When Juan Lagares suffered a hyperextended big toe making a catch during Wednesday’s game, it didn’t seem like a major injury. However, an MRI revealed a complete tear of the plantar plate of the toe. He’s slated for surgery next week, and the Mets announced that it’s “likely” he will miss the remainder of the season.
Playing primarily against lefties, Lagares was hitting .333/.375/.390 in 59 at-bats this season. In spite of the injuries that have set him back time after time, he was still playing excellent defense in center field, making him a nice asset on a team whose alternatives in center are better suited for the corners.
Unfortunately, Lagares’s body has rarely been up to the task of allowing him to play regularly. In 2013 and 2014, he was probably the best defensive center fielder in the majors, making him a strong regular despite middling offensive production. His overall play slipped the next year, and this will be the third season in a row in which he’s failed to play in 100 games.
Last night Cubs catcher Willson Contreras was placed on the injured list with a strained muscle in his right foot. That injury inspired the Cubs to go out and get another catcher. They acquired Martín Maldonado in a trade with Kansas City in exchange for lefty Mike Montgomery, in a deal that was announced after the Cubs loss to the Reds.
Maldonado, 32, was a Gold Glove winner in 2017 with the Angels. At the moment he’s hitting .227 with six homers and 17 RBIs in 74 games. Obviously, though, defense is his calling card, as he’s a .220 career hitter with 57 homers and 210 RBIs in 686 games.
Montgomery, 30, is 1-2 with a 5.67 ERA in 20 relief appearances for the Cubs this year. He’s heading back to where his pro career began. He was drafted by Kanas City in 2008, though he was traded away in the James Shields/Wade David/Wil Myers deal in 2012. He made his big league debut for Seattle in 2015. Dayton Moore said last night that the Royals plan to use Montgomery in the rotation as a replacement for Homer Bailey, who was dealt to Oakland on Sunday.