Juan Lagares will begin Spring Training as the team’s primary center fielder, but nothing is set in stone, according to Terry Collins (Kernan, Feb. 4).
Lagares, Curtis Granderson, Lucas Duda, Eric Young and Chris Young could all end up rotating around all three positions, or the Mets could simply send Lagares to the minors (Kernan, Feb. 4).
“If Eric Young shows us in camp he can get on base, we have to find a spot for him, he changes our offense, as he did last summer,” explained Collins, who also pointed out Chris Young has been an All-Star center fielder.
In the event Eric Young does not hit leadoff, Chris Young or Ruben Tejada could end up in the top spot.
Matthew Cerrone, Lead Writer
This is going to be fascinating and very entertaining, because with Duda these decisions impact first base, as well. I look forward to it. I hope these men are ready to work, because they’re going to have their work cut out for them.
In the end, I still believe this team’s strength will be its starting pitching and outfield defense. So, I would make all decisions based on that reality. In other words, until he shows otherwise, Lagares has to be in center field and Duda cannot step foot in left field. The lineup will work itself out and, frankly, will have more to do with how Granderson, Ike Davis and Travis d’Arnaud hit rather than who bats leadoff. I appreciate what Eric Young can bring to the top of the order (speed), but Lagares in center field and Granderson and Chris Young in the corners will be the best defensive combination and will go further in supporting the rotation.