Team doctor sees Lagares about elbow injury

Mets expect outfielder to recover from nagging issue after offseason rest

Team doctor sees Lagares about elbow injury

NEW YORK -- Mets outfielder Juan Lagares saw a team doctor Wednesday regarding a right elbow injury that has bothered him as far back as 2013. Still, much like a year ago, the club does not anticipate Lagares needing any treatment beyond rest.

"Due to the fact that he never complained all summer about anything," manager Terry Collins said, "I just think all it's going to be is a, 'Hey look, you're back, go get 'em.' So that's it."

Fresh off a National League Gold Glove Award-winning season in 2014, Lagares regressed in most traditional and advanced defensive statistical categories in '15, falling from 58 Defensive Runs Saved the past two seasons to merely two this year, according to Baseball Reference. He also recorded just three outfield assists after compiling 21 the previous two seasons, while popular advanced metrics assigned negative value to his throwing arm for the first time ever.

There was a thought last winter that Lagares would undergo surgery on his elbow, but he never did. Upon reporting to Spring Training, he said he hoped to protect his arm before unleashing it at full strength once the season started.

During the spring, Lagares signed a four-year, $23 million contract extension that will kick in next season. But he lost playing time throughout this season, serving mostly as a defensive replacement in October. The Mets are still committed to using Lagares regularly, but they may sign a left-handed center fielder to platoon with him next season.

"Defense has been an issue for us over the course of the season," general manager Sandy Alderson said, noting that Michael Conforto and Curtis Granderson will receive the lion's share of playing time in left and right field, respectively. "It's definitely something that we have to keep in mind."

Anthony DiComo is a reporter for Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo and Facebook, and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.