McDonald: The Mets Need The Conforto Of April

Somewhere over the past month, Michael Conforto went from being the second coming of David Wright to the next coming of Billy Beane.

“Send him down!” was the demand on Twitter and talk radio and Conforto, who was thought to be an All-Star in April became an also ran in May.

But maybe, just maybe he just needed a few days off.

A bad wrist was to blame for Conforto’s four day sabbatical, but something happened, be it a few days to focus or just a miracle cortisone shot.

And now after two hits including his 10th homer of the season and a run-saving diving catch in the outfield, Oakland will have to wait for their general manager of the future.

“Four days helped a lot,” said manager Terry Collins. “It gave him a chance to rest his wrist and let the medication kick in. He said it didn’t bother him at all and I saw much better bat speed today and I hope it’s a sign of things to come.”

As much as Yoesnis Cespedes, the Mets are going to need Conforto to be a anchor in lineup. Without David Wright, Lucas Duda and Travis d’Arnaud, the Mets need his offense and the leftfielder must produce for this team to compete with the Nationals.

In April, it looked like the torch has been passed from Wright to Conforto as the face of this lineup. With a .365 average with four homers and 18 RBI, he made a home in the No. 3 slot in the lineup and looked like a shoo-in for the All-Star Game next month.

Then May happened – or was it not happened – for the 23 year-old. With a .169 average, four homers and six RBI, it was enough for him to lose his No. 3 slot and get put on the bench more often.  And so far in June…oh boy. He hit .109 with a homer and five RBI going into tonight’s game.

With that kind of streak, maybe a few days off did more than just heal a wrist.

“I got a little time to reflect a little bit and heal up some stuff in my wrist,” Conforto said. “It was definitely good to have a little time off, but I was definitely excited and fired up to be there.”

Even though it seems like Conforto has been here forever, he doesn’t have a full year in the majors under his belt. Pitchers are making adjustments on the young slugger and how he reacts to them will dictate his path on the club.

His monster start last year and in April makes it easy to forget. Wright never had that issue, but Jose Reyes did and he rebounded nicely.

Tonight, Conforto batted fifth, and he looked very comfortable out at the plate, but it’s just one game. It’s how he looks this weekend against the Braves and next week with the Royals in town will let us know if he’s out of the slump.

But the Mets are going to need him to help lead the way and be a benchmark in that lineup.

Otherwise, Sandy Alderson may be calling a failed Met outfielder in Oakland for a trade.

About the Author

Joe McDonald

Joe McDonald is the founder and former publisher of NY Sports Day. After selling to i15Media in 2020, he serves as the Editor-in-Chief and responsible for the editorial side of the publication. In the past, Joe was the managing editor of NY Sportscene magazine and assistant editor of Mets Inside Pitch. He has covered the Mets since 2004.

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