PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- The New York Mets' 2016 outfield alignment should look a lot like it did the final two months of last season, after Yoenis Cespedes arrived in a trade and Michael Conforto arrived from Double-A Binghamton.
Although Juan Lagares got exposure to left field during spring training with Cespedes remaining in center field, manager Terry Collins indicated Tuesday that he “probably” would remain with the more conventional alignment during the regular season.
That means whenever the Mets face a left-handed starting pitcher, Lagares should be in center field with Cespedes in left field. The alignment leaves a pair of players at the positions where they previously have won Gold Gloves.
The logic in playing Cespedes full time in center field and using Lagares in left field was that Cespedes would benefit from remaining in one position.
As for who mans right field against a southpaw when Curtis Granderson sits, that now apparently is unlikely to be Conforto. He ended up getting no reps at that position during Grapefruit League play.
Collins mentioned possibly using Eric Campbell in left field and shifting Lagares over to right field if Granderson has a day off.
Of course, then it becomes difficult to envision how Conforto gets many at-bats against left-handed pitching, at least early in the season.