Juan Lagares has thrived because of his willingness to throw caution to the wind while patrolling centerfield. However, it also has taken a toll on his body.
But now that Lagares has rejoined the Mets — fresh from a stint on the disabled list because of a partially torn ligament in his left thumb — he has no intentions of changing how he plays.
“I want to go out there and do what I’ve been doing,” Lagares said before hitting into a double play as a pinch hitter in Saturday night’s 4-3 win over the Cubs. “I can’t be thinking ‘I can’t dive’ or ‘I can’t go into the wall.’ I want to go with everything I’ve got.”
Said Collins: “I want him to play like he always has.”
Lagares injured his thumb while making a diving catch in Miami in early June. The former Gold Glover initially tried playing through it, which, in retrospect, he acknowledged was a mistake.
“Probably I tried to play too quick,” he said. “That’s why it bothered me a lot. But now I feel good.”
At one point, the Mets believed that Lagares might need in-season surgery, but manager Terry Collins said that possibility has lessened, mostly because Lagares benefited from the rest he got during his 16 days on the DL.
While hitting .333 (6-for-18) with two RBIs in four rehab games with Double-A Binghamton, Lagares felt little discomfort. He is expected to be in the starting lineup for Sunday’s series finale.
To make room for Lagares, the Mets optioned righthander Seth Lugo to Triple-A Las Vegas.
Grandy on the mend
The Mets hope to have Curtis Granderson back in the lineup Sunday. Since his last appearance in the starting lineup Tuesday, he has been limited to a pinch-hitting appearance Wednesday because of a mild right calf strain.
After two days with no baseball activity, he took batting practice on the field Saturday. Collins said his priority is to get Granderson into the game against Cubs lefthander Jon Lester (9-3, 2.03 ERA).
In 52 career plate appearances against Lester, Granderson has a .277/.327/.489 slash line, two homers and six RBIs. Lester will be opposed by Noah Syndergaard (8-3, 2.49 ERA), who is coming off his worst start of the season.
Awaiting the call
Jose Reyes went 2-for-5 in a doubleheader in Binghamton and is 5-for-28 (.179) during stints with Class A Brooklyn and Double-A Binghamton. The former All-Star’s return to the organization that first discovered him has been long on attention and short on results.
Nevertheless, the Mets could call him up any day now. They have enough confidence in Reyes to grant him plenty of leeway to determine his timetable.
“When he gets here, he wants to be ready, and obviously, he doesn’t feel like he’s ready yet,” Collins said.
Given Reyes’ long track record, the manager said he’s less focused on numbers and more interested in when “they tell me he’s ready and he feels he’s ready to be here.”