The New York Mets allowed Jay Bruce to reintroduce himself to the media today, giving them a much needed addition to their outfield. The addition of Bruce gives the Mets some wiggle room to let Michael Conforto take his time to come back from shoulder surgery. Conforto underwent surgery last September to repair a dislocated shoulder, and while the procedure went well the Mets have been cautious with a return for the All Star outfielder. General Manager Sandy Alderson provided an update on Conforto today and noted he doesn’t expect the outfielder to be back until at least May 1st, MetsBlog.com reports.
Alderson noted that all the reports on Conforto are positive, but that the timetable has has operated under has Conforto returning in the first week of May. There won’t be any further updates on Conforto’s status until he reports to spring training in a few weeks. The Mets’ medical staff will be able to re-evaluate Conforto at that point and adjust that timetable if necessary.
The good thing here is that the Mets clearly don’t want Conforto rushing back to try and get on the field by Opening Day. The baseball season is long and the Mets need Conforto healthy and productive for as much of it as possible in order to have a chance to get back to the postseason. Conforto is dealing with a serious injury and should wait to come back until he is 100%, otherwise he is simply risking his performance and possibly another stint on the disabled list.
While Conforto is on the shelf the Mets are expected to use Bruce in right field while platooning Juan Lagares and Brandon Nimmo in center. The Mets are planning on leaving Bruce in right, so Conforto is expected to become the primary center fielder once he is healthy.