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Mets Can't Forget About Angel Pagan In Outfield

The Mets will be getting Carlos Beltran back shortly. Angel Pagan needs to stay in the linupe somehow.

The New York Mets will be adding a bat sometime within the next three weeks to a month. The team announced centerfielder Carlos Beltran will begin a rehab assignment tomorrow (Thursday) with Class-A St. Lucie.

Assuming there are no setbacks, Beltran would return to the Mets no later than July 15th, the first game after the All-Star break.

Beltran has been playing in extended spring games since last month. General Manager Omar Minaya traveled to Port St. Lucie earlier this week to watch Beltran play and after speaking with the centerfielder and his rehab staff, it was determined his star player was ready for minor league games.

The Mets have said when Beltran returns to the team, he will play centerfield.

Angel Pagan has taken over the position while Beltran has been out. Pagan is putting together a very fine season. The Mets need Pagan in the lineup. But when Beltran comes back, can they do that?

Pagan’s versatility may actually go against him in this situation. Due to Pagan’s ability to play all three outfield positions, the Mets will likely use him in a fourth outfielder role.

It has to be tough however to take a .304 hitter out of your every day lineup. Pagan also has 14 doubles, five triples, and four home runs this season while driving in 35.

Pagan has batted in many spot up and down the Mets lineup but lately has been a fixture in the #2 spot.

You know the Mets will not take Jason Bay out of the lineup despite getting just four home runs (the same amount as Pagan) so far this season. So, the only other option would be right field.

Jeff Francoeur is the every day right fielder this season. His performance been up and down. A streaky hitter, Francoeur is hitting .267 with seven home runs and 38 RBI’s.

If you ask me, I’d rather have Pagan in my lineup every day. Not Francoeur. Pagan gets on base, can hit, and has speed. Francoeur has an on base percentage of .321 while Pagan’s sits at .363.

The “light hittng” Pagan even has a higher slugging percentage, .447 compared to Francoeur’s .415.

My opinion aside, Pagan will likely see time at all three outfield spots. I would not be surprised however if right field became a platoon situation. Francoeur bats just .234 against right handed pitchers while Pagan hits .309.  Frankcoeur is hitting .361 against lefties, with Pagan at .284 against southpaws.

The Mets will have an interesting dilemna on their hands in a few weeks. One thing is for sure…it will be awfully hard to keep your team leader in batting average out of the every day lineup. Jeff Francoeur, you are on notice!

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