Terry Collins Responds to Why Lagares is not Playing | Astromets Mind

Friday, May 16, 2014

Terry Collins Responds to Why Lagares is not Playing

Juan Lagares (Photo by Rob Foldy/Getty Images)

"Juan is the center fielder," Collins said Friday afternoon. "We’ve got to somehow get his stroke back.”

By not playing him everyday?

“He’s starting to expand the zone a little bit right now. When we get him back to where he’s taking some of those pitches, his defense is something we need, and we need very much. But we’re not scoring. So we’ve got to figure out how to get some runs."

Lagares has been the best hitting outfielder this season and the second best hitter overall, behind Murphy. If you want to quote how he’s been hitting since returning from the DL, OK, but don’t ignore what Chris Young has done in the same time. Lagares is at .277/.327/.404 in 52 PA’s since returning, good for a 102 wRC+. In the same time, Chris Young is hitting .235/.304/.373 over 57 PA’s, good for a 94 wRC+. For the record, Eric Young is at .300/.364/.500 in 33 PA’s for a 146 wRC+ and Granderson is at .294/.368/.549 in 57 PA’s, good for a 161 wRC+. Terry has a doctorate in small sample sizes.

"If any of you guys have a crystal ball and you know when they’re going to hit it good, call me. Call me early, so I can put him in there," Collins said. "Tonight I want to get Bobby in there, get some lefties in the lineup tonight. And tomorrow Juan and Chris will be both back in there and the lefties will have a day off. I’m not concerned defensively. What I’m more concerned about is we’ve got to start putting some runs on the board."

Not concerned about defense until an OF with Curtis Granderson in CF and Bobby Abreu in RF get’s exposed. I hope these guys are ready to throw the ball, because they are going to have their arms tested. And again, if you're concerned about putting runs on the board, where's Wallace Wilmer?

"I’m real comfortable with [Granderson] in center field," the manager said. "This guy can play center for you every day if we needed to. Right now, the defensive side, even though I’m a big believer in defense and the importance of defense, we’re not scoring. We’ve got to come up with some way to come up with some runs on the board. So I’m trying to put guys up there I think will drive in some runs."

Again, ignoring the OF who has hit the most this season, not to mention the ‘shortstop’ who was called up for his offense.

"[Outfield] is where we have replacements. We’ve got five guys who can play. And you’ve got to get playing time for them. That means somebody can’t play. And, right now, we’re trying to play the guys who can give us some offense. And not that [Lagares] can’t. But right now he’s not. To put him back out there, now you’re talking about pinch-hitting for him. And if you get the lead late in the game is when you want him in the game. So there are no easy answers. “

He’s the one guy who has shown he should always be out there so far…

"I know it’s easy to talk about afterward that he should have been out there. We didn’t score, so it didn’t matter who was out there."

It might have mattered who was out there, but we will never know. Lagares could have had an impact or had 4 strikeouts. It’s not the result I’m questioning, it’s the process.
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