On the Mets’ exploratory list over this final month is determining if the combination of Juan Lagares and Brandon Nimmo is worth considering for a possible center-field job share for 2018.
Lagares’ defense has never been a question, but can the Mets receive enough offense from the tandem? On Monday, plenty of it was present, with Nimmo and Lagares combining for five hits in the Mets’ 11-7 victory over the Phillies at Citi Field that snapped a four-game skid.
Nimmo, who played left field, was 3-for-4 with two RBIs — which included two hits in the same inning — and Lagares was 2-for-4, with an RBI on a day the Mets gave Rafael Montero a 10-run cushion into the fifth.
“You can’t put too much pressure on [this opportunity] and say this is make-or-break for my career,” Nimmo said. “I am trying to be very grateful about this time and enjoy the heck out of it, because not everybody gets to be an everyday major league player.”
Nimmo has reached base safely in nine straight games and is 10-for-32 (.313) over that stretch with a homer. Lagares had a solid road trip for the Mets, going 12-for-41 (.293) before his two-hit performance Monday.
Montero never survived the sixth and was removed after allowing four earned runs on five hits and five walks over 5 ¹/₃ innings.
In his previous start, against the Reds last week, Montero had fired a three-hitter over 8 ¹/₃ shutout innings.
The Mets seized control of Monday’s game in the fourth inning, scoring six runs to take a 10-0 lead. Nimmo singled leading off the inning against Mark Leiter Jr., and later in the frame delivered an RBI single.
Jose Reyes and Asdrubal Cabrera each homered for the Mets in the third inning. Gavin Cecchini contributed to the onslaught with a two-run single in the fourth.
Noah Syndergaard’s second rehab start is scheduled for Thursday with Single-A Brooklyn. The right-hander threw one inning Saturday in the Gulf Coast League.
Amed Rosario, who left Sunday’s game early, was held out of the starting lineup because of a contusion to his right index finger. The shortstop has been icing the finger and will be evaluated on a daily basis.
Wilmer Flores’ broken nose will be examined Tuesday. Flores fouled a pitch off his face Saturday.
Reyes extended his hitting streak to 10 games, a stretch in which he is 16-for-36 (.444) with 15 runs scored.