The New York Mets receive some relatively good news, as Michael Conforto’s oblique injury doesn’t seem to be too serious.
New York Mets outfielder Michael Conforto has a Grade 1 oblique strain, according to Anthony DiComo of mlb.com. This is better news than many anticipated, as oblique strains can be overly serious.
However, DiComo also reported that Conforto hasn’t set a timeline for his return and still doesn’t know if he’ll be ready for Opening Day.
Michael Conforto's oblique strain is categorized as Grade 1, the most mild type. Still, he is not putting a timeline on his recovery or potential readiness for Opening Day.
— Anthony DiComo (@AnthonyDiComo) March 11, 2020
Conforto suffered this injury after making a catch in right field in Saturday’s spring training game against the Washington Nationals.
Conforto plays a crucial role on this Mets team. His bat is extremely important in the lineup and he’s arguably the second-best defensive outfielder on the team after Yoenis Cespedes.
Losing Conforto for an extended period of time would hurt the team. Nonetheless, if he can return relatively quickly, it shouldn’t matter if he isn’t ready by Opening Day and ends up missing around a month. That’s usually how long it takes for hitters to recover from this specific injury.
The Mets have a bit of a logjam in terms of competent players who can work in the outfield, and that may come in handy in this situation. Brandon Nimmo will obviously be available and it seems like Cespedes could be ready by Opening Day or a few games after that. The team additionally employs J.D. Davis, Jake Marisnick, and Dominic Smith who can all play in the outfield. Even Jeff McNeil can move out of the infield if need be.
In 2019, Conforto slashed .257/.363/.494 with an OPS of .856 and OPS+ of 128. He also stole seven bases, hit 33 home runs and drove in 92 runs, all of which were career-highs.
The Mets are looking to make a very deep run this year. Conforto’s bat and glove will be instrumental in helping them do so.