New York Mets outfielder Juan Lagares is expected to be moved to the disabled list tomorrow after fracturing the IP joint in his left thumb attempting to make a diving catch on a bloop single in the Mets’ 8-3 loss against the Washington Nationals Thursday. Lagares departed in the sixth inning after providing one of New York’s few highlights, gunning down Nationals star Bryce Harper at the plate.
“If the joint in Lagares’ thumb is shifted, he will need surgery,” Dr. Selene Parekh, an orthopedic surgeon at Duke Unversity, said. “If not, though, his injury can be treated without surgery. Regardless, Lagares should be out for six to ten weeks.”
The injuries just keep piling on for the Mets.
With starting infielders Asdrubal Cabrera and Neil Walker and starting pitcher Matt Harvey going down in the past few days, New York could ill-afford another player going down as it looks to make up some ground first-place Nationals after a rough start to the season.
But so is life in Flushing. Lagares was batting .275 with two homeruns and eight runs batted in prior to the injury, and utilityman Matt Reynolds was scratched from the Mets’ Triple-A affiliate Las Vegas Thursday. Reynolds is expected to be called up to serve as a depth outfielder but should not factor into the fantasy world, much like Lagares.
What’s most concerning about Lagares’ injury is that it to the same thumb he had a partial ligament tear to last season. After attempting to play through the ailment, Lagares ulitimately succumed to the disabled list later in the season in 2016.
Luckily for the Mets, unlike the injuries to Walker and Cabrera, is that they have plenty of depth at outfielder. Michael Conforto and star Yoenis Cespedes are close to reaching full health, and New York can also employ Jay Bruce, Lucas Duda and Curtis Granderson at its last line of defense, along with plenty of options at the minor league level as well.
Fantasy-wise, Lagares’ injury will not have much of an impact until Conforto is completely healthy, but once he is, Conforto may see more time against left-handers as well, as Lagares was primarily playing to be another right-handed bat in the lineup. If Conforto can find his stroke against southpaws, his star may shine brighter than it already does, making him a must-play on a daily basis.