Mar 27

What’s Collins Really Thinking With His Lineup?

Here’s why I have trouble taking the Mets seriously at times. In today’s game against St. Louis, manager Terry Collins plans to bat Matt Harvey eighth.

Theoretically, it would enable him to bat Juan Lagares ninth followed by Curtis Granderson and David Wright.

COLLINS: What's he really thinking?

COLLINS: What’s he really thinking?

“I know in our market it’s a big issue. It’ll be a headline, back-page story,’’ Collins told reporters the other day. “But I’ll just do it to see what it looks like. Nothing more than that.’’

So, why do it then? That question becomes more pertinent when you consider the rest of the lineup.

First of all, if this is done to bunch your speed at the top of the order, you can do it the traditional way. The problem is Lagares isn’t even in the lineup, so the initial point is automatically defeated. Traditionally – and why is it tradition is such a taboo word in baseball these days? – a team’s best hitter, which is the combination of average and power, bats third. And, with the Mets that is Wright.

Today, it is Kirk Nieuwenhuis, who admittedly has had a good spring, but will open the season on the bench. Collins also has Michael Cuddyer clean-up and Wilmer Flores fifth – where neither will be during the season – Eric Campbell at first and Danny Muno at second. Campbell is a role player and Muno likely won’t make the team.

Spring training is in part used to experiment. Fine, but it you’re going to experiment then at least do it in such a way that you’ll get somewhat of an idea of how things will be in the season.

Here’s today’s Mets’ lineup:

Curtis Granderson, rf: Will bat leadoff only if Lagares can’t do the job, which means that’s another issue.

David Wright, 3b: Is having a good spring and should bat third until he proves he can’t.

Kirk Nieuwenhuis, cf: Will make the team in part because he’s had a good spring, but also because he’s out of options.

Michael Cuddyer, lf: Won’t hit clean-up as that’s reserved for Lucas Duda. We’ll see how long he lasts in left field.

Wilmer Flores, ss: Is playing with a bruised foot. Let’s hope he doesn’t get re-injured. Even so, I can’t see him hitting this high in the order.

Travis d’Arnaud, c: He hasn’t had a great spring hitting, but I can see him in the sixth slot at times.

Eric Campbell, 1b: Valuable role player.

Matt Harvey, rhp: Yes, the DH is used to spread out at-bats, but they hit in the National League. How many games did the Mets lose because their pitcher was an automatic out or couldn’t advance a runner? Bottom line: The batters should hit more during spring training.

Danny Muno, 2b: Is making a push to make the team, however if Daniel Murphy isn’t ready then Ruben Tejada should be playing more at the end of spring training.

So, there you have it, the Mets’ order one-through-nine. Of the nine spots, only d’Arnaud at sixth seems like something they’ll do during the season.

Collins has wasted today’s batting order and made today a joke. Is that what he really wanted to do, or is he sending a message to GM Sandy Alderson? And, what could that message be? Perhaps that he doesn’t have a legitimate leadoff hitter? Or that Granderson really isn’t a good fit for this team?

I’m sure there are others, and you don’t have to look that hard.


Mar 18

Projecting Opening Day Roster

Things change in spring training, and they have in a big way for the Mets, who are now without Zack Wheeler and Josh Edgin for the year with both having Tommy John surgery.

I figured on projecting the Mets’ Opening Day roster several times this spring and I am minus two pitchers plus having second thoughts on other players, notably Dilson Herrera.

Here’s what I am thinking:

HARVEY: Could he be Opening Day starter? (Getty)

HARVEY: Could he be Opening Day starter? (Getty)


Matt Harvey: Has been solid all spring, and although the Mets say he won’t be the Opening Day starter, I’m not sold on that.

Bartolo Colon: He was my first choice to be Opening Day starter, but his 10.29 ERA gives me second thoughts. However, the way the rotation plays itself out after the off day, Colon would be the starter.

Jacob deGrom: Last year’s Rookie of the Year has been scintillating.

Jon Niese: He’s pitched well so far. I have him pegged as the No. 3 starter in the rotation.

Dillon Gee: There’s a reason why he wasn’t traded, and that reason is being examined in New York today.


Jenrry Mejia: Will be the closer coming out of spring training with Bobby Parnell on the disabled list.

Jeurys Familia: Will be the eighth-inning set-up reliever.

Vic Black: Has a balky shoulder, but expected to be ready.

Carlos Torres: Able to work in situational and long relief.

Rafael Montero: He’s been up before and the Mets aren’t as protective of him as they are Noah Syndergaard and Steven Matz. He’s been able to get out lefty hitters.

Buddy Carlyle: He’s not shutdown coming out of the pen, but was decent for the Mets last summer.

Sean Gilmartin: I’m taking him over Scott Rice or Dario Alvarez because of his Rule 5 status.


Travis d’Arnaud: He’s hitting a miserable .160, including a double and three RBI. He should get a long look before the Mets pull the plug.

Anthony Recker: Gets the nod over Kevin Plawecki, whom the Mets want to have the at-bats.


Lucas Duda: A strained left intercostal has limited him to only 11 at-bats.

Daniel Murphy: The Mets will continue to look to trade him by the July 31 deadline.

Wilmer Flores: It’s his job and he’s done nothing to lose it, hitting .414 with two errors.

David Wright: The reports have been good on his health and swing.

Ruben Tejada: He’s having a decent spring, good enough to warrant staying on the team.

Eric Campbell: Very capable coming off the bench to spell Wright.


Michael Cuddyer: They still don’t know whether it will be right field or left field.

Juan Lagares: Having a great spring with a .467 on-base percentage, but we’re talking in playing only nine games with 27 at-bats.

Curtis Granderson: They don’t know where to play him, either in the field or in the order.

Kirk Nieuwenhuis: He’s out of options, but his .483 average makes him worthy.

John Mayberry Jr.: Showing flashes of power, which is what they want.



Mar 10

Mets Wrap: Matz Won’t Go To Pen; Colon Takes Loss

The Mets could have a hole in their bullpen if left reliever Josh Edgin’s elbow injury turns serious. Edgin was scheduled for a MRI Tuesday and the Mets could have the results tomorrow.

Regardless of the severity of Edgin’s injury, the Mets insist prospect Steven Matz won’t be used out of the bullpen. Matz is ticketed to open the season in the Triple-A Las Vegas rotation.

If not Matz, then who?

Dario Alvarez and Jack Leathersich are on the 40-man roster, and there’s Rule 5 Draft Pick Sean Gilmartin. There’s also non-roster invitee Scott Rice.

If I had to pick one, it would be Gilmartin because if he’s not on the Opening Day roster the Mets won’t be able to assign him to the minor leagues.

BRAVES ROUGH UP COLON: Bartolo Colon gave up three runs on five hits – including a three-run Freddie Freeman homer – in three innings in the Mets’ 3-2 loss to the Atlanta Braves.

“I was only scheduled to go three innings. I’m right on schedule,’’ Colon told reporters. “I’ve got command of all my pitches. I’m hoping to go at least four innings in my next start. Overall, I feel pretty good.’’

UP NEXT: Matt Harvey is scheduled to start Wednesday against Miami and throw up to 50 pitches in his second start of the spring. Noah Syndergaard will also pitch for the Mets.

EXTRA INNINGS: Kirk Nieuwenhuis went 0-for-1 with two walks to raise his on-base percentage to .579. He is 9-for-16 on the spring. … Buddy Carlyle threw two scoreless innings in relief.

Mar 10

March 10, Mets-Braves Lineups

Here are Tuesday’s Mets-Braves lineups:


Juan Lagares, cf

Kirk Nieuwenhuis, lf

Wilmer Flores, ss

John Mayberry Jr., dh

Travis d’Arnaud, c

Eric Campbell, 1b

Alex Castellanos, 3b

Cesar Puello, rf

Dilson Herrera, 2b


Barolo Colon, rhp


Mallex Smith, cf

Phil Gosselin, 3b

Freddie Freeman, 1b

A.J. Pierzynski, c

Jonny Gomes, dh

Alberto Callaspo, 2b

Joe Terdoslavich, lf

Eury Perez, rf

Pedro Ciriaco, ss

Julio Teheran, rhp

Dec 02

Look For Mets To Keep Tejada And Non-Tender Young

The Mets have until midnight today to decide whether to tender contracts to infielder Ruben Tejada and outfielder Eric Young. Speculation has the Mets keeping Tejada and cutting Young loose for economic and practical reasons.

The Mets are uncertain about shortstop but appear to be leaning to unproven Wilmer Flores. Given the high probability of not acquiring a “name’’ shortstop this winter, the Mets need a fallback if Flores doesn’t work out. And, at a projected $1.7 million, Tejada is an inexpensive option.

Meanwhile, Young, who’ll make over $2 million, won’t start because he can’t crack the outfield of Michael Cuddyer, Juan Lagares and Curtis Granderson. Young’s 30 stolen bases would be missed, but the Mets prefer the friendly contracts of Kirk Nieuwenhuis and Matt den Dekker.

So, unless something unforeseen happens the rest of the day, Tejada will stay and Young will go. Quite simple, really.