After being the team’s best player during the first two weeks of the season, the New York Mets suffered a tough blow when outfielder Juan Lagares left Monday’s game with a hamstring injury that has landed him on the DL. Lagares has been important to the Mets both offensively and defensively, and outside of perhaps David Wright, Lagares is the player the Mets can least afford to lose right now.
In less than one year in the big leagues, Lagares has already established himself as an elite defensive player. But early in the season, he’s also leading the Mets in hits, and is tied for the team lead in extra-base hits and RBIs. He makes a spectacular defensive play just about every day, and whenever the Mets’ offense is able to put something substantial together, it’s a safe bet that Lagares is in the middle of it.
Lagares will miss at least two weeks, keeping him out for the rest of April, but the severity of his injury is yet to be determined. Because Lagares says he’s never had a hamstring injury before, there’s no telling how long he’ll be out. The Mets can’t afford to be without Lagares for the next two weeks, especially considering the difficult schedule they have to play the rest of the month.
To make matters worse, Curtis Granderson also left Monday’s game with an injury and will miss at least a couple of games, with a trip to the DL not being ruled out. The Mets have also received a disappointing performance from Eric Young Jr. early in the season, and the injury to Lagares may force the Mets to keep him in the lineup even after Chris Young returns from the DL on Friday.
The Mets will have to survive until at least Friday without Lagares,Young, and Granderson, which is probably their best outfield trio. However, losing Lagares will make things exceedingly difficult as the Mets try to get above .500 and stay competitive in one of baseball’s best divisions.