Mets Lose Juan Lagares to an Injury but Beat Arizona

Mets Lose Juan Lagares to an Injury but Beat Arizona


The injury bug, which never seems to have its fill of the Mets, took another big bite out of their roster on Friday, when the team announced that center fielder Juan Lagares would undergo surgery for a torn ligament in his left big toe and would probably miss the rest of the season.

With Yoenis Cespedes on the disabled list with a hip flexor strain, the Mets’ outfield was reduced to Jay Bruce, Brandon Nimmo and Michael Conforto, who will be the everyday center fielder.

“Conforto’s going to have to play there every game,” Mets Manager Mickey Callaway said before Friday night’s game against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Citi Field.

But Callaway’s wry smile did not mean he was joking. The Mets recalled Phillip Evans on Thursday to replace Cespedes on the roster, but he is an infielder, and barring another call-up, Callaway said, Wilmer Flores, who has never played the outfield in a major league game, would be his emergency outfielder.

Conforto, who had slumped to a .184 batting average two weeks ago, rewarded his manager’s faith in him with a 4-for-4 night, driving in two runs in the Mets’ 3-1 victory.

“I think that all of us kind of saw this coming,” Callaway said. “You could see him coming out of it. We’re trying to get him back to the guy that we need him to be.”

The same could be said of Jacob deGrom, who on May 11, in his first start after a stint on the disabled list with a hyperextended elbow, had to be removed after a 45-pitch first inning. But deGrom (4-0, 1.75 earned run average) rebounded on Friday with perhaps his best start of the season. He worked seven innings, the longest outing by a Mets starter since deGrom went that far on April 21, issued no walks and struck out 13, matching his career high.

“We needed this, big time,” Callaway said.

Lagares was injured when he banged his foot into the center-field wall at Citi Field at the end of a running catch in the ninth inning of Wednesday’s 12-1 loss to the Toronto Blue Jays. The score was 9-0 at the time of the catch.

On Thursday, the Mets said that X-rays of Lagares’s toe showed no broken bones, and they described the injury as a sprain. He was not placed on the disabled list, which was already crowded with nine players, and his status was said to be day-to-day. In addition to Cespedes, third baseman Todd Frazier, who went on the D.L. on May 8 with a hamstring strain and was eligible to return on Friday, is still not ready to play.

Lagares missed much of 2016 with a thumb injury that required surgery. He was limited to 94 games in 2017 with an oblique strain and another injury to the same thumb, which required further surgery. He had been playing well, hitting .339 in 30 games; he had four hits and three R.B.I. in Tuesday’s 12-2 victory over the Blue Jays.

“This one hurts a little bit,” Callaway said. “He’s on a roll and playing great, and then this happens.”

Before Friday, the Mets had lost 18 of their last 27 games, falling to fourth place in the National League East after starting the season 11-1.

Conforto, who missed the last two months of 2017 with a dislocated shoulder that required surgery and who did not play in his first game this season until April 5, said he welcomed the opportunity to play every day.

“Obviously we hate to see Lagares get hurt with him playing so well,” Conforto said. “He was one of our best hitters and he’s a great glover. He will be missed, absolutely, but that’s just the way the game goes. Now, we’ve got to step up and kind of take over for him.”

A version of this article appears in print on , on Page D3 of the New York edition with the headline: Mets’ Lagares May Miss Remainder of the Season. Order Reprints | Today’s Paper | Subscribe



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