Juan Lagares still working on plate discipline

Mets outfielder Juan Lagares works out during spring

Mets outfielder Juan Lagares works out during spring training baseball practice Wednesday, Feb. 19, 2014, in Port St. Lucie, Fla. (Credit: Newsday / Alejandra Villa)

KISSIMMEE, Fla. -- A full day had passed since he'd first witnessed it, but the image lingered for Terry Collins.

Juan Lagares has spent the spring trying to improve his plate discipline. Yet he fumed on Tuesday after striking out on a pitch that was nearly above his head.

"There's nothing wrong if a guy makes a real [tough] pitch on you to strike out," Collins said Wednesday before the Mets' 9-6 loss to the Astros. "There's nothing wrong with that. Everybody strikes out. But make them get you out."

That has often been the issue for Lagares, whose Gold Glove-caliber range in center might not be enough to overcome his offense. The Mets may still channel more playing time to Eric Young Jr.

Wednesday night, Lagares was 3-for-4 with an RBI triple, raising his spring average to .302. But the key for Lagares remains improving his plate approach.

"If we see that he's doing it, he's going to play," Collins said. "He's going to be much better offensively."

Extra bases

Opening Day starter Dillon Gee tossed six no-hit innings in his final tuneup. The righthander allowed a third-inning walk to Jonathan Villar and nothing more. "I did everything you would want to do in a game," Gee said. "It was a good tuneup." . . . Bartolo Colon and Jonathon Niese are slated to pitch in minor-league games Thursday, with minor-leaguer Cory Mazzoni scheduled to start the Grapefruit League finale against the Nats. Niese's outing will be his first since he was sidelined with left elbow inflammation. He will begin the season on the disabled list though he's eligible to be activated April 6 . . . Kyle Farnsworth was re-signed to a minor-league deal . . . Collins expects the team's final roster decisions to come down the wire. The Mets submit their Opening Day roster by noon on Sunday.

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