Before you jump down J-Man’ throat about moving Jose Reyes down in the order and putting the overpaid, over weight and overdue  in camp, Gimp Castillo into the lineup spot 1, just sit back take a deep breath and look outside the box.

From reading the stories on J-Man’ first address of the spring, it’s clear that unlike Willie Randolph he will not let his team forget the end of the last two seasons. I also like that  Manuel has stated it wasn’t just the bullpen that sucked down the stretch that putting the failure of the ’07 and’08 collapse solely at the feet of the relievers is selfish and easy to pin the failure on. That’s not to say the bullpen didn’t suck last year or the year before of course they did but also the inability of the offense to get key hits and the fact that if the Mets were hockey players there would be a lot of Lady Bing candidates, so Manuel throwing out a grenade like he did yesterday is welcomed as this team needs to have its cage rattled.

The thing to watch here is will be the reaction by Jose Reyes when he bops into camp. If Reyes comes in and says” Whatever Jerry thinks we to do to win I’m all for it” then the message has gotten through. If Reyes comes in and acts like a baby then puts a face on and complains then he validates Manuel’s mindset that the Mets are a selfish bunch and Jose is clueless to what it takes to win. 

This is also a challenge to Castillo who is the most hated Mets player since Bobby Bonila wore ear plugs and acted like a first class dick. Now in Gimp’s defense he has never been as much of a prick as Bobby Bo and the biggest blame on having Gimp around is solely on Omar Minaya from the ridiculous contract he gave him but J-Man is throwing down the gauntlet to Castillo by telling him show what you got old man.  This will be a huge spring for Castillo as Reyes goes off to be a Dominican Dandy, Gimp can show J-Man that not only does he deserve to be the starting 2nd baseman but he can thrive in leadoff spot of the batting order.

It may not be so crazy to look at Reyes in the 3 hole. Maybe as Reyes approaches 26 years of age he can continue with adding power to this offense and driving in runs more than worrying about stealing bases so much.

In the end though I think this is something Manuel is tossing out there as a test to see if Reyes has added some maturity and if Castillo has any pride left in him.     

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  1. I hate Castillo, and have hated him for his entire career (despite his usefulness, glove, good OBP in his early years). One of the worst contracts ever — four years, bidding against no one. Same with Perez, btw, three years at $12 per, when Garland signs for one. Again, Omar bidding against no one. While there is upside with Ollie, we all know he could go south.

    Anyway, on Castillo: I think his ONLY offensive value in MLB is as a leadoff hitter. Forget the Mets for a minute, just look at Castillo. He still gets on base, works counts, can go from first to third. But as a hitter, he can’t drive in someone from second base because the outfield is so shallow. The days of “productive outs,” while not gone, have faded; now you want the two-slot for someone who can actually hit. Why put an out between your leadoff man and your best three hitters? As a #8 hitter, Castillo is even worse. He won’t be able to drive anyone in, almost ever, and consequently takes the bat out of the #7 hitter’s hands. It’s a negative ripple effect through the order. Except at leadoff. However, the Mets already have a great leadoff hitter. So Castillo does not, and never did have, any offensive value to this team.

    Plus he’s a bum, he’s lazy, he’s breaking down physically, and there’s nothing worse than a speed-only guy who loses two steps. All those infield hits become outs. For another team, as a leadoff hitter, Castillo might have some small value. For the Mets, he’s a drag on the entire lineup. So I understand Manuel’s thought in moving Castillo to #1 — but at the same time, it’s another more evidence of his overall uselessness to this club. We have Reyes already doing a better job.


  2. There goes all the steals!
    Reyes hitting third is the Mets answer to not having Manny in the middle of the lineup?

  3. Wow – I know I’m in the minority, but I just don’t understand all the hatred for Castillo, sure 4 years was WAY too long, I know this, but looking at his overall stats for his career his numbers are better then Hudson’s (who everyone is screamng for), not to mention his health is always in question too.

    Also, JM said he’s pondering it, and its Spring Training, but reading around at different sites people are already on edge to jump off the ledge.

    How is he a bump and lazy if he has the career numbers he does? I don’t get that, sure 08 was not a good year (oh yeah except he had decent numbers In May when everyone else was in the tank)

  4. David in Manhattan says:

    I agree with you Steve, and with you, James (except on hating the guy…no need for that). Castillo can probably work enough walks and infield hits to get on .350 or more, and run the bases well enough to score 100 runs on this Mets team, if he stays healthy. Remember, the Mets were just about tied for the NL lead in runs last year, and making Castillo into an integral part, instead of just an 8-hole out, is smart baseball. With this creative move, the line-up gets stonger all the way down the row. Of course, Orlando Hudson would look mighty good at 2B, and no Manny, but that is just wishful thinking. Remember, that asshole Bernie Made-off with $300K of Met Money this winter. Now THERE’S someone you can legitimately hate, James.

  5. Point taken on the hating. I realize it’s not good. But I really, really don’t like his game. Can’t stand watching him at the plate. The body language, everything. And frankly, I think Jerry Manuel took a look at him last year, gimping and limping and asking for days off because of soreness, and Jerry sent him to the outhouse. That was pretty obvious. Losing Jose Valentin was a real blow to the Mets, IMO. The guy was a leader — a ballplayer — and had enough pop to be productive and dangerous in the 7-hole. Obviously, you should be able to recover from losing a guy like Valentine, but when the solution is Argenis Reyes or Joey Cora, your still stuck back in 1965.

    In terms of the lineup, I like Murphy/Church in the two-spot. I want to give those ABs to hitters who can turn on a fastball, do some damage. Again, Castillo at leadoff woudn’t be terrible . . . for an average team . . . that didn’t already have JOSE REYES. On the Mets, every solution we come up with for Castillo’s sorry bat hurts the overall lineup in some new way.

  6. whozgotnext says:

    Hey all. Welcome back to baseball.

    I also think that Castillo is a problem wherever he hits, but the damage, ironically, might be least in the leadoff spot.

    As to Reyes hitting 3rd, I think that the guy is just growing into his talent, and with Wright and Delgado hitting right behind him, could easily see him hitting .320, with 20 HR and 120 RBI in that spot, while picking his spots more on the basepaths and still swiping a very meaningful 40.

    Those RBI, of course, will come easier if we have a leadoff guy on base occasionally. Sigh.

  7. Marvin Lesman says:

    Pete S has put it well…. there goes the steals and Reyes is the answer to the non signing of Manny…

    This is, hopefully, just a joke..because that would destroy the line-up (at least the 1-6 spots)… A number 3 hitter needs to drive in runs and be a power hitter (think Mantle and Ruth)… Unless , the Mets believe that BankruptCiti Field is a place where HRs go to die and they want to build a team like the Gas House Gang they will need to shed themselves of the following:


    Too slow and way too inconsistant….

    So what type of team do they want to have???

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