Well, it’s about time the Mets wised up and used Juan Lagares in the leadoff spot. And, it doesn’t matter that he went 0-for-5 in Sunday’s 4-3 victory in Atlanta.
After six games Lagares is batting .160, with an identical on-base percentage. It isn’t a stretch to suggest his slow start was caused in large part by moving from first to sixth in the batting order, this after spending spring training working on hitting leadoff.
Both Lagares and the Mets sizzled offensively during spring training, but as Terry Collins pointed out, there is a difference between Florida and the regular season.
However, there must be some correlation for preparing for one role for six weeks and then suddenly changing. Athletes are creatures of habit and Lagares – whose strong 2014 season warranted a four-year extension – was obviously unsettled by the switch. As an impressionable young player, how could he not be?
Moving him was a mistake, whether it was Collins’ idea or GM Sandy Alderson’s, but even more absurd was Collins’ explanation he wanted Lagares to avoid the top of Washington’s rotation.
That couldn’t have been much of a confidence builder, and as a young player, that’s what he needs most.
ON DECK: Mets Matters: Today’s notebook.