When asked about Michael Conforto’s role yesterday, Sandy Alderson hinted at the possibility of having Michael Conforto start the 2017 season in Triple-A.
When asked about the Mets outfield situation, Alderson said “I don’t want to forecast what’s going to happen in spring training, but I don’t see [Conforto] picking up at-bats at first-base, picking up ABs here and there.” Alderson also joked “Michael Conforto is a long-term asset for us unless we can trade an outfielder for Carmelo Anthony,” on SNY.
If Conforto does end up starting in the minors, Brandon Nimmo may take over the role of the extra left-handed-hitting outfielder. Putting Conforto in Vegas would allow for him to get regular playing time, something he wouldn’t be able to get with the Mets.
Of course, things can change over the course of spring training. If Conforto has a very strong spring training while either Curtis Granderson or Jay Bruce struggle, this may make the Mets decide to reward him for his strong play. Additionally, while Alderson’s statements indicate that Conforto probably won’t be seeing time at first base this spring, that doesn’t necessarily mean Bruce won’t see time there.
Conforto may very well find himself competing for a starting outfield spot this spring. Even if he doesn’t make the opening day roster, he will probably be the go-to-guy if and when one of the other outfielders gets hurt. No matter where he starts the 2017 season, he will likely finish it with the Mets.