Mets infielder Wilmer Flores continued his solid hitting against right-handed pitching by going 3-for-4 in Monday's 4-2 win over the Milwaukee Brewers at Citi Field.
Flores singled in each of his three at-bats against Brewers RHP Matt Garza, scoring on Robert Gsellman's fifth-inning sac fly that gave New York a 2-1 lead.
Since starting the season 1-for-22 against right-handed pitchers, Flores is hitting .380 with one home run and 11 RBIs against right-handers in May. It's a stark contrast from 2016, when he had a .232/.289/.353 batting line against right-handers and a .340/.383/.710 line against left-handed pitchers.
But manager Terry Collins has noticed that Flores is seeing the ball better and hitting the ball to all parts of the field more. He singled to right-center field in the second inning, left field in the fifth inning and right field in the sixth inning.
Flores has pulled the ball against left-handed pitching less this season than he has in his entire career, according to FanGraphs. While he pulled the ball 40.5 percent of the time last year, he has pulled it just 36.2 percent of the time this season. He has hit 25 percent more of his pitches to center field.
"He's using the whole field," Collins said. "You go back to two years ago in 2015 when he killed right-handed pitching, it's because he hit the ball to right-center field. [While Flores hit .251 with nine home runs and 43 RBIs against right-handed pitching in 2015, he hit the ball to the opposite field 30.1 percent of the time.]
"Then last year because of his limited playing time," Collins continued, "he faced mostly lefites and he learned how to start pulling the ball. That's why he did such big damage against left-handers, and right-handers gave him problems because they just kept throwing him balls away, balls away, and he was geared up on the ball in. This year, you look at a lot of his hits, they're to right field, they're up the middle. His bat potential is outstanding."
Despite his .313/.340/.458 overall batting line in 33 games this season, Collins said he'll still rotate Flores in the infield with Jose Reyes, Asdrubal Cabrera and Neil Walker.
"I think we're trying to pick and choose our spots," Collins said. "Today was an ideal situation. He'll be back in there this week. I've got to give Jose a day off, ... You look at the matchups and just like we saw last weekend, left-handed hitters have done big damage. Jose's swinging better and we just got [Cabrera] back and we know he can do some damage. We'll get Flo some at-bats. He's just caught up in that we're seeing so much right-handed pitching."