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Friday, March 21, 2014

Mets' Juan Lagares hit by pitch, escapes serious injury


By on 3/21/2014 10:30:00 AM

According to Adam Rubin, Mets center fielder Juan Lagares was hit by a pitch on his left shoulder, nearly suffering a serious injury, but the ball hit his muscle instead of tendons or bone.

Lagares has essentially won the center field starting job, because of his superb defense while his offense is in question.

In 2013, Lagares hit for a slash of .242/.281/.352 in 292 at bats with 4 home runs, 34 runs batted in, and 6 stolen bases. Lagares did have 28 defense runs saved which was among the elite defenders in the outfield. His WAR (Wins Above Replacement) was 3.7, which was astounding due to his abysmal offensive year.
This spring he is 12 of 38 with 3 runs batted in and a .381 on base percentage. The right-hander had his moments last season showing potential to be an average hitter and this spring he has definitely impressed.

"I think we expect him to be about as good (defensively)," Sandy Alderson said to Mike Vorkunov of The Star-Ledger. "Whether or not he has 15 assists is a function of what the runners do, not what he does. Having established the reputation, those numbers will be different."

"But ultimately it’s about hitting. He’s outstanding defensively, but you gotta play pretty outstanding defense, pretty consistently, to make up for deficiencies offensively. So that’ll be the question."

Lagares made a tremendous catch earlier Thursday robbing Braves Justin Upton of a home run. 


Lagares is expected to rest for a day or two then show up in games later this weekend.
The Dodgers and Diamondbacks start off the 2014 regular season in Australia early Saturday morning while the rest of the clubs stretch out their starters as camp comes to end.
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