Though team officials do not believe the injury to be overly serious, it does underscore Lagares’ fragility. Entering his fifth big league season, Lagares has missed significant time due to a torn thumb tendon, a hyperextended throwing elbow, a rib-cage strain and various other muscle pulls. Several of those injuries significantly impacted his ability to contribute to the Mets, even on the occasions he was well enough to take the field.

When healthy, Lagares remains one of baseball’s premier defensive center fielders, a National League Gold Glove Award winner in 2014. Though he has not been much of an offensive threat overall, Lagares is a career .276/.322/.412 hitter against left-handed pitching.

He is slated to start in center field regularly against left-handers next season, pushing Curtis Granderson to right field or the bench on those occasions. Lagares also will serve as a late-game defensive replacement for fellow outfielders Granderson, Michael Conforto and Yoenis Cespedes.

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.

Source: Mets News / Lagares sprains right shoulder in winter ball