Here’s tonight’s Mets’ lineup at Chicago:
Curtis Granderson – RF
Daniel Murphy – 3B
Michael Cuddyer – LF
Lucas Duda – 1B
Wilmer Flores –SS
Kirk Nieuwenhuis – CF
Kevin Plawecki – C
Noah Syndergaard – RHP
Ruben Tejada – 2B
Rafael Montero was recalled from Triple-A Las Vegas to start tonight in Miami. To make room for him on the roster, infielder Danny Muno was optioned. Here’s tonight’s batting order against the Marlins:
Curtis Granderson – RF
Juan Lagares – CF
Lucas Duda – 1B
Eric Campbell – 3B
Daniel Murphy – 2B
Ruben Tejada – SS
Kirk Nieuwenhuis – LF
Anthony Recker – C
Rafael Montero – RHP
Here’s tonight’s lineup for the Mets against the Yankees in the Bronx.
Jacob deGrom – RHP
COMMENTS: In previous seasons the Mets might have considered giving Lucas Duda the night off as the designated hitter. Frankly, his defense has been exceptional to think that way right now. He’s become a presence at the plate and in the field. … I like Cuddyer as the DH tonight as it gives Nieuwenhuis a chance to play in the field. … I don’t think they’ll play Granderson as the DH, but I can see them giving John Mayberry Jr. a chance to get some at-bats. … One baseball tradition is you don’t mess around with a streak, which is why Lagares will stay in the No. 2 spot in the order. This might not become an issue until David Wright is ready to play. … As is always the case in interleague play for the National League manager is not having to worry about hitting for the pitcher. I’m wondering if this means he might be more willing to extend deGrom.
Carlos Torres was the first reliever out of the Mets’ bullpen and put down the Nationals on three straight grounders.
Score: Mets 3, Nationals 1. (7th)
If this sounds like piling on Mets GM Sandy Alderson, so be it. An ESPN report from Texas has the Mets carrying eight relievers – at the expense of valuable reserve Eric Campbell – because of concerns over the bullpen, most notably the possible overkill of carrying three lefty relievers after spending most of spring training in search of one.
Quite simply carrying three means limited confidence in any of them.
The Mets want to keep lefty Rule 5 pick Sean Gilmartin along other lefties Jerry Blevins and Alex Torres, plus Rafael Montero, Jeurys Familia, Jenrry Mejia, Carlos Torres and Buddy Carlyle. Of course, the Mets are without Vic Black, Josh Edgin and Bobby Parnell, but knew they would be without the latter.
Had Alderson acquired a lefty during the winter – Gilmartin would have been a gamble anyway because he’s Rule 5 – they would have carried only seven relievers, and thereby could have kept Campbell. Instead they are left with a bench of Ruben Tejada, Anthony Recker, Kirk Nieuwenhuis – whose fast spring training start fizzled – and John Mayberry.
And, according to recent reports, they were unwilling to go with Tejada at second base had Daniel Murphy opened the season on the disabled list.
The Mets knew they would need bullpen help because of the innings limitation on Matt Harvey. Plus, how certain are we of the durability of Bartolo Colon at 41, or for that matter, Jacob deGrom in his second year and the fragility of Jon Niese?
And, considering all that, and the unproven record of Montero, the Mets are still willing to trade Dillon Gee. Yeah, sounds like a good idea.
This leaves the Mets without a quality back-up for David Wright at third, and manager Terry Collins unable use Recker as a pinch-hitter for fear being without another catcher. Campbell had worked behind the plate in spring training. They are also in position where if they go to the bench early, they are pretty much sunk in extra innings.
They are also face the likelihood of taxing their position players.
They are in this precarious position with their bench because of their inability – or unwillingness to go after – needed help in the offseason and because three roster spots are taken by players because of contractual reasons: Carlyle, Gilmartin and Nieuwenhuis.
In the book about Alderson, I keep waiting for the part of how the Mets have been revived.