May 6.10: Return Reyes to the top.

It’s time for Jerry Manuel to call in the dogs on his batting order experiment and return Jose Reyes from third to leading off.

In theory, the switch was to provide Jason Bay with more fastballs with Reyes on base as a steal threat. In reality, neither is hitting and it is time to return to the basics … and that begins with Reyes.

Reyes is out of his element in the three hole and you can see that in every swing-out-of-his shoes at-bat. Reyes has become the pop-up king. It is clear he has adjusted his game mentally and is trying to lift everything.

Personally, I think when they go back Reyes will be so entrenched in bad habits that he’ll be totally lose.

As for Bay, he’s not hitting anything, fastballs included.

“I’ve been seeing more fastballs because I can’t hit them,’’ said Bay, who hit in nine straight then has fallen into a funk going hitless in his last 15 at-bats and is batting just .238 on the season and on pace to strike out 191 times.

The Mets knew when they signed him that he’d be streaky, so maybe he’ll figure it out. Then again, maybe he won’t and will have the kind of power year David Wright had last season. Only thing, Wright made up for it with average and getting on base.

For the past five seasons we’ve been told Reyes has the potential to be this generation’s Rickey Henderson. He, quite simply, has all the tools to be the game’s premier leadoff hitter.

Angel Pagan, however, does not. So return to the fundamentals and put Reyes back into the spot where he has the best chance to perform.

A No. 2 needs to be patient, he needs to exercise bat control and put the ball in play. Hitting second snapped Wright out of slumps before and it might be time to think the same might work for Bay. And, if Reyes snaps out of it, Bay should be seeing those fastballs Manuel promised. If nothing else, it will remove what has been a consistent out in the middle of the order.

Wright is the team’s best hitter in Carlos Beltran’s absence and should go back to hitting third.

Quite honestly, if you tinker with Bay hitting second – and I doubt they will – that leaves a hole at No. 4. If not there are four options: Jeff Francoeur, who has been spotty lately; Ike Davis, who might have the best plate presence in the line-up and Rod Barajas, who is tied with Wright for the team lead in homers.

As Reyes played out of his game moving to third, I’d be wary of moving Davis to clean-up for fear of picking up bad habits.

I’d try Francoeur – who has hit there before – and have Davis bat fifth followed by Barajas. Then I’d go with Pagan and Luis Castillo, which in theory would bunch the speed together and consequently help Bay.

Whatever Manuel does, something needs to be done because this line-up isn’t clicking. Manuel made the initial move out of desperate measures. Well, these are also desperate measures.

7 thoughts on “May 6.10: Return Reyes to the top.

  1. If you take something that works and mess around with it, you get something that doesn’t work.

  2. JD: here’s the lineup i posted on the 4th.

    Jose Reyes, SS
    Luis Castillo, 2B
    David Wright, 3B
    Jeff Francoeur, RF
    Jason Bay, LF
    Ike Davis, 1B
    Angel Pagan, CF
    Rod Barajas, C
    John Maine, RHP -> swap any pitcher ;-)

  3. yeah the whole idea is if bay doesnt get on base. davis pagan will and then barajas is a threat of a kingman type at bat. hit or miss. where the hit is an HR. then the pitcher is up and woohoo. he can do what he does.. but like delgado.. I think Bay needs to be moved just to give him a different perspective.

  4. reyes has always popped up a lot. he does not have a leadoff hitters mentality. I would just leave him at 3rd and pagan lead off until beltran comes back which is soon i hope. I see that wright is on track to get 59 sbs. if wright can do it from the 5th spot why cant reyes do it from the 3rd spot?

  5. Steve C, Francouer cleanup? Yeesh. Do you know from the time and including when he went 0 for 7 in the 20 inning game, he’s hitting .150? He has reverted back to the Francouer we thought we were getting if anything. Cleanup is the last place I would bat him in the lineup.