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Manuel previews Mets lineup, rotation

Feb 26, 2010, 6:00 PM EDT

While acknowledging that there’s still some competition going on, Mets manager Jerry Manuel laid out his plans for the lineup and the rotation on Friday. Although the fourth and fifth spots are still uncertain, Manuel sees the lineup shaking out like this:
CF Angel Pagan
2B Luis Castillo
SS Jose Reyes
LF Jason Bay/3B David Wright
3B David Wright/LF Jason Bay
1B Daniel Murphy
RF Jeff Francoeur
C Rod Barajas
Getting Wright’s OBP ahead of Bay in the order would seem to be the logical move, but Manuel may fear that Bay wouldn’t be pitched to in RBI situations with Murphy on deck. It’d definitely cause lefties to work him carefully, but Wright would face the same problem. Of course, when the Mets are facing a lefty starter, it’d make much more sense to bat Francoeur sixth.
For the rotation, Manuel reiterated that he’s hoping Jon Niese wins the fifth spot. It’s a big change of tune from earlier in the offseason, when Fernando Nieve was declared to have the edge. Niese, though, has showed up healthy to camp after a torn hamstring ended his 2009, and he’s in the lead for the opening behind Johan Santana, John Maine, Oliver Perez and Mike Pelfrey.

  1. Alex - Feb 26, 2010 at 6:41 PM

    Daniel Murphy, not David

  2. Matthew Pouliot - Feb 26, 2010 at 7:47 PM

    Yep, thanks. Thanks to a co-worker, I really thought I was going to have it corrected before anyone noticed.

  3. John Pileggi - Feb 26, 2010 at 8:01 PM

    Somehow, on paper, it seems like a Wild Card is doable. But, after the past 3 years, you still cringe a bit and go negative……..

  4. joeysdadjoe - Feb 26, 2010 at 8:05 PM

    6 thru 8 is OBP hell.

  5. JE - Feb 26, 2010 at 10:48 PM

    Actually, 6-9. (I am praying that Beltran’s return will somehow lead to a Pagan/Frenchy platoon in right field.)

  6. Old Gator - Feb 27, 2010 at 9:14 AM

    Gee that’s great Jerry. I guess nobody needs to bother thinking about competing for a spot on a team that has repeatedly proved its championship creds for the past three years. So why bother reporting for Spring training? Let’s just all go fishing for a month and show up on April 1 and check the lineup card.

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