May 11.10: Finding the right order; Manuel has some thinking to do.

It’s obvious the Mets’ offense is in trouble, with once again last night demonstrating an appalling lack of ability to hit with runners in scoring position.

Jerry Manuel talks about “getting things going,’’ and that includes putting the players in the right position for success.

Clearly, they are not.

It’s time to re-juggle the lineup, which means put Jose Reyes back at leadoff. There are some who will argue he’s still stealing bases now, but that’s more attributable to his legs getting stronger than his spot in the order.

All too often I see Reyes swinging out of his shoes with little attempt at selectivity.

Reyes has the potential to be the game’s premier leadoff hitter. Put him there and leave him there.

The following order is thinking out loud with the hope of generating something until the next need to shake things up.

I like David Wright best hitting third, but his two hits last night notwithstanding, he’s still mired in some bad habits. It has worked before for Wright has struggled and it could work again, and that is to move him to second. Hitting second, where he’d have to protect the runner would help shorten Wright’s swing and hopefully lifting him out of his bad habits.

Because he’s been driving the ball and has the speed element, I’d put Angel Pagan third. And, yes, I fear the mentality of hitting third might do for him what it has done for Reyes. But, unlike Reyes, Pagan has hit all over the order so perhaps the transition would be a little less.

The guy who is really killing the Mets has been Jason Bay. He needs a day off and maybe he’ll get one with the promotion of Chris Carter from Triple-A Buffalo and the DFA of Frank Catalanotto. It makes no sense to bring up Carter unless they intend to play him, but who sits?

Give Bay a rest, time to collect his thoughts, and maybe he’ll be fresher. With that being said, because there are no other alternatives Bay would have to stay cleanup when he plays.

Next I’d elevate Ike Davis to fifth. Davis is one of the few Mets who seems to have an idea at the plate. I would be tempted to bat him fourth, but fear it might put too much pressure on him.

Sixth would be Jeff Francoeur, whose hot start is a memory. He’s another who might benefit from having a day off.

Seventh would be Rod Barajas, but with his slugging percentage it might not be a bad idea to elevate him past Francoeur. At one time I thought clean-up would be a temporary spot, but know the Mets would never go for it.

Eighth, unfortunately, will be Luis Castillo, who is taken out of his spot because the others aren’t doing their jobs. Castillo has been playing well and is the ideal No. 2 hitter, but getting Wright going is crucial.

There are no doubt flaws in this thinking, which, of course, I’m sure you will point out. This is not a permanent solution, but something temporary to jumpstart things.

If you’ve got other lineup suggestions, let’s hear them.

16 thoughts on “May 11.10: Finding the right order; Manuel has some thinking to do.

  1. I’d go with:

    Garrett
    Millan
    Staub
    Milner
    Jones
    Grote
    Hahn
    Harrelson

    That lineup might just win you a pennant.

  2. Seriously, though, the problem isn’t the batting order — it’s that no one’s hitting.

    Last night was the 32nd game of the year, which translates to the 1/5th mark. Based on their current rates of performance, these are the projected strikeout totals for 2010:

    Wright 210
    Bay 180
    Francoeur 100
    Reyes 100
    Matthews 90
    Davis 90

    I think Jason Pridie is going to be up here sooner than later to take over for GMJ. They just can’t afford a fifth outfielder who’ll strike out 90 times in 200 ABs.

  3. (1) One problem with your lineup is that we don’t have Seaver, Koosman, and Matlack…or George Stone for that matter. lol.

    JD: I would definitely sit Bay tonight and give Carter a game in left. I would also sit Wright tomorrow and give Tatis a game at 3b. And I am all for switching Reyea and Pagan in the order as well.

    The sooner the better that this team gets rid of GMJ. He even looks like a sad sack at the plate. It would be nice for him to at least put the ball in play.

  4. I think its time to think about replacing Howard Johnson as the hitting coach. this team swings like he did, trying to crush it into the bleachers every time. Id give rusty a call to see if hes interested. He was the perfect situational hitter. He choked up and shortened his swing with two strikes. He put the ball in play. He knew you could drive in lots of runs without hitting it over the wall every time.

  5. I think your lineup idea is good for a temporary shake up, but I would get wright back in the 3 spot as soon as he shows some consistency. Definitely want reyes back to leadoff. He will never change, taking wild swings and maybe he will feel more comfortable back at leadoff. your 3rd hitter is supposed to be your best and wright is still that until we see if Ike can keep doing what hes done since he came up.

  6. Steve O (3): They’ll keep Matthews because they need a back-up centerfielder should something happen to Pagan. He’ll go as soon as Beltran returns, which means he could be here for awhile. …. Rest wouldn’t kill Bay, Wright or Francoeur. Especially considering how they are hitting. Thanks to Tiffany for the strikeout paces.-JD

  7. Ray (4/5): Every game situation should come with it a different approach. Their situatonal approaches are horrendous. Sac flies, advancing runners to third, etc. I don’t know if that falls directly on the hitting coach. I am more inclined to believe it falls on the manager as he should be the one who dictates the offensive approach. Too many times guys just are hacking, as shown the those embarrassing strikeout projections. … My lineup is only for a temporary jolt, hopefully designed to jumpstart these guys by doing the right thing. When Wright goes back to being Wright he should go to third.-JD

  8. i like the idea.

    if carter does come up it means we would get something out of our closer.

    speaking of which, i am not impressed with the current one.

  9. yeah.

    i heard that in the offseason when we got him. but this is the second year and for a guy who saved 60 games or whatever he sucks.

    i understand he is a premier closer and all, but i have no confidence in him at all.

    at least i knew what wags was about. he just kept trying to throw harder. some hitters just hit the ball harder. krod has more pitches, but i dont think he can throw it past anyone. he is also wild. maybe jenrry will be our closer. he seems to have the poise. i would just rather have him as a starter as if he is as good as they say having johan/mike/jenrry would be a nice thing to have. then niese and whoever else shows up.

  10. speaking of which. we have no scouts. both our last 2 free agent stoppers are not really that great. they get top $$ which is fine for them, but they are not top $$ pitchers.

  11. delcos, why does hojo always get a pass? with all the talent on this roster, they always underachieve. last in HRs last yr and near last in avg this year. hojo got a lot of credit for wright but now hes regressed. Reyes has never cut down his swing. batting coaches are usually first to go when things are going bad and i think we will see some changes soon.

  12. (6) By the way, Davis’ projection above is based on his production over the first 32 games, even though he’s only been in 19 of them. If, however, you project for him playing in most of the remaining 130 games, his projected strikeout numbers balloon up to around 148.

    Arguably, you could make the case for rearranging the lineup, based solely on the idea of breaking up three guys who project to whiff a combined 540 times this year. The problem is the only guys who aren’t strikeout factories — Castillo, Pagan and Barajas — all have shortcomings which should keep them from the middle of the order.

    More likely, the solution lies with a new approach to hitting, which could occur with a new hitting coach. To be sure, Barajas is the only guy on this team currently performing at or above his career level. That’s saying something.

  13. Has this team been near the bottom in batting with RISP every year since 2007?

    Maybe it’s time for the Billy Martin solution when the team is not hitting: draw names out of a hat.

  14. 1. Tiffany, i looked at you lineup and I thought i was in the 70’s again ;-)

    JD: I still like the lineup i posted a few days ago. ;-)

  15. Ray (12): Maybe it’s HoJo’s popularity that gets him a pass. When I talk to hitting coaches it is mostly about mechanics, not hitting philosophy. Personally, I don’t think they have the right approach. I think a lot of that begins with Manuel in spring training. HoJo deserves some of the blame, but so far he’s been teflon. Maybe it will stick this time.-JD