Mets’ designated hitter in Game 1 will be Kelly Johnson

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Playing under AL rules with the designated hitter spot for the first two games of the World Series presented Mets manager Terry Collins with a pair of options.

One is that he could have gone with defense, starting Juan Lagares in center field alongside corner outfielders Yoenis Cespedes and Curtis Granderson while using rookie left fielder Michael Conforto as the DH.

The other is that he could have gone for offense, leaving Lagares on the bench, playing Cespedes in center field flanked by Conforto and Granderson, and using Kelly Johnson or Michael Cuddyer as the DH.

Collins has opted for Johnson, at least in Game 1 against right-handed Edinson Volquez. Johnson has bounced around a ton and isn’t exactly a big bat, but he’s a left-handed hitter with 20-homer power who batted .265 with a .750 OPS in 111 games for the Mets and Braves this season.

Royals designated hitter Kendrys Morales, who’ll likely be on the bench for the three games played in New York, hit .290 with 22 homers and an .847 OPS this year.

Brewers have 3 positive COVID tests at alternate site

Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports
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MILWAUKEE — The Brewers had two players and a staff member test positive for the coronavirus at their alternate training site in Appleton, Wisconsin.

Milwaukee president of baseball operations David Stearns confirmed the positive results Saturday and said they shouldn’t impact the major league team. Teams are using alternate training sites this season to keep reserve players sharp because the minor league season was canceled due to the pandemic.

Stearns said the positive tests came Monday and did not name the two players or the staff member. Players must give their permission for their names to be revealed after positive tests.

The entire camp was placed in quarantine.

“We have gone through contact tracing,” Stearns said. “We do not believe it will have any impact at all on our major league team. We’ve been fortunate to get through this season relatively unscathed in this area. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to get all the way there at our alternate site.”

Milwaukee entered Saturday one game behind the Reds and Cardinals for second place in the NL Central, with the top two teams qualifying for the postseason.

The Brewers still will be able to take taxi squad players with them on the team’s trip to Cincinnati and St. Louis in the final week of the season. He said those players have had repeated negative tests and the team is “confident” there would be no possible spread of the virus.

“Because of the nature of who these individuals were, it’s really not going to affect the quarantine group at all,” Stearns said. “We’re very fortunate that the group of players who could potentially be on a postseason roster for us aren’t interacting all that much with the individuals that tested positive.”