Juan Lagares landed on the disabled list in mid-April with a pulled right hamstring, but he only ended up missing the minimum 15 days and will be in the starting lineup tonight when the Mets take on the Rockies in Colorado. He’s hitting leadoff against right-hander Juan Nicasio.
Lagares was off to an impressive start at the plate prior to his injury, hitting .314/.345/.471 with one home run, three doubles, one triple, and seven RBI over his first 55 plate appearances. This is in addition to his usual excellent defense in center field.
Nobody expects Lagares to maintain what he was doing at the plate before going on the disabled list, but if he can post something in the range of a .320 on-base percentage and a .700 OPS, the Mets would probably be thrilled. His defense should give him plenty of leash. There’s no reason why the 25-year-old shouldn’t be playing everyday. Eric Young, Jr. is the odd man out in the Mets’ outfield tonight and might be a fourth outfielder now that Lagares is back from the disabled list.
Pedro Moura of The Athletic reports that Dodgers starter Alex Wood plans to pitch out of the stretch throughout the 2018 season. Wood got the idea when he watched Nationals starter Stephen Strasburg pitch against the Dodgers.
Wood, 27, finished last season 16-3 with a 2.72 ERA and a 151/38 K/BB ratio in 152 1/3 innings. That’s a mighty fine season, one in which many pitchers would not dare to mess with something that isn’t broken.
Interestingly, Wood indeed has had better results with runners on base — when he would pitch out of the stretch — as opposed to the bases being empty, with a respective OPS allowed of .523 versus .684, respectively. Over his career, he has allowed a .617 OPS with runners on and .706 with the bases empty.
In response to Moura’s tweet about Wood, retired pitchers Dan Haren and Jered Weaver took the opportunity to burn themselves. Haren tweeted, “I pitched a few seasons completely out of the stretch actually, just not by choice.” Weaver responded, “Sometimes I would just step off and throw the ball in the gap myself because I knew the hitter would do it anyways.”