On days Jose Reyes doesn’t play, who will hit leadoff for the Mets?
Asdrubal Cabrera was there today and homered in today’s 5-2 loss to Houston. Other reported candidates are Curtis Granderson, because he’s had success there before, and Neil Walker, because he has a decent on-base percentage.
Another option is Juan Lagares on days he plays center.
My first inclination is Granderson because of his success, but I’m also thinking of ways of getting Reyes more playing time. A healthy, productive Reyes still has the potential to be an impact player.
I’m projecting Reyes will play a lot of third base in April because David Wright is likely to stay back at the start of the season for an extended spring training, but what about when Wright is on the major league roster?
If manager Terry Collins does this the right way, he could conceivably give Reyes three starts a week, not including as the designated hitter or in the outfield.
Collins has three fragile infielders, four if you include first baseman Lucas Duda. I would think giving Wright, Cabrera and Walker rest at least once a week would be a paramount concern.
Start Reyes at least three starts a week, or rotate him with Wilmer Flores (who also homered today). That way, you’re giving Reyes and Flores enough starts to stay sharp at the plate, and you’re also giving everybody else at least one day off a week to keep them fresh.
However, Reyes will miss time this spring playing for the Dominican Republic in the World Baseball Classic. In this case, if you’re the Mets and want to see Reyes at multiple positions, he’s not doing himself any favors by missing a lot of time in camp.
While the Mets made a deal out of emulating the versatility of the champion Chicago Cubs, it must be remembered they don’t have somebody like Ben Zobrist. Nor do they have a MVP caliber bat like Kris Bryant they can move around.