the last two games — Betances was just nasty & lights out … wow. Personally, I would platoon CY and EY, Jr. in LF and sub in CY for Granderson against some rest against tough left-handers. Granderson is the one with the more proven track record than CY, so he should get the majority of the playing time for at least the next two months to see if he can correct himself. After all, he’s the one with the 4-yr contract, so you want Grandy to straighten himself out, and the only way to do that is to play. Between CY and EY platooning, if one of them gets hot or has a great line against a particular pitcher, then you play that guy in those instances.

    • RONBO19

      Your right because Lagare’s would have run it down and caught it. It’s amazing how many balls fall in the gaps when he is not out there playing CF.

  • Ken Meoni

    It seems whenever someone is given a job, it’s more like the kiss of death. This has happened many times before. I really hate the way this team is run and that’s from the top down. The outfield they put in Thursday was not very good when you think of the actual hitting stats of that outfield and the fielding of that outfield. So, the two big hitting free agents that SA picked up are not doing much. Low 200′s are not hitting much. Also, all of a sudden, Flores is stuck on the bench so he can get rusty and soup is doing the same. Why do we depend on Abreu to be the only left handed hitter to come off the bench? Does SA really think this is a good team? It is his team. I am sick of the old game of who’s fault is it. It’s not Collins fault because SA makes the moves. And it’s not SA’s fault because the Wilpons don’t spend the money. Now let’s think about the three big free agents he signed this offseason. Do you think that money could have been spent more wisely? It’s all very disfunctional and all Met fans would love for all of them to leave.

  • Chris Kittredge

    This IS the ny mets.

    ONLY the ny mets would take a 25 year old, 6’1, 215 lb. .300 hitting, Gold Glove caliber, pencil him in everyday STUD of a ball player and relegate him to the bench in favor of the ‘spark plug’ that is eric young jr’s .225 batting average and sub-par outfield play.

    chris young can’t crack .240 and God only know how long granderson will remain lost on the interstate. I don’t care which of the three shmucks doesn’t play, but Lagares ain’t on that list.

    the mets are NOT concerned with putting the best team on the field.

    terry collins should be FIRED.