John Raoux/Associated Press
New York Mets outfielder Michael Conforto left Wednesday’s spring training game against the Toronto Blue Jays because of back stiffness.
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Conforto’s Back Feeling Better
Thursday, March 24
Conforto told MLB.com’s Anthony DiComo on Thursday that his back is feeling better after a seeing a doctor and receiving treatment. He even hitched a ride with Mets director of public relations Jay Horwitz back to Port St. Lucie, the home of New York’s spring training facility in Florida, to avoid sitting on the team bus for three hours.
Conforto reassured DiComo that his Opening Day status shouldn’t be in doubt either. However, Mets manager Terry Collins isn’t sold.
“I’m concerned about that,” Collins told DiComo. “Back spasms can be tough to get rid of.”
It looks like Collins wants to be cautious with the left fielder who impressed after being called up to the big leagues in July.
The 10th overall draft pick in 2014 didn’t spend much time in the minors, and once he got the call, the 23-year-old left-hander showed that his bat was ready for the major league game. He batted .270 in 56 games with almost half of his hits coming in the extra-base variety with nine home runs and 14 doubles.
Conforto announced his presence on the largest of stages, with a two-home run game in Game 4 of the World Series:
With such a mature bat at a young age, Conforto is expected to be the team’s starting left fielder come Opening Day in a strong-looking Mets outfield that features Yoenis Cespedes in center field and Curtis Granderson in right.
That outfield, along with slugging first baseman Lucas Duda and veteran third baseman David Wright, will be responsible for carrying the offense on a team that is anchored by the stellar young pitching staff of Matt Harvey, Jacob deGrom, Noah Syndergaard, Steven Matz and the currently recovering Zack Wheeler.
With that kind of skill distribution on the roster sheet, the Mets should be in contention to defend their National League pennant.
If Conforto’s back is giving him trouble, though, Alejandro De Aza, Eric Campbell and Juan Lagares could step in while he recovers.
Stats courtesy of Baseball-Reference.com.