The Mets get hammered in this town for a multitude of offenses and in most instances, the bludgeoning is warranted but when it comes to the decision by J-Man to work Jose Reyes into the 3 spot of the lineup, the criticism is not only unwarranted but it’s also senseless.
In today’s NY Post, avid Mets hater Joel Sherman (there are lot’s of Mets haters in MSM, Jon Heyman, Bill Madden, Tom Verducci and of course their Emperor Mike Francesa) has a full page column today take the Met to task for batting Reyes third, even though he admits it’s out of necessity and just something Manuel pulled out of his ass:
The shift is a reaction to Carlos Beltran’s knee surgery, which will cost him at least a month of the season. Without Beltran to hit third, Manuel fears the lineup lacks length if he simply has David Wright bat third and Jason Bay fourth. The order would dip precipitously at No. 5, likely with Daniel Murphy. In addition, Manuel wants to preserve Reyes’ legs and feels batting him third will translate to fewer steal attempts to limit the risk of having runners thrown out in front of your best RBI men, Wright and Bay.
Sherman goes on in the article to give his hypothesis on why this is bad idea, but gives no solution, which of course there isn’t any. If Carlos Beltran were of sound mind and knee, this would not even be an issue but as we know the best laid plans of mice and Mets never go as planed and so they have this situation to make the best of the lineup until Beltran gets back.
Sherman lays out the answer to the why part of Reyes hitting third when he mentions Daniel Murphy hitting fifth. Murphy is not a #5 hitter. He’s a perfect #2 but the problem is Luis Castillo is also a perfect #2. And there is the problem; the Mets have two #2 and two #1 in Reyes and Angel Pagan.
From the rumbling’s from St. Lonesome, Beltran is progressing nicely and should just miss just the first month of the season (I know, I know you’ll believe it when you see it) so when he comes back Reyes moves back to the #1 spot and Beltran back to #3 and the team will live happily ever after. I hope.