Lagares returns from DL as Mets option Lugo

Lagares returns from DL as Mets option Lugo

NEW YORK -- The Mets activated Juan Lagares from the disabled list before Saturday's game against the Cubs and optioned Seth Lugo to Triple-A Las Vegas.

Lagares, who was hitting .289 before being placed on the DL on June 16 with a sprained left thumb, will wear protective tape while playing and has a larger brace for everyday activities.

"The discomfort doesn't bother him at all," Mets manager Terry Collins said. "He's holding the bat well, his hand has not been an issue at all. ... Right now, I don't think surgery is an issue."

The center fielder, who wasn't in Saturday's starting lineup, is scheduled to start Sunday against left-hander Jon Lester in the Mets' final game of a four-game series against the Cubs.

Lugo's demotion came as little surprise. Since being called up Thursday, he pitched once, allowing two hits in two innings in Friday's 10-2 win over Chicago. He was 3-4 with a 6.55 ERA in 19 appearances in Triple-A before the brief promotion.

Lagares admitted that he probably tried to play too quickly after initially injuring his thumb on June 4 while robbing Ichiro Suzuki of a hit in Miami. He said he's not worried about diving for balls or running into walls after the injury, though.

"I want to go with everything I got," Lagares said.

His return means the Mets could have a crowded outfield soon. Curtis Granderson is also expected to return to the starting lineup soon from his right calf strain, and Brandon Nimmo has made a strong impression since being called up on June 25. The rookie hit his first career home run Friday, a 442-foot shot, according to Statcast™, which is the longest homer by a Mets player this season.

Joshua Needelman is a reporter for MLB.com based in New York. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.