Section 518

Where we endeavor to stay positive about the 2011 Mets…

Moving Reyes

Posted by JD on February 20, 2010

Jerry Manuel told reporters yesterday that he’ll consider hitting Jose Reyes third. My take? Sounds good to me. I’ve long felt that hitting lead-off is over-rated: other than the first at bat of the game, the lead-off hitter rarely leads off an inning. If Manuel wants to experiment by putting Reyes in a different spot in the lineup, I say go for it. Experimenting is part of what Spring Training is about and as long as Manuel doesn’t try to force it, there’s no reason to get worked up about it. Here’s what Jerry’s experimental Opening Day line-up might look like:

Luis Castillo, 2B
Angel Pagan, CF
Reyes, SS
Jason Bay, LF
David Wright,3B
Jeff Francoeur, RF
Daniel Murphy, 1B
Henry Blanco, C*
Johan Santana, P

*I know they just signed Rod Barajas, but I just feel that we’ll see Blanco become Santana’s personal catcher.

The main flaw with that is the three consecutive righties in the middle of the line-up. Personally, I might rather see Reyes hit second. I think Luis Castillo has two main skills: getting on base (.369 career On-Base Percentage, 3.87 in 2009), and taking a lot of pitches while doing so (averaging 4.03 pitches per plate appearance for his career, 4.25 in 2009). The hitters following him would see a bunch of pitches which is valuable even when Castillo doesn’t get on base. Even though Castillo isn’t as prolific a base-stealer as he once was (though he had more attempts last year than any year since 2006), so it’s not like Reyes would have to take an inordinate amount of pitches to let him run. One downside: though Castillo was a slightly better than average base-runner in 2009 (Net Gain +7), most of that came from his stolen base efficiency (20/26). So he might clog the bases in front of Reyes a bit.

Here’s what my Opening Day line-up looks like:

Castillo, 2B
Reyes, SS
Wright, 3B
Bay,LF
Pagan, CF
Francoeur, RF
Murphy, 1B
Blanco, C
Santana, P

This breaks up the right-handers and sandwiches Wright between two solid hitters, giving him protection (Jason Bay) while also presenting him with runners on base to drive in. I also think this line-up is a little more balanced and optimizes the top four hitters strengths.

Manuel will experiment with Reyes hitting third and probably won’t even consider hitting him second. That’s fine, because I think the most likely scenario will see him keep Reyes in the lead-off slot. With so much hanging over his head, I doubt Manuel will deviate far from the beaten path. Which is a shame, because he really has nothing left to lose.

Advertisements

6 Responses to “Moving Reyes”

  1. I can’t believe how awful the bottom of that Mets lineup is. Truly dreadful.

    • JD said

      It really is barren down there. Beltran’s return will help a little, but not that much. It’s going to be a struggle for the 6, 7, and 8 spots.

  2. vcmetsfan28 said

    JD, first off great article as always. I agree, I am all for Reyes batting third so long as Manuel doesn’t force the issue. Try it in ST and if it doesn’t work don’t push it.

    As far as you problem with the 3 righties in a row, you could flip flop Murphy and Frenchie and that could break up the 3 righties… going Bay,Wright,Murph, Frenchie.

    Having the lineup look like this:

    castillo
    pagan
    reyes
    bay
    wright
    murph
    frenchie
    blanco/barajas
    pitcher

    Its actually not that bad of a lineup. start with 3 switch hitters and between frenchie and barajas you have some nice pop for the 7/8 spots in the lineup. This is all until Beltran gets back, hopefully, the lineup could return to

    reyes
    castillo
    wright
    beltran
    bay
    frenchie
    murphy
    barajas

    or
    reyes
    murphy
    wright
    beltran
    bay
    frenchie
    barajas
    castillo

    • JD said

      That’s not a bad line-up at all. The speed at the top is awesome, and Murphy does break up the righties nicely. The one thing that I’d try to avoid is dropping Wright so far down the lineup. I’d rather have him hitting in front of Bay because I think he’d benefit from the protection. But I’ll tell you what…we’re going to be debating this a whole lot for the next four weeks…my favorite type of debate!

  3. joe said

    Angel Pagan batting 5th? Very scary…

  4. morales055 said

    castilo 2b
    reyes ss
    wright3b
    bay lf
    francona rf
    pagan cf
    murpha 1b
    barajas o santo c
    santana p

    castillo 2b
    reyes ss
    bertran cf
    wright 3b
    bay lf
    francona rf
    baraja c o santo c
    murpho 1b
    santana p

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

 
%d bloggers like this: