Posted on May 17, 2019, by Bryan Zarpentine
As the New York Mets struggle to find consistency, they suffered a setback on Thursday. However, they will try to cope with it by welcoming back an old friend. Outfielder Michael Conforto has landed on the seven-day concussion Injured List following a collision with Robinson Cano on Thursday. But the Mets are dealing with his absence by calling up Carlos Gomez, who came up with the Mets and signed a minor league deal with the organization earlier this year.
Conforto was going after a shallow fly ball during Thursday’s game against the Nationals when he took the brunt of a collision with Cano’s shoulders. Neither ended up making the catch and Conforto left the game right away.
“He hit the ground pretty hard and was kind of dazed when I got out there, kind of stumbling around a little bit,” Mets manager Mickey Callaway said of Conforto. “Right then and there, we knew we were going to have to get him out of there.”
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Going on the concussion IL will cost Conforto at least a week of action. Of course, it could end up being longer than that. Conforto will be re-evaluated on Monday, which will hopefully give the Mets a better idea of how long they’ll be out with one of their top offensive players. On the season, Conforto is hitting .271 with an OPS .926, making him an integral part of the team’s lineup.
As mentioned, the Mets have summoned Gomez to help fill the void in their outfield. The Mets originally signed Gomez when he was 16. He made his big league debut with New York in 2007. But he was traded the following winter as the key piece in a trade that gave the Mets two-time Cy Young winner Johan Santana. After a down season in 2018, Gomez signed a minor league deal with the Mets and now is getting a second chance with the team that gave him his first chance.
Despite a slow start, Gomez was hitting .270 with an OPS of .829 at triple-A. At age 33, Gomez is no longer the all-star he once was. But the Mets are hoping he has something left in the tank and can help make up for Conforto’s absence over the next week.
“Very good reports,” Callaway said of Gomez. “He has been swinging the bat really well. The defense has been outstanding, the leadership, the baserunning. Just from top to bottom, the reports have been excellent. That’s why he’s up here getting a chance to help us win some games.”
Gomez should get plenty of at-bats while Conforto is out. But he’ll have a chance to stick with the Mets beyond that. In addition to putting Conforto on the IL Friday, the Mets also designated Keon Broxton for assignment. If Gomez proves he can still play in the majors, he could potentially take over Broxton’s role as a reserve outfielder even after Conforto returns.
At the moment, Gomez is one of four outfields the Mets have on the active roster. Whether it’s him or someone else, they need somebody to step up in Conforto’s absence. They are three games under .500 and in danger of falling out of striking distance in the NL East. Losing Conforto, even if it’s just for a week, is not what the doctor ordered, even if they have a veteran like Gomez lined up to replace him.