Michael Conforto has returned from his Las Vegas exile with renewed confidence in his swing and high hopes of distinguishing himself in the Mets’ crowded outfield. Which won’t be much of a problem if he does anything close to what he managed in Triple-A.
Conforto on Thursday joined the Mets’ September call-ups, then went 1-for-3 with a double in a 6-4 loss to the Marlins. But he also hit into a 1-2-3 double play when he came to the plate in the eighth with nobody out and the bases loaded.
“My swing felt natural up there,” said Conforto, who entered the game with a .218/.297/.414 slash line in 84 major league games this year.
Conforto batted .493 in his latest 17-game stint in the minors, his second demotion this season.
“It was really [about] getting that approach back which made me so successful in the first place . . . The huge emphasis was swinging at strikes.”
Yoenis Cespedes and Asdrubal Cabrera may be off the disabled list, but both still are playing through physical issues. So after some pregame rain made for slick conditions at Citi Field, manager Terry Collins took no chances. Neither player started Thursday night’s series finale against the Marlins.
“When you have the conditions of the field start to get really wet, those are two guys that I don’t need them slipping on the turf,” Collins said.
Cespedes, who struck out as a pinch hitter to end the eighth, is dealing with a balky right quadriceps. Cabrera, who hit a two-run homer as a pinch hitter in the ninth, is battling a bad left knee.
Righthander Fernando Salas tossed a scoreless inning in his Mets debut, one day after he was acquired from the Angels in a waiver trade.
“The first reaction is surprise,” said Salas, who lowered his ERA to 4.40. “But after that I was happy. This is a good team. The team is competitive.”
Collins called Salas, 31, a needed veteran for a bullpen that has been taxed as a side-effect of an injury-beleaguered starting rotation.
Salas posted a 5.05 ERA before the break, when he said he was still reeling from taking a comebacker to the forearm. But following the break, he has a 2.93 ERA.