Ladies and gentlemen, talk radio (along with every NY newspaper) is pushing the Manny train to Queens. I have posted a few different angles on acquiring Mr. Ramirez, but one issue that has yet to be addressed is this: who bats where if the Mets obtain him? It’s not as simple as dropping him into the clean up spot, as the balance of the lineup (i.e., lefty righty matchups) is important as well.
After “monkeying” with a variety of lineups, here is one that I think would work, given that the Mets would have the current cast of characters. I suggest that this would be the most “balanced” lineup, leaving the Mets less vulnerable to a string of lefthanded hitters that might have to hit against a lefty specialist (well those that are not suspended for cheating).
1. Reyes – duh.
2. Wright – here’s a change that few talk of. His ability to hit to the rightside is an asset as a two hitter, plus the number of fastballs that he would see would be sick. If you put him 3, Manny has to be 4, which means that Beltran is buried at 6th (since he doesn’t seem comfortable in the 4th spot). I’m not inclined to “waste” an out here with Castillo. Hope he proves me wrong, but he was very weak last year. You could switch him and Beltran, but Wright will run more (regardless of how he feels), so I am more comfortable with him here.
3. Manny – maximize his plate appearances. He can hit both righties and lefties, so two right handed hitters is less of a concern here.
4. Delgado – has proved that he is the only one that can handle the cleanup spot. The one concern here is that he and Manny would be two slow guys in a row.
5. Beltran – could be freaked out by the 4th spot, plus could start the lineup over again in the 5 hole (with power). He would also provide some protection for Delgado, so he wouldn’t be pitched around.
6. Church/Pagan/Tatis – this would depend on who is pitching, but regardless, not comfortable enough with Schneider to bat him in front of our right fielder. I will say this, if the Mets decided to pick up Pudge, this would be his position – no question.
7. catcher- if Castillo is the second baseman, we need “more pop” here. That is, more pop than Castillo, which might even be the pitcher.
8. Castillo – only place for him where performance could exceed expectations.
I think what few consider is this – the Mets have several stars (Reyes, Wright, Beltran, and Delgado) that have to hit high in the lineup, with a mixture of middle range guys, two of which are lefty that “could’ clog the lineup. Adding Manny would be great, but would also complicate (in a good way) the mix. Get ready to manage OG, if we pick up Gangsta Manny.
Posted by Gene Anthony