If not for Major League Baseball’s inane scheduling policies, the New York Mets should be enjoying a day off following a lengthy road trip, not playing the Minnesota Twins with a starting line-up featuring just three players – Daniel Murphy, Ike Davis and starter Dillon Gee – who were on the Opening Day roster.
Considering the influx in personnel, it is impressive they are in third place and only nine games under .500.
Quite simply, scheduling the Mets in Minneapolis in April was just plain dumb, but that’s another rant later.
Such a turnaround in personnel is astonishing as evidenced by today’s line-up, the 94th different penned by Terry Collins. If that’s not a record, it should be.
It is puzzling why a run-starved team like the Mets aren’t capitalizing on Juan Lagares’ speed and bunching him with Eric Young at the top of the order. There’s stolen base and run potential there. Even with the designated hitter, batting Lagares eighth does little good.
Here’s today’s head-scratching line-up:
Eric Young, LF: One of the Mets’ primary problems has been resolved.
Daniel Murphy, 2B: Should be hitting third, a better RBI slot. His patience helps Young, but he might have greater value hitting in a RBI position.
Marlon Byrd, RF: Murphy should be dropped down to third and Byrd should be clean-up. Byrd is also hot now, so I can see Collins’ reasoning.
Ike Davis, 1B: With his soaring on-base percentage, he should be hitting leadoff. Joking. Seriously, with the rate he’s getting on base he should be hitting ahead of Byrd to maximize the latter’s RBI potential.
Wilmer Flores, 3B: I’d bat Flores behind Davis to maximize his RBI potential. Prior to his injury, he was averaging also a RBI per game.
Travis d’Arnaud, C: We don’t know how he’ll hit on this level, so seventh is as good a slot as any.
Juan Lagares, CF: This one is puzzling. They need to bunch the speed of Young and Lagares to generate excitement and run-scoring potential at the top of the line-up. The concern might be Lagares’ ability to work an at-bat to protect Young, but that should come with the experience of hitting second.
Omar Quintanilla, SS: This is about right. No pitcher hitting today, but in the regular line-up eighth is his place.
Dillon Gee, RHP: Could tie Matt Harvey with nine wins today.
I don’t understand Collins’ approach in determining his line-up, which means the Mets will score nine runs today. Would anybody be surprised if they did?
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