Just as rumors surrounding the future of Juan Lagares are heating up, the New York Mets’ lone All Star from a year ago is one step closer to a return. Michael Conforto is expected to play in exhibition games as soon as next week, Mike Puma of the New York Post reports. This is a major milestone for Conforto, who appears to be ahead of schedule in his rehab from shoulder surgery. The Mets have targeted May 1st for Conforto’s return, but the fact that he may make it into spring training games next week adds to the growing evidence he may beat that timetable.
The key for the Mets is to make sure that Conforto doesn’t rush back from surgery. Conforto has gone through each step of the process without a setback, so the next logical step is to get him into games. The fact of the matter is that Conforto is weeks behind everyone else on the team, so he will need the equivalent of a full spring training to get ready for the season. The good news is that process should start within the next week or so.