Mets Need Lagares in the NLDS
It appears the Mets have soured on Juan Lagares. Last year, he was a Gold Glove winner, who showed some promise with the bat hitting .281/.321/.382. Using WAR, he was a top 25 player in the majors last year (12th in the NL).
This year has been much different. Lagares hasn’t been the same offensively or defensively. His UZR has slipped from 18.6 (excellent) to 2.1 (average). His arm was terrific last year, but with his injured elbow, he doesn’t seem to have the same zip on the ball. With his defense compromised, you can’t justify his declining offense. This year he has regressed to .259/.289/.362.
This is probably why the Mets tried to send him to the Brewers in the failed Carlos Gomez trade. This is the reason the Mets are playing Yoenis Cespedes out of position. It may be the reason he was the only Mets outfielder who didn’t get in the game yesterday.
In any event, he’s been reduced to a platoon player and a late inning defensive replacement. His arrow is trending down while Eric Young, Jr.‘s is trending up. He’s been a terrific pinch runner that can come in handy in the playoffs. We also shouldn’t forget he’s a Collins’ favorite.
Ultimately, what may save Lagares in the NLDS is the fact that the Dodgers starting rotation features three lefties. Collins refuses to play Michael Conforto leaving Collins to pick between Michael Cuddyer and Lagares. Cuddyer has only played in seven complete games since returning from the DL. This means the Mets need Lagares in the NLDS.
This means the Mets need Lagares to get back on track offensively and defensively.