Mets try to develop Juan Lagares' larcenous side
MIAMI - If Juan Lagares has enough speed to play a Gold Glove-caliber centerfield, he should have enough to create some havoc on the bases. That's the belief of Mets manager Terry Collins, who has pushed Lagares to steal more bases.
Lagares has wasted little time testing that theory. In the Mets' 8-6 win over the Marlins on Tuesday night, Lagares went 4-for-4, a career high for hits in a game. He also walked, reaching base five times, and swiped two bases.
"He's getting some good jumps," Collins said.
Lagares wasn't much of a base-stealer in the minors, racking up 100 steals in parts of nine seasons. As a big-leaguer, he has just 15 steals in 21 tries. But Lagares seems open to the idea, especially as the Mets explore using him as a leadoff hitter.
Lagares has led off each of his last six games and has five steals in that span. Now that he's well past a hamstring injury, Lagares said he has been more willing to steal bases.
"I feel 100 percent right now," Lagares said. "I feel like I can run and I want to take advantage of it."
Aside from a misplay -- he whiffed while attempting a diving catch on Giancarlo Stanton's sinking liner -- Lagares enjoyed a night in which he raised his average to .282.
Daisuke Matsuzaka and Josh Edgin both received cortisone shots for their sore elbows. Both relievers likely will be unavailable until Friday's series opener against Cincinnati.
Collins said the Mets were "not very excited about injecting elbows because it softens the ligament," though the injection will allow both to at least return to the field.
Righthander Vic Black is scheduled to throw a bullpen session Thursday. He has been throwing on flat ground and has reported no issues. He's on the disabled list with a slightly herniated disc in his neck.