Lagares, in an attempt to beat out a double-play, pulled up lame in the seventh inning. It was the dreaded hamstring injury. Lagares has been the best player for the Mets this year, defensively and offensively. Yes, the injury hurts, but the Mets cannot rush him back from this injury. Hamstring injuries can ruin entire seasons if they aren’t allowed to heal properly, and for someone who relies on his speed in the outfield, as well as on the basepaths, his hamstring needs to be completely healed before he even thinks about coming back to the team.
It can be hard. He is an exciting player who has unlimited potential, and it’s understandable if he comes back before he’s ready, but the Mets and Lagares cannot afford to lose an entire year. It hurts his development as a player, and it hurts the reputation of the Mets’ organization.
The Mets have already seen three of their players get hurt two weeks into the season. The first was Bobby Parnell, who elected for Tommy John surgery after he injured his elbow in the opening series of the year. Along with Lagares, Curtis Granderson was also hurt in Monday night’s game, as he left with a wrist injury. Not to mention that the Mets have lost Matt Harvey and Jeremy Hefner to Tommy John surgery late last year as well.
Fortunately for the Mets, Granderson shouldn’t be out for that long, but losing Lagares to a hamstring injury is horrible. Help should be on the way though. Chris Young is due to come off the disabled list on Friday, and he can play center field in replace of Lagares. Young has been impressive in his first few rehab games with the Las Vegas 51s, so hopefully he can bring that bat to a lineup that sorely needs it.
Also, the Mets will call on Kirk Nieuwenhuis for the rest of the Diamondback series before Young returns from injury. Nieuwenhuis has been the popular call-up whenever the Mets need to replace someone, so he’s used to the constant travel, and he should hit the ground running. The thing with Nieuwenhuis though has always been his hitting. If he could hit, he would be on the big club, but he has proven time and time again that he struggles in this area.
But when it comes down to it, losing Lagares is a massive blow to the Mets. Hamstrings are so unpredictable, and the Mets need to be cautious with his recovery. The Mets’ outfield depth is being tested early, but having that depth allows Lagares to return at the appropriate time.