Without the use of the designated hitter in Game 3 of the World Series, Michael Conforto could find himself out of the lineup in favor of Juan Lagares, Mets manager Terry Collins said Thursday.
He acknowledged the possibility of the shift, which would provide a defensive upgrade in centerfield with Lagares, with Yoenis Cespedes shifting to left.
Though Collins said Conforto has generally hit the ball hard, he's 1-for-20 (.050) in the postseason with a homer and a pair of sacrifice flies. "As we sat down and we looked at the lineup, you've got to kind of block out the batting average and take into consideration the quality of at-bats, how they are," Collins said. "And they've been pretty good. And that's why we've kept him in there. But we've got to start getting some production somewhere."
That production could come from Lagares, who is 7-for-19 (.368) in the postseason.
Lagares in center, Cespedes in left and Curtis Granderson in right would give the Mets a better defensive outfield.
Cespedes and Granderson were named Gold Glove finalists on Thursday. Cespedes, a member of the Tigers most of the season, is up for the AL award for leftfield. He's joined by the Yankees' Brett Gardner and the Royals' Alex Gordon. Granderson is up for the award for NL rightfielders, along with the Nationals' Bryce Harper and Cardinals' Jason Heyward.
Lagares won the award for NL centerfielders last season.