COMMENTS: The place should be rocking tonight like never before. … I like Cespedes hitting third. … Good to see they haven’t forgotten Lagares. Cespedes is the new toy, but the Mets might not have him next season. Best to keep Lagares happy and interested. … No question, Wright gets the biggest cheer. … It will be interesting to see how Harvey responds on 11 days rest.
Let’s assume the Mets succeed in signing Yoenis Cespedes to a contract extension. Then factor in Michael Conforto for a spot next year – you know he won’t make the Opening Day roster as a role player.
After his 2014 Gold Glove Award season, in an unprecedented move for them, the Mets signed Lagares to a five-year deal based primarily on defense and the hope he hits. For the most part Lagares remains an offensive liability with a propensity for striking out, a lack of plate patience and low on-base percentage.
Cespedes, Cuddyer, Granderson and Conforto all represent an offensive upside over Lagares. That the Mets attempted to deal him to Milwaukee in the botched Carlos Gomez trade speaks volumes of the regrets the Mets are having. This is even more underscored by the Mets’ willingness to try Cespedes in center field.
If the Mets sign Cespedes, we can figure them trying to deal Lagares this winter, and with it a virtual certainty he won’t last the five years of his contract.
Matt Harvey hopes to put the brakes on a skid that began in mid-May when the Pirates roughed him up for seven runs in four innings. Harvey, once the epitome of control and avoiding the long ball, walked two and gave up two homers that day.
Including that game, Harvey gave up eight homers in four starts. For the most part, he avoided the home run since, giving up just two in his next six starts. However, his control has been terrible as he’s walked 16 in his last five starts.
Here’s the lineup for Harvey’s start tonight against the Dodgers:
Ruben Tejada, SS
Daniel Murphy, 3B
Kelly Johnson, 2B
Lucas Duda, 1B
Michael Conforto, LF
Kirk Nieuwenhuis, CF
Matt Harvey, RHP
LINEUP COMMENTS: Interesting to see Tejada in the lineup when the expectations were he’s sit for Wilmer Flores. However, if based on recent production it was the right call. … Newcomer Johnson is hitting clean-up with Duda dropping to fifth. … Nieuwenhuis playing over Juan Lagares, which is another good call.
Here’s the Mets’ starting lineup tonight against the Dodgers and Clayton Kershaw.
Curtis Granderson – RF
Ruben Tejada – SS
Wilmer Flores – 2B
John Mayberry Jr. – LF
Eric Campbell – 3B
Lucas Duda – 1B
Juan Lagares – CF
Anthony Recker – C
Bartolo Colon – RHP
COMMENTS: John Mayberry Jr., he of the .170 batting average is hitting clean-up says it all for the Mets. … But, in case you wanted more: 1) if Tejada is batting second he might as well hit leadoff and have Granderson dropped in the order; 2) four starters are hitting .255 or lower, while another three are hitting below .200.
By the way, just wondering, but if an average is below .200 can you really call it “hitting?”
The Juan Lagares I saw last night couldn’t have been the same player the Mets signed to a five-year, $23-million contract. Could it be?
Two balls were hit over his head. There probably weren’t two balls hit over his head every two months last season. If that many. He’s not Paul Blair; he’s not good enough to play that shallow.
We know something is wrong with his arm. We’ve known that all year. He has no chance at getting a runner at home, and they routinely challenge him first-to-third and second-to-home.
However, it makes you wonder how badly his elbow impacts him at the plate. The Mets are saying it isn’t an issue. If it isn’t, then what is?
I can’t help but think being yanked from the leadoff spot must have some effect. After spending all spring training developing patience and an eye at the plate in the leadoff spot, he was dropped to sixth. There was some debate as to whom made the call, manager Terry Collins or GM Sandy Alderson, but we really know, don’t we? Lagares has hit everywhere south of fifth, including ninth behind the pitcher.
The Mets, at least publicly, hesitated moving Wilmer Flores off shortstop for feat of bruising his psyche. How come they didn’t show the same thought process with Lagares?
Surely, the game’s smartest general manager must have an explanation. Instead, he’s waiting for Lagares to kick into full gear, like he’s waiting for David Wright to return, like he’s waiting for Travis d’Arnaud to comeback, like he’s waiting for Michael Cuddyer to hit, like he’s waiting for the offense it pick up, like he’s waiting for Matt Harvey to pitch like an ace.
And waiting, and waiting, and eventually the trade deadline would have passed and another season would have faded away.