NEW YORK (AP) The New York Mets have chosen to keep top outfield prospect Michael Conforto in the major leagues despite activating Michael Cuddyer from the 15-day disabled list.
The Mets instead sent third baseman-outfielder Eric Campbell to Triple-A Las Vegas on Monday to make room for Cuddyer.
Cuddyer was New York's primary left fielder until he went on the DL July 24, retroactive to July 22, with left knee inflammation. The left-handed swinging Conforto was called up from Double-A Binghamton at that time.
Conforto was set to play left field and bat seventh against the Colorado Rockies on Monday night with Cuddyer on the bench. Manager Terry Collins said Cuddyer will play the next two games with Colorado throwing left-handers, but the 36-year-old former Rockies star will be used in places other than left field.
''We're looking to play the best nine players we can in any given game, and he qualifies,'' general manager Sandy Alderson said of Conforto, ''especially against right-handed pitching.''
While he is hitting only .222 (8 for 36) with a homer and eight RBIs, the 2014 first-round pick has the Mets' confidence he deserves to remain at the top level.
''He's lived up to what everybody told us about him,'' Collins said.
Since Cuddyer was hurt, the Mets have revamped their lineup, acquiring Yoenis Cespedes, Juan Uribe and Kelly Johnson, and the team has gone from three games out of first place in the NL East to leading the division by 1 1/2 games.
Conforto was optioned to Las Vegas after Cespedes was obtained from Detroit at the non-waiver trade deadline, but he was recalled a day later, when Kirk Nieuwenhuis was injured.
Cuddyer, in the first year of a two-year, $21 million contract, has struggled for New York. He's hitting .250 with eight homers and 30 RBIs.
''I'm excited not to be a cheerleader on the bench,'' Cuddyer said of being healthy again.
NOTE: 3B David Wright (back) is scheduled to be the DH for Class A St. Lucie Monday night, his first rehab game since going on the DL April 15 with a hamstring injury.