Welcome Back Michael Conforto
After a long and inexplicable exile, Michael Conforto is finally back with the Mets. He was gone mostly because Terry Collins had to back up this threat “And those that don’t want to get after it, I’ll find some who do. Because in Las Vegas there is a whole clubhouse of guys that want to sit in this room.” (nj.com) after an embarrassing 9-0 loss to the Arizona Diamondbacks at home.
Since that time, here is how the outfielders who the Mets decided “really wanted to get after it” have performed between the time of Conforto’s August 12th demotion and his September 1st call-up:
Granderson has been hitting .173/.274/.442 with 11 runs, two doubles, four homers, and seven RBI. Keep in mind, most of that damage started a couple of days ago when Granderson came off the bench to hit two homers against the Marlins. At least with Granderson, Collins followed through on this threat benching him against left-handed pitching.
Bruce has been the team’s main right fielder hitting .190/.277/.259 with four doubles, two homers, and two RBI. Unfortunately, that isn’t too much different than the .183/.262/.290 batting line he has had while joining the Mets. Naturally, since joining the Mets, he has had to deal with nagging leg injuries, which presumably have affected his production at the plate as well as his play in the outfield.
De Aza has had two great games since Conforto’s demotion. On August 16th, he went 2-4 with two runs, two doubles, a walks, and an RBI in a 7-5 win over the Diamondbacks. On August 25th, he went 2-4 with two runs, a homer, a walk, and five RBI in a 10-6 win over the Cardinals. In his other 17 games, De Aza has gone 5-42 with one extra base hit and five RBI.
Ruggiano came off the disabled list, played extremely well in five games, and he has found his way back onto the disabled list. Ruggiano has now been transferred to the 60 day disabled list meaning he’s done for the season. When he initially went on the 15 day disabled list, the Mets called up T.J. Rivera instead of Conforto.
Since his demotion, Conforto has played in 15 games hitting .493/.541/.821 with four doubles, six homers, and 13 RBI while playing both center and left field. Against lefties, Conforto has been hitting .488/.553/.732 with a double, three homers, and 11 RBI in 41 AAA at bats this season. He’s been thriving while the outfielder the Mets kept who Collins dubbed “really wanted to get after it” struggled, were injured, or both.
In his first game back, Conforto went 1-3 with a double and a HBP. In the eighth, he hit into a back breaking double play. With that double play, Collins may have his ammunition to bench Conforto again.
It’s a shame too because Conforto can really hit when he is actually given a chance. It’s also a shame because the Mets have shown they’d rather send a group of outfielders hitting below the Mendoza Line rather than let Conforto go out there and hit.