Apr 13

METS CHAT ROOM: Game #7; The doors open.

The new home of the Mets.

The new home of the Mets.

Finally, the doors to Citi Field are open for business. A new era in New York baseball history begins tonight with the Mets and Padres in Queens.

From first, second and third glances, this is a beautiful ballpark. We’re all trying to see how it plays, but we won’t know until the weather gets warmer. Plenty of quirks, nooks and crannies in the outfield for some weird bounces meaning you can expect a lot of triples and maybe and inside-the-parker or two for Jose Reyes.

This is supposed to be a pitcher’s park, but the overhang in right could be generous to Carloses Delgado and Beltran.

It should be a busy night. I’ll live blog, of course, but until game time if you want to note your favorite Opening Day memories, this is the place to do it.

Here’s the line-up:
J Reyes SS
D Murphy LF
D Wright 3B
C Delgado 1B
C Beltran CF
R Church RF
B Schneider C
L Castillo 2B
M Pelfrey P

Mar 25

Good morning folks ….

Back from Ohio. My father is still ill, but somewhat better than last week. He’s 84 and has Parkinson’s.

I want to thank you for your well wishes, both here on the blog and personally. It means a lot to me.

While I was gone, Jerry Manuel decided he’d like Daniel Murphy to hit second, which is fair enough. I was thinking Castillo, but Castillo’s attitude is such now that a move in the batting order shouldn’t bother him. Given that, here’s how I see the batting order:

SS Jose Reyes
LF Daniel Murphy
CF Carlos Beltran
1B Carlos Delgado
3B David Wright
RF Ryan Church
C Brien Schneider
2B Luis Castillo
Pitcher’s slot.

Now, I wouldn’t be adverse to hitting Castillo ninth and the pitcher eighth to bunch the speed of Castillo and Reyes together. That could make Murphy a 90 RBI guy. It’s true, how many times does Reyes actually lead off an inning? Bunching the speed together could work.

That’s my two cents. What’s yours. You like this batting order as is, or would you tweak it? And, how so?

Mar 19

Where to slot in Castillo?

Manager Jerry Manuel is thinking about going back to Jose Reyes in the leadoff slot to get him going. That spot worked for Luis Castillo, who owned up to the challenge and is hitting .321 with a .500 on-base percentage.

Castillo has been far from the nightmare at the plate he was last year.

I’ve always liked him second, but I can see the logic of Daniel Murphy in that slot. That also allows for a 3-4-5 of Beltran, Wright and Delgado.

Batting him eighth is a waste, but what about ninth and swap with the pitcher? The idea would be to bunch the speed of Castillo and Reyes together.

Initially, I thought Tony La Russa was reinventing the wheel when he did it, but there’s sense to it. If the pitcher is an automatic out (that’s the assumption), what difference does it make if it is eighth or ninth?

Feb 26

Not convinced about Reyes in three hole ….

Every time Jose Reyes goes deep, it seems that soon after he gets into a funk where he starts uppercutting and trying to drive everything and gets away from hitting the ball on the ground. He went deep twice today.

If he becomes a 40-homer guy, fine. But, I don’t really see that happening. Hitting two homers is an aberration. I’d rather see him walk twice a game than go 0-for-4 with two flyballs and two strikeouts.

I don’t see what Jerry Manuel sees in batting Reyes third. I’d rather have him hit first with Luis Castillo second.

Feb 26

Good and bad signs ….

Luis Castillo drove in four runs with two hits yesterday, but Duaner Sanchez walked two hitters on nine pitches.

It’s only one game, so let’s not get carried away either way, but both are key issues for the Mets this season.

Sanchez might never regain his pre-accident form, but something close is imperative if he’s to become a key set-up again. Wildness is not a good way to do that.

A lot has already been written about Castillo. He’s Jerry Manuel’s pet project this spring. Manuel believes leadoff might jumpstart Castillo. It worked yesterday. But, I still have my doubts. I think he’s more ideally suited to hit second with Jose Reyes batting first.