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Terry Collins will stick to platooning Michael Conforto this season

NEW YORK -- New York Mets manager Terry Collins consistently has said that rookie left fielder Michael Conforto will not be a platoon player during his career.

Still, because of the presence of righty-hitting outfielders Yoenis Cespedes, Michael Cuddyer and Juan Lagares, the lefty-hitting Conforto essentially will be a platoon player this season.

“We’ve brought people in here that hit lefties, that have a career record of hitting lefties,” Collins said. “And right now that’s what we’ve been doing, and I’m going to stay with it.”

The question about whether Conforto merits being an everyday player the remainder of the season was prompted by his continued success at the plate. Conforto went 2-for-4 with a homer before departing for a pinch runner in Wednesday’s 9-4 win against the Philadelphia Phillies. He is hitting .400 (20-for-50) with five doubles, four homers and nine RBIs in his last 17 games.

Both of his homers in the Phillies series went to the opposite field.

“When I’m going the other way well, I always feel like I’m hitting well and things are clicking,” said Conforto, who lifted his average to .311.

The numbers suggest Conforto can handle left-handers just fine. Conforto hit .333 against left-handed pitching and .303 against right-handed pitching this season with Double-A Binghamton before his promotion to the majors.