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Little Sarge wants to hit leadoff

Mar 2, 2010, 9:25 AM EDT

Gary Matthews, Jr. hit leadoff in an intrasquad game yesterday, and he liked it:

“Just the ability to switch hit, I’m comfortable taking pitches and
obviously I’ve done it and had success in Texas. Hitting leadoff is where I’ve had my most success, so it’s where I’m
most comfortable.”

Given his struggles in recent years the notion of sticking Matthews at the top of the order seems kind of nuts, but Matthews is right that he’s had most of his success at the top of the order. His career OPS is slightly higher batting third (.802) than leadoff (.792), he’s got three times as many plate appearances at the top of the order.

I wouldn’t hit him leadoff — if I’m Jerry Manuel I try to limit his plate appearances as much as possible while praying to the deity of my choice that Carlos Beltran gets better quickly — but it’s not like there are a ton of other options there, especially if Manuel follows through with his plan to bat Reyes third.

  1. Jonny5 - Mar 2, 2010 at 9:36 AM

    I can’t wait!!!! I can’t wait to see how big Sarge (phillies announcer) will spin it when the Phills face the Mets… Sarge Sr. is one of my favorite announcers since he’s got much insight into the hitting aspect of the game, he explains stances and everything with the fans, he’s great. And ya gotta love the Sarges hats….

  2. Matt S - Mar 2, 2010 at 9:45 AM

    I prefer to call with S.O.S., or “Son of Sarge.”

  3. Max - Mar 2, 2010 at 9:47 AM

    Pagan is clearly the superior choice for the Mets in Beltran’s absence but yesterday, Omar said it’s an open competition between Pagan and GMJ and that whoever started the year, Jerry would probably just play the hot-hand as the season progressed. Oy vey.
    I’m looking at nearly 1500 PAs the last 3 years that say GMJ is a .248/.325/.383 hitter but all it will take for Mets management to disregard that is a couple of weeks of decent hitting.
    Pagan is largely an unknown but even the most pessimistic of 2010 forecasts (Bill James’ .278/.332/.413) is better than GMJ’s most optimistic.
    This is an easy choice…or should be.

  4. James K. - Mar 2, 2010 at 9:50 AM

    My deity of choice is Carlos Beltran.

  5. YouthofToday - Mar 2, 2010 at 12:51 PM

    Lil’ Sarge should be thankful for getting any ABs this upcoming season, much less starting… much less batting leadoff.

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