Ernest Dove - Can Mets Field a 'Playoff' Lineup With the Pending Return of Daniel Murphy?


  So we've spent what seems like years arguing the state of the Mets offense.  Or more specifically, the lack of Mets offense up and down the roster as a whole.  Yet here we are, watching the first place Mets continue to take the field.  And, according to recent reports, the Mets will take the field early next week with Daniel Murphy also back in the Lineup.  Murph will join the already returned Travis d'Arnaud and Dilson Herrera in what may be quietly becoming the best lineup the Mets can possibly put together, based off their current 40 man roster. So, without any trades, can this current lineup, and 25 man for that matter, be considered a legit playoff contender?
  Well, anyway, what's the point of having a  mouth piece at your disposal without using it, right?  I wanted to map out my own personal thoughts on what would constitute a solid Mets lineup in this post.  These are just my own thoughts, and I'm simply not smart enough to utilize tons of stats and bio metrics to back my case.  Just a Mets fan, whose been able to watch a decent amount of games, who wants to throw out his 2 cents. So, here it goes.

  First up, Curtis Granderson.  Let's face it, Grandy has quickly become 'who he is' at this point.  Grandy is the guy who wants to work the count, use some of his power to take at least 20 balls deep, and walk enough to make his presence atop the lineup doable, even with a .240ish BA.   No matter his paycheck, it seems as though Grandy is the Mets choice at leadoff, at least for the rest of 2015, and even if he apparently does not run much anymore, or be involved in any hit and runs too often, he appears the best choice for the position (unless Lagares starts walking more).

  In my opinion, it might be time to put old Murph back in the 2 hole.  Yes, I understand how quietly clutch he has appeared to be while driving in runs in the middle of the lineup, specifically in the 5 hole, but I guess I'm just trying to think about the other aspects of his game.  Listen, again, Grandy appears to be walking, more then anything, so with a guy stuck at first, and not apparently much a base stealing threat right now, it pays to have the next guy up be the one with the potentially highest batting average of the group.  I still believe Grandy to be a first to home type guy after a double, which is a hot hitting Murphy is also likely to do.

 Number 3 remains Lucas Duda.  I don't care about his recent slump.  I still believe in my heart that his knock to the knee has been a reason for the decline in number the past few weeks. And I still see Duda as the biggest overall threat in this entire lineup, and so this spot still seems appropriate right now.  He's a guy who is always one swing away from possibly making the start of each game 3-0, based on the first two getting on base.

 I've decided to make Travis d'Arnaud my cleanup hitter.  Look, the young man is becoming exactly what so many wanted him to be.  He can combine power, with average, and has started to show that he can be clutch.  And with all the pressure he has seemed to face since he put on a Mets uniform, I think he can handle the responsibility that goes along with the placement in this spot.

 My number 5 hitter (who technically can possibly be switched with Murph) is one Wilmer Flores.  Let's face it, he's a stud right now.  I don't care about his range in the field.  And I don't care if he statistically is only good for 1 hit a game.  Because that one hit seems to always be HUGE.  And the 5 role remains a spot where guys can tend to be on base ahead of you.  And if so, I want Mr. big hit Wilmer at the plate to make......well.....a big time hit.

  In my personal opinion, I'm dropping Cuddyer here to 5th.  Listen, I just don't see how he has truly been this team, a possible playoff team, from the cleanup spot.  He's not hitting with as much power as we might have expected.  Yes, he recently had a walk-off which I enjoyed very much, but he hasn't really come through in the clutch much at all this season.  So why not have him down here, where his grounders to shortstop may not be as much of a big deal, and where is streak of singles and doubles can possibly help keep rallies going when guys ahead of him are producing in a given game.

 I'm going to put Lagares back down here at 7.  Look, he's just not walking enough to hit leadoff, where I believe he should be, because he has the most speed in the lineup.  But it is what it is.  He can still make contact, and has some power.  He looks pretty good down here in a lineup that can be considered pretty legit.

 My last guy is Dilson Hererra. Yes, kinda sounds all Terry Collins of me to stick the rookie in the bottom of the lineup, but where else is he gonna go?  He's still very young, and he's not at a point right now where he is hitting consistently enough in my eyes to be a solid 2 hitter.  So leave him down here, where he can occasionally pop one out of the park, and make everyone even happier when old Colon steps up after him, and enjoy the fun of a Bartolo Colon at bat even more.

 Well anyway there's are my thoughts on may constitute not only the best that this current team can offer, but also one in which can be made up of guys who collectively can lead the organization to the post season.  Maybe I'm crazy.  But, obviously, I'm a Mets fan, so what else would you expect?


Thomas Brennan said...

Read there are rumors Lagares may need Tommy John surgery. That would sure flummox things. Let's sure hope not. We need Darrell to make it so there is a Plan B that excludes Kirk.

Grandy has K'd 24 times in 64 at bats this month, plus just 5 walks. 8 HRs in 275 plate appearances despite shorter fences. Don't work the pitcher Curtis, because the pitchers are working you. You can't afford to take strikes.

Ernest Dove said...

Yeah Thomas Darrell has been fun to watch but it doesn't make him a starting CF. and Jesus if they even consider him in center and bring back Kirk.
No I think they would have to call up Conforto at that point.

Mack Ade said...

Ernest/Tom -

Lagares can finish this season in CF with this kind of injury. It also doesn't hurt his swing.

He just will throw like a Nancy.

Ernest Dove said...

And then what Mack, he forefeits his entire 2016?
It doesn't sound like some elbow chip cleaning u do in the offseason.

Kevin S said...

I would use:

RF Granderson L
LF Cuddyer R
C d'Arnaud R
1B Duda L
SS Flores R
3B Murphy L
CF Lagares R
2B Herrera R

I think Cuddyer is trying to do too much hitting cleanup. His only job should be to get on base. d'Arnaud is our best hitter and he should be hitting 3rd. Duda obviously is the most dangerous bat and Wilmer is clutch and dangerous himself. Murphy rounds out of best 6.

This is as good as it gets my friends

Mack Ade said...

Ernest -

Yes, he probably would.

What is the alternative? Do it now during a pennant race. Ya know, this IS a pennant race because no matter how bad the Mets play, the Nats just seem to play worse.

Thomas Brennan said...

That's the problem, even for an OF, one would think minimum 10 month rehab from Tommy john. Offesason is 6 months. 2016 is more likely playoff year. If he does need TJ, timing will be interesting. Conforto is .393/.500 OBP in 75 PA, so if he does that for another month, why not him?

If Lagares throws like a Nancy, Grandy throws like Nancy's weak armed sister.

Ernest Dove said...

Think about the Mets overall defense at this point from a hitters point of view.
If I hit ball on left side of infield there's a good chance I either find a hole or get on via error.
If I hit ball to right or center, I can: take second, go first to third, score from second; tag from third to score.
This lineup would basically have to become the Blue Jays to stay in the playoff chase because even great pitchers on solid nights still let balls get into play.

Mack Ade said...

Look at this division in the last 20 games:

Miami 11-9, NY 9-11, Atlanta 9-11, Washington 6-14, Philadelphia 4-16.

Mack Ade said...

Ernest -

The defense has become a big issue again. It's especially heightened because, at the same time, the Mets are not producing any offense.

The problems with Lagares may force SA to make a move around the all-start break to fill that slot with, at least, a rental player.

They may also speed up the Conforto timetable a little. Like James said yesterday (I think it was James), there is no reason to send him this year to the sauna called Las Vegas. The kid is almost hitting .400 in the 'prospect league'.

Get his mindset working on a debut in Queens in September when the rosters increase.

Anonymous said...

Collins hung Lagares out to dry with possible Tj surgery comment. If I was another team I would run on him now

Anonymous said...

Oh, please. Anybody in baseball with eyes knows that Lagares' arm is hurting. His throws have been compromised all season.

Thomas Brennan said...

Some guys are ambidextrous. I know I am not. As a non-pitcher, I wonder if there is any chance Lagares could avoid losing a year (it he needs TJS) by learning to throw lefty?

I am a lefty and think that it would have been a complete impossibility for me to throw righty. Not close to natural. Some guys could, though. Just a crazy thought.

Mack Ade said...

Tom -


Have the surgery, but let him play with a cast on and he can throw with his other hand.

Forget any glove... he can just catch it bare handed.

Thomas Brennan said...

Thanks, Mack, you brought me back to reality.

Lefties like myself can be a little oddin the noggin sometime :)

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