7/22/2013 6:39 P.M. ET
Recent surge gives Lagares bat to match glove
By Chris Iseman / MLB.com
NEW YORK -- The solid defense Juan Lagares gives the Mets in center field was never in doubt. His bat, though, wasn't as much of a threat. That's changed in the last week.
Over his last three games, Lagares is 7-for-10 (.700) with two doubles, one home run and five RBIs. He hit a three-run home run in the fourth inning of the Mets' 5-0 win over the Phillies on Sunday. After all of that strong production -- along with his stellar play in the field -- Lagares was named the National League Player of the Week on Monday.
Overall, Lagares is hitting .265 with 16 RBIs and 12 doubles in 55 games for New York.
"We know he's got all the skills. It's about pretty much making sure he gets at-bats and getting out there and playing," Mets manager Terry Collins said. "We know he's strong. He's got all the skills. We're going to have some ups and downs and be a little patient with him."
But recently, there haven't been many downs with Lagares. He continues to make nice plays in center, including in a critical spot on Sunday.
With Delmon Young on second base and two outs in the seventh inning, Philadelphia center fielder John Mayberry hit a long line drive into left-center field. If it fell in, Young would have scored and Matt Harvey's day likely would have ended without finishing the seventh inning.
But Lagares covered plenty of ground in getting to the perfect spot to make the catch and end the inning.
Mets third baseman David Wright said Lagares isn't overly quick, but he takes a great first couple of steps to get to the right position to make a catch. Wright said it's as if Lagares knows exactly where the ball is going to end up as soon as it comes off the bat.
"It seems like he's always in the right position," Wright said. "He's gotten to a lot of balls where I thought there was no shot he was going to be able to do that."
As he continues to see more playing time and more at-bats, Lagares is becoming more of a well-rounded player. Collins said Lagares is learning how to make adjustments at the plate, and he works diligently during batting practice on hitting the ball the other way.
For now, though, Kirk Nieuwenhuis is getting the start in center field over Lagares against right-handed pitchers. At some point, Collins said, Lagares will start against righties more often, but the Mets have a good situation with two center fielders who can give the team quality at-bats.
"It's a nice situation to be in when you've got young players who you're trying to get in the lineup," Collins said. "When you've got a situation as we have in center field where you want to get both those guys some playing time, right now the best way to do it is see who might match up best against the pitcher."
d'Arnaud headed to St. Lucie to resume play
NEW YORK -- Mets catching prospect Travis d'Arnaud will begin playing in Minor League games this week, general manager Sandy Alderson said Monday.
d'Arnaud, who suffered a fractured first metatarsal when he was hit on his left foot on April 17, will head to Port St. Lucie, Fla., Monday night, and Alderson said he'll likely play in a Gulf Coast League game on Wednesday.
He'll spend a "minimal" amount of time there, and will then move on to another level in the Minor Leagues. d'Arnaud, 24, was hitting .250 with one home run and eight RBIs in 36 at-bats for Triple-A Las Vegas when he sustained the injury. He also had a .429 on-base percentage.
Once d'Arnaud -- the top prospect in the organization as ranked by MLB.com -- gets back in games, the Mets want to see him play every day and see how he progresses. If he plays well, there's a chance d'Arnaud could see some time in the Majors later in the season.
"We need to see him play for a while," Alderson said. "We only have 2 1/2 months left in the season, so hopefully he stays healthy the rest of the season and we get to see him a little bit here in September."
Alderson said only time will tell if this season was a setback for d'Arnaud in his development.
Once d'Arnaud is finished playing for St. Lucie, Alderson said he may go to Las Vegas or he may go to Double-A Binghamton.
But having the chance to play in the big leagues before the end of the year is something Alderson said would help him.
"It would be a benefit," Alderson said. "If he's healthy, he'll get that benefit."
Second starter for Mets' twin bill up in the air
NEW YORK -- The Mets will need a pitcher for the first game of their doubleheader in Washington on Friday, but who that pitcher will be hasn't been determined just yet.
Matt Harvey will start one of the two games, but the Mets are still deciding who will be on the mound for the other. Manager Terry Collins said one possibility is to activate Jenrry Mejia, who's been on the disabled list since March 31 with inflammation in his right elbow and is on a rehab assignment with Double-A Binghamton.
In two appearances at Double-A, Mejia is 2-0 with a 0.82 ERA. He's given up six hits over 11 innings, while walking four batters and striking out nine.
Mets general manager Sandy Alderson said Rafael Montero, who's 1-2 with a 4.50 ERA in eight games with Triple-A Las Vegas, "probably won't" be called up to get the start.
Alderson said the team will make a final decision later Monday.
Collins said that Zack Wheeler will throw a bullpen session on Tuesday, and the Mets could decide to give him an extra day of rest and push his next start to Friday.
"It's been an ongoing discussion for the last two days," Collins said. "There was another one today. There will be another one tomorrow."
Turner returns from DL, gives Mets versatility
NEW YORK -- The Mets activated Justin Turner from the disabled list on Monday, and manager Terry Collins said he expects Turner to have the same role he held before the injury.
Turner, who went on the DL on June 18 with a left intercostal strain, can play second base, third or shortstop. He was hitting .266 with six RBIs and six doubles before suffering the injury. Turner was also 4-for-23 in pinch-hit appearances.
Collins said having Turner on the bench helps since he can play so many infield positions. While Turner can play first base, Collins said Josh Satin will probably remain the "other option" at first.
"But Justin, he's such a solid defender when he's out there," Collins said, "that he gives us that option to fill those other infield spots."
• Lucas Duda's making progress in his return to the field but hasn't played in any games yet, Mets general manager Sandy Alderson said Monday. Duda's been on the disabled list since June 23 with a left intercostal strain.
"That may start later this week," Alderson said of Duda seeing game action. "I think the seriousness of his injury is such that he's going to be slower than [Justin] Turner, who had a similar injury but I don't think quite as severe."
• Alderson said Jon Niese, who went on the DL on June 21 with a partially torn rotator cuff, could throw in the bullpen in the next couple of days.
Chris Iseman is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.