Juan Lagares
AP Photo/Julie Jacobson

New York Mets center fielder Juan Lagares may still get time in the lineup after the eventual return of Jeff McNeil.

On Wednesday, Aug. 14, New York Mets right fielder Jeff McNeil hit the injured list with a hamstring injury. This paved the way for the struggling Juan Lagares to get some playing time in center field as Michael Conforto moved to right.

McNeil is awaiting his return to the lineup, having played a rehab game for Triple-A Syracuse on Thursday and with the Single-A Brooklyn Cyclones on Saturday.

However, in McNeil’s absence, Lagares is playing better than he has all season. In the last 10 games, Lagares has hit .368 with three RBIs. This has forced the Mets to make a decision when McNeil returns, as Lagares could ultimately still see a good amount of playing time.

“We’ll see when he gets back, but we’re going to have decisions to make,” Mets manager Mickey Callaway said this week, per Deesha Thosar of the New York Daily News. “However long it takes for McNeil to come back, that time frame will have an impact on our decision making. Lagares deserves to play right now. He’s saving runs and creating runs.”

Callaway has tough decisions, but he has excellent options. McNeil will be an everyday player once again, but how Callaway juggles the rest of the lineup is something for Mets fans to watch.

The Mets continue their three-game series at Citi Field against the Atlanta Braves on Saturday night. They lost their first contest against the NL East division rival on Friday night in 14 innings by a score of 2-1.

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Ryan Honey is a staff writer and host of the Wide Right Podcast.