Mar 31, 2014; New York, NY, USA; New York Mets center fielder Juan Lagares (12) gestures as he crosses home for a home run against the Washington Nationals during the eighth inning of an opening day baseball game at Citi Field. Washington Nationals won 9-7. Mandatory Credit: Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports

Mets will go with rotating outfield

It’s about time for Juan Lagares to return to the Mets lineup, and as he proved in Spring Training, he is just far too valuable an asset to keep in the minors.

What, then, does Terry Collins do? The Mets manager, according to Andy Martino of the New York Daily News, is dealing with the possibility and probability of going with a four-man outfield. Once Lagares returns, he will also have Chris Young, Eric Young, and Curtis Granderson at his disposal.

Of the four, only Curtis Granderson is expected to get everyday time. Collins tells media members that the free agent acquisition doesn’t want to sit (not that that’s a big surprise), and that the only way he’ll hit out of his current .136 batting average is to continue to get at-bats. The two Youngs and Lagares may rotate in and out of center and left field on a per-game basis. Mike Vorkunov of the New Jersey Star-Ledger says Collins isn’t quite sure how to handle the situation yet.

‘It’s a situation where we got to get each one of them at-bats,’ he said. ‘So are we going to rotate them – I’m not sure how that’s going to be done – but for sure there’s going to be nights where someone’s going to have to be off. I think you keep them fresh.’

The situation is similar to the problem the Los Angeles Dodgers are having with Carl Crawford, Matt Kemp, Andre Ethier, and Yasiel Puig – all four are capable of being starting outfielders and neither team is willing to let go of any of them to keep regular playing time for the others. In the Dodgers’ case, though, they have three high-ticket outfielders, whereas the Mets have Curtis Granderson taking up most of the outfield payroll. Martino writes that higher-dollar players have a little more leverage in the discussion of playing everyday.

Tags: New York Mets

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