The Mets lineup for tonight’s game was just released. And Juan Lagares is not in it. Eric Young is playing center. For the fourth time in five games. Oh, and Bobby Abreu is in the lineup. Not Lagares, though!
This despite the fact that Lagares is not injured. This despite the fact that Lagares is easily the Mets’ best defensive center fielder. Heck, he may be the best defensive center fielder in the game. This despite the fact that he’s also the Mets’ best offensive center fielder too, hitting .296/.336/.439. This, most notably, despite the fact that Terry Collins said earlier this month that Lagares is his every day center fielder. To this I say:
Why isn’t Lagares starting? Does anyone plan on asking Terry Collins about it today? How about asking Jon Neise how he feels about the team’s best outfielder being benched in favor of defensive whiz Bobby Abreu?
Inquiring minds want to know.
Free agent right-hander Ervin Santana picked up a minor league deal with the White Sox, according to various reports Friday. Per Bruce Levine of 670thescore.com, Santana will make $4.33 million if he manages to crack the major-league roster this spring. Any official confirmation from the team is still dependent on the results of a physical.
The veteran righty hasn’t seen any action in MLB for some time. He was laid low by prolonged discomfort in his right middle finger last spring, and underwent a capsular release/debridement procedure that kept him off the mound for all but 24 2/3 innings of his 2018 campaign with the Twins. When healthy, however, he’s been as durable and productive as they come. Santana earned his second career All-Star distinction in 2017 and pitched to a 16-8 record in 33 starts with three shutouts, a 3.28 ERA, 2.6 BB/9, 7.1 SO/9, and 2.9 fWAR through 211 1/3 innings.
Barring further complications with his pitching hand, the 36-year-old should be a stabilizing force for the White Sox’ rotation in 2019 — assuming he can beat out southpaw Manny Bañuelos and right-handers Jordan Stephens and Dylan Covey for a back-end role, that is. According to FanGraphs, the club’s starters ranked worst in the league in 2018 with a collective 5.07 ERA, 5.18 FIP, and 3.1 fWAR.