NEW YORK -- How gaudy were Michael Conforto's statistics during his latest stint with Triple-A Las Vegas?
Conforto hit .493 (33-for-67) with six homers and 13 RBIs in 17 games with the Pacific Coast League club after an Aug. 12 demotion from the New York Mets.
Now that rosters have expanded, Conforto is back with the Mets, attempting to have more success at the major league level than he had earlier this season. He has hit .218 with 11 homers and 33 RBIs in 266 at-bats in the majors in 2016 after bursting onto the scene a year ago.
Catcher Kevin Plawecki, infielder Ty Kelly and right-hander Gabriel Ynoa also joined the Mets on Thursday. Conforto is starting in left field and batting sixth since Yoenis Cespedes is out of the lineup to rest his cranky right quadriceps and avoid a wet field.
“The huge emphasis was swinging at strikes and getting my approach back,” Conforto said about his latest minor league stint. “I think a lot of the swing stuff is kind of ironed out a little bit. I feel much more natural up there. But, really, just getting that approach back, which was what made me so successful in the first place, that was the big thing.”
Conforto noted that consistent playing time with Las Vegas benefited him. He faced left-handed pitching and concentrated on using the whole field and driving the ball with his legs.
“Just getting out there and playing every single day was huge for me, just to get some at-bats and really to just get my confidence back and get things rolling in the right direction,” Conforto said. “I felt great down there. So I’m trying to bring that back up here.”
Conforto hinted that erratic playing time at the MLB level has affected him, but acknowledged that’s not a valid excuse.
“It may or may not have,” Conforto said. “It’s just the nature of the game right now, especially as we’re getting closer to the end of the season. You need that production, and that’s just kind of how it is in this game. So it may have played a part. But that’s something I have to deal with, and that’s something we all have to deal with. Taking that mentality and not putting any extra pressure on myself -- just knowing that’s the situation -- I think that will allow me just to relax up there and have fun, especially when the team is playing as well as they are right now.”