Opening Day is fast approaching, which is arguably the best day of the year for fans like myself. It’s always exciting to see the ace of your team go out there and throw that first pitch of the season, it is an exhilarating moment every year. For me the best part of opening day is seeing the lineup, which if you are lucky enough and your team doesn’t catch the injury bug, that will be the main lineup for the rest of the season.
This year luckily for me the Mets will have arguably the deepest lineup throughout the National League. The only true competition in my mind for that title would be the Chicago Cubs, but this is a Mets fan speaking, so I am going to say the Mets edge them out a bit.
Now let’s talk about the Mets possible Opening Day lineup. I personally don’t agree with manager Terry Collins when talking about how to manage the bullpen. However, I usually agree with his other decisions, but it seems as if we may be in disagreement when looking at this years Opening Day lineup. It seems as if the lineup will look like this:
Opening Day lineup? pic.twitter.com/eL7fq9jJaA
— Marc Carig (@MarcCarig) March 22, 2017
Now you might be thinking that this lineup is pretty solid, there are contact hitters at the top of the lineup, with power in the middle, and the bottom. It is an interesting order, because it is not often that you have two pure power hitters back to back at 6 and 7. There are, however, some huge flaws in this lineup.
Reyes, Cabrera, and Cespedes are fine, but once you get to Granderson there is an issues. Grandson just had a very down year, and is going to be playing Center Field at the age of 36, which will probably impact his offensive output a bit, at this point in his career he should be a bit lower in the order.
Now lets talk about the 6 and 7 hitters, having these two brutes go back to back is very interesting, but it doesn’t work out for one big reason, they are both lefties, and are prone to strikeouts. In baseball you don’t want consecutive lefties, because late in games it leads to matchup issues.
Normally it is very challenging to avoid two lefties back to pack or even two righties back to back. The Mets are one of the very few teams in baseball today that have switch hitters in the starting lineup the Mets have three switch hitters, which help solve all of the matchup problems they may face. I will show you how to avoid these issues in my Opening day lineup:
- Reyes 3B –
- Granderson CF <
- Cespedes LF >
- Bruce RF <
- Cabrera SS –
- Walker 2B –
- Duda 1B <
- d’Arnaud C >
- Syndergaard P >
> = Righty < = Lefty – = Switch Hitter
The purpose of that lineup is mainly so that there are no back to back lefties or righties, and everyone is in position to produce. Also Grandson is at the top of the lineup, a place he has gotten accustomed to as a Met. If Collins wants two power hitters back to back down in the lineup I would implore him to swap Grandson and Bruce. The reason for this being that Bruce the past few years has had more of a run producing role, whereas Grandson has been at the top of the lineup, batting one or two for the most part.
Since Grandson has a habit of being a table setter for those who follow him in the order he will get on base a lot, so Duda has a lot of opportunities to drive him in. We also must remember Grandson is a very powerful man averaging about 25 homers a season as a Met and hitting 30 just last season, although that was his only offensive bright spot.
The Mets are in a situation that they have not been in for a very long time, and it really is one of those problems you love to have. The lineup is so jam packed that guys that should be batting in the middle, or the top of the order have to slide down to the bottom half. This issue was talked about by Neil Walker who admitted, “We have talked about that, and we’ve said wow, somebody’s going to be hitting sixth or seventh, that probably shouldn’t be”.
Who knows how many lineups the Mets will have this season, as we all know baseball is a marathon, not a sprint and there are injuries, slumps, and hot streaks along the way. These are all reasons as to why the Opening Day lineup, in the grand scheme of things doesn’t matter all that much. For me at least the order that is put out there day one still has meaning.
At the end of the day though, as I have stated the Mets have a lot of positives in that lineup, with a lot of depth. The Mets will probably produce no matter who bats where, one thing is for sure though, Christmas day for baseball fans is right around the corner.