New York Mets outfielder Michael Conforto entered the 2018 Major League Baseball season fresh off a breakout year, but if the latest MLB rumors are accurate, his current struggles might lead to the 25-year-old former first-round draft pick getting sent down to Triple-A to regroup and regain his old form.
Citing a source familiar with the situation, Andy Martino of SNY.tv wrote that a demotion for the 25-year-old Conforto is "on the table," as Mets officials are reportedly discussing the potential move, but has yet to make a formal decision. The source added that manager Mickey Callaway, who was among the people involved in the supposed discussions, has been "disappointed" in the young outfielder, who is currently batting.219 with seven home runs in his first 52 games, with only three hits in his last 28 at-bats.
SNY.tv was not the first publication to report on Michael Conforto's potential demotion to Triple-A, as the New York Post recently published a similar report, suggesting that Conforto might have been rushed back too soon after missing some time due to shoulder surgery, and could use some time in the minors to get his groove back. However, Conforto also told the New York Post that he doesn't believe demotion would help him match his 2017 form, as the Mets tried something similar in the 2016 MLB season.
"Triple-A is not an answer. I've been through that. I have done all I can do down there. I play at this level, that's it."As noted by SNY.tv, the New York Mets had considered replacing Michael Conforto with veteran Yoenis Cespedes in Tuesday's game but chose not to when he complained of quad tightness after a minor league rehab game a few days prior. However, the New York Post speculated that there could be a chance Conforto won't need to be demoted after all, should he have a string of games reminiscent of his breakout 2017 season.
The 10th overall pick in the 2014 MLB Draft out of Oregon State University, Michael Conforto joined the New York Mets' major league roster one year later, and showed promise early on, hitting nine home runs in 56 games in the 2015 MLB season, according to his Baseball Reference player page. He had his best season in 2017, when he hit 27 home runs, had 68 RBIs, batted.279, and played in his first All-Star Game, but has yet to play more than 109 games in a single MLB season. Conforto underwent surgery in September 2017, shortly after tearing the posterior capsule in his left shoulder in a game against the Arizona Diamondbacks, according to MLB.com.