BOSTON — The Mets’ position player depth is severely depleted in Boston this weekend, which is bad news considering how difficult it is to navigate the Fenway Park outfield.
The dimensions of the 111-year-old field make sense only because it’s a 111-year-old field. The outfield doesn’t mimic the curve of the infield at America’s Most Beloved Ballpark. Instead, a crooked outfield mimics the jagged streets of Boston, measuring 320 feet in the left field corner, 379 in left-center on the other end of the Green Monster, 420 in the center field corner and 380 in right field before it curves off into the stands.
“It’s the toughest right field going,” said manager Buck Showalter.
There is a lot of ground to cover in right field and the Mets are without their starting right fielder, Starling Marte, who was placed on the 10-day injured list with migraines Thursday. They’re also without left fielder Tommy Pham, and the Monster isn’t exactly easy to navigate either. The Mets started the series against the Red Sox with Mark Canha in left, Brandon Nimmo in center field and Jeff McNeil in left.
But then the Mets lost Luis Guillorme on Saturday in the continuation of Friday’s game. The infielder strained his right calf trying to grab a ground ball that took a bad hop and came up limping. He was placed on the 10-day injured list following the game and the Mets expect him to be out for a while.
This forced the Mets to reconfigure their outfield for the rest of the weekend. DJ Stewart, who has spent most of the season in Triple-A, started in left in the nightcap, Canha was shifted to right and McNeil went back to second base.
Nimmo is the last man standing in center field. Stewart has a tough task ahead of him as the Mets try and keep their season alive with a thin group and piecemeal outfield this weekend in Boston.
“The key is not to overthink it,” Canha told the Daily News. “Play deep and just give yourself as much time to read the flight of the ball to decide whether or not to go for it or play it off the wall. You get in trouble when you have a long way to run to get to the base of the wall because then you’re putting in a lot of effort to just get to the ball, but you don’t really have a lot of time to really read the flight and see if you’re going to have a chance to catch it or not.”
The reads are tougher in right field during the day when the sun is shining directly on that corner. But knowing how the ball plays against the Monster is difficult for someone who hasn’t played at baseball’s oldest Major League park.
“A lot of balls bang off that wall,” Canha said. “The last thing you want to happen is just to give a guy an extra base because you misread it.”
Pham is still being evaluated for his groin tightness but the Mets haven’t ruled out using him in Sunday’s series finale. The Mets have Carlos Carrasco going Sunday and when he’s at his best, he’s keeping the ball on the ground and getting weak contact. However, this season he’s giving up home runs at a higher pace than he has in four years (19.4% of fly balls given up by the right-hander have cleared the fences).
Infielder Danny Mendick was recalled Saturday afternoon to replace Guillorme on the roster. … Left-hander Josh Walker was appointed the Mets’ 27th man.