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Mets Place Michael Conforto, Jeff McNeil On Injured List


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3:03pm: The Mets have announced the moves, Healey tweets . They also transferred Lugo to the 60-day IL, meaning he won’t return before May 31.

12:01PM: Khalil Lee will be called up from Triple-A along with Fargas, according to Newsday’s Tim Healey (via Twitter).

11:31AM: The Mets will place both Michael Conforto and Jeff McNeil on the 10-day injured list due to hamstring injuries, Deesha Thosar of the New York Daily News reports (Twitter link). Outfield prospect Johneshwy Fargas will be called up from Triple-A to fill one of the spots on the active roster.

The news isn’t a surprise, as both Conforto and McNeil left yesterday’s game due to injury — Conforto with tightness in his right hamstring, and McNeil with a similar issue in his left hamstring. McNeil already missed a couple of games earlier this week due to cramping problems, and he stated after yesterday’s game that his latest hamstring problem was related those previous cramps.

Usually two of the Mets’ more consistent offensive performers, both Conforto (.230/.356/.336 in 135 PA) and McNeil (.242/.336/.374 in 113 PA) have been pretty average thus far in 2021. Conforto’s performance has been under a particular microscope, as he is scheduled to hit free agency this winter and extension talks with the Mets didn’t seem to gain much traction.

While Conforto and McNeil hadn’t been hitting like their usual selves, they at least represented two active regulars on a Mets team that now has 12 players on the injured list. J.D. Davis and Seth Lugo could both soon be starting rehab assignments and ace right-hander Jacob deGrom could be back as early as Friday, but in the near term, the Mets are still very short-handed.

The outfield is a particular issue, with Dominic Smith and Kevin Pillar holding down the fort in left and center field, while converted infielders Jake Hager and Jose Peraza aren’t reliable fill-in options for Conforto. This opens the door for Fargas, a full-time outfielder who is now set to make his MLB debut after eight minor league seasons.

An 11th-round pick for the Giants in the 2013 draft, Fargas spent much of his career in San Francisco’s farm system before signing with the Mets in the 2019-20 offseason. The 26-year-old is known to have a solid glove (capable of playing all three outfield positions) and some notable speed, with 243 stolen bases in 344 attempts during his minor league career. Fargas has hit .255/.331/.343 over 2289 plate appearances in the minors, and hadn’t reached Triple-A prior to this season.

Peraza and Hager can likely handle McNeil’s duties at second base until Davis returns, which will give the infield some breathing room as Jonathan Villar can then move from third base to factor into the second base picture. Given this infield depth on hand, the Mets could opt to call up another outfielder to fill the other roster hole. Outfielder Khalil Lee could be a candidate for another promotion, as he was recently called up and sent back down to Triple-A without making an appearance in any big league games.