Michael Conforto was scratched from Monday night’s lineup against the Cubs with what Mets manager Terry Collins called a stiff back.
Conforto played in all four games in Atlanta over the weekend, including both ends of Saturday’s doubleheader. He entered Monday night batting .293 with 14 home runs and 36 RBIs.
“Conforto was in the lineup to begin,” Collins said. “He came in today and his back was a little stiff, so we took him out.”
Collins said before the game that he hoped Conforto would be available as a pinch hitter, but he said afterward that he was not.
With the return of Yoenis Cespedes — who was pulled after five innings with a sore left heel Monday night — the Mets have four outfielders for three spots (plus Collins said he wants to play Juan Lagares against lefthanders).
“Tonight’s a perfect example of why we’re lucky to have four guys,” Collins said before the game. “Certainly, having a quality option on our bench is very, very valuable.”
Cespedes is the only Met listed in the latest voting totals for the NL All-Star team. He is ninth among outfielders with 430,879 votes. The other positions all list the top five vote-getters, none of whom are Mets.
Mets sign Bard
The Mets signed former Red Sox pitcher Daniel Bard, 31, to a minor-league deal, according to MLB.com. Bard, once a top late-inning reliever, has been trying to return to the majors ever since a disastrous transition from reliever to starter in 2012. He hasn’t pitched in the big leagues since totaling one inning in two games for Boston in 2013. He will report to Port St. Lucie, Florida.