Over the weekend Mets outfielder Juan Lagares injured his right shoulder attempting to make a diving catch in a Dominican winter league game. He underwent and X-ray and was evaluated on Sunday.
The results of the evaluation: better than it could’ve been: Lagares has been diagnosed with a sprained right shoulder. His winter ball season is over, but he’s expected to be ready to go for spring training.
Lagares finished the 2016 season batting .239/.301/.380 with 13 extra-base hits and nine RBI in 160 plate appearances. Not great, but he’s really the only legitimate defensive center fielder the Mets have at the moment. Curtis Granderson will likely man the position, but he’s increasingly become a liability in center, so having Lagares around as a defensive caddy for him is pretty important.
The ALCS had a weird play in Game 4 on Tuesday night, but Game 4 of the NLCS did as well. This one involved Cubs outfielder Albert Almora, Jr. and his attempt to spark a rally in the bottom of the ninth inning against Dodgers reliever Ross Stripling.
After Alex Avila singled, Almora ripped a double to left field, past a diving Enrique Hernandez. The ball rolled to the ivy in front of the wall. Most outfielders there would’ve put their hands up, which would have alerted the umpires to call an immediate ground-rule double. Hernandez didn’t, instead fishing the ball out and firing it back into the infield. Avila had stopped at third base, but Almora kept running. Much to his surprise, he pulled up into third base to see his teammate standing there, resigned to his fate as a dead duck. Third baseman Justin Turner applied the tag on Almora for what he thought was the first out of the inning.
Almora, however, was then sent back to second base after the umpires correctly called a ground-rule double.
Unfortunately for the Cubs, the lucky break didn’t help as closer Kenley Jansen came in and took care of business, retiring all three batters he faced without letting an inherited runner score. The Dodgers won 6-1 and now lead the NLCS three games to none. They’ll try to punch their ticket to the World Series on Wednesday.