Mets CF Juan Lagares is set for surgery next week and will likely miss the remainder of the season due to a complete tear of the big toe plantar plate, the team announced Friday.
"Yeah, it's unfortunate. We got the news yesterday that he's probably going to be out the rest of the season and that was really tough. I felt really bad for him," manage Mickey Callaway said before Friday night's contest against the Diamondbacks. "I know he was on a roll, playing great and now this happens.
"It's going to hurt us a little bit. We count on Juan off the bench at times. He was probably in a situationt where he was going to get to start playing a lot more than he had with some guys out."
Lagares suffered a hyperextended big toe when he slammed his foot into the outfield fence after a catch in the ninth inning of Wednesday afternoon's game. X-rays after the game were negative, but an MRI at the Hospital for Special Surgery revealed the tear.
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This is miserable news for the Mets and miserable news for Lagares, who was hitting .339/.375/.390 in 30 games (59 at-bats) this season, and was hitting .389 in May.
With Lagares likely out for the season and Yoenis Cespedes on the 10-day DL due to a hip injury, the Mets now have only three legitimate outfielders -- Michael Conforto, Jay Bruce, and Brandon Nimmo -- on their 25-man roster. And Bruce has been dealing with plantar fasciitis.
"We need some depth, obviously," manager Mickey Callaway said prior to Friday's game. When asked if he was comfortable with the outfield depth, he said he was comfortable "with the three that are gonna be out there playing" every day.
As of now, the Mets' backup outfielders are Wilmer Flores and Phillip Evans, which is something that can't be a thing much beyond Friday night's game.
The problem for the Mets is that they don't have any other outfielders on the 40-man roster. If they turn to Triple-A Las Vegas for help, the likely option is Matt den Dekker. Bryce Brentz is also with Las Vegas, but is out due to a broken toe.