Mets demote Conforto to make room for Cespedes

By Danny Abriano

The Mets have demoted Michael Conforto to Triple-A Las Vegas to make room on the 25-man roster for Yoenis Cespedes, who the club acquired from Detroit on Friday, the team announced.

Conforto, who had been promoted last week from Double-A Binghamton, hit .211 (4-for-19) with a .348 .OBP in six games with the Mets.

It was reported prior to Saturday’s game that Kirk Nieuwenhuis has a pinched nerve in his back, and the roster move was delayed until about 6:30 p.m. as Nieuwenhuis’s status was determined.


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With the Mets planning to play Cespedes regularly in center field and Michael Cuddyer still not back from his knee injury, I thought it made sense to keep Conforto here while demoting Eric Campbell instead.

If Cespedes does indeed play most nights in center field — Terry Collins said he would start in center when right-handed pitchers are on the mound — that would leave regular at-bats for Conforto while Curtis Granderson plays right field.

Instead, for the time being, Cespedes and Granderson will start regularly while Juan Lagares plays against left-handers (with Cespedes in left field) and Kelly Johnson or Nieuwenhuis play against right-handers.

All of Conforto’s hits with the Mets came in his 4-for-4 game last Saturday, but he didn’t look overmatched, working deep at-bats while reaching base at a very good clip.

With the demotion to Triple-A, Conforto goes to a level he’s never played before, and will hopefully come back with even more polish and confidence.

If Conforto doesn’t return soon, it’s a near-certainty that he’ll be back on or around September 1 when rosters expand to 40.