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.
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"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."