<
>

Mets nix idea of Michael Conforto at first base

NEW YORK -- New York Mets left fielder Michael Conforto’s first-base experiment is over before it really started.

After floating earlier in the week the idea that Conforto may work out at first base with Lucas Duda, who is now sidelined with a stress fracture in his lower back, manager Terry Collins emphatically said Friday that Conforto will not be used at the position.

“He is not a first baseman,” Collins said. “We are not here to take a kid who has never played first base at the major league level, in a situation where we’re expected to win a lot, and put an inexperienced guy in a tough position. As I’ve tried to gingerly say it, this isn’t high school where you put the fat kid over at first. This is an athletic position that they’re in a lot of action. There’s a lot of things going on. Right now Michael has got a lot on his plate. I don’t need to add more to it.”

Conforto has never played first base in a game, although he said he took some ground balls at the position while in college at Oregon State.

Eric Campbell starts at first base for a fourth straight game on Friday. Wilmer Flores is nearing a return from the disabled list and should take over the primary role upon activation.