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The Mets' Opening Day lineup is . . . curious

Apr 5, 2010, 9:25 AM EDT

Jerry Manuel announced the Mets’ Opening Day lineup yesterday. Here it is:

1. SS Alex Cora
2. 2B Luis Castillo
3. 3B David Wright
4. 1B Mike Jacobs
5. LF Jason Bay
6. CF Gary Matthews Jr.
7. RF Jeff Francoeur
8. C Rod Barajas
9. SP Johan Santana

In other words, Omar Minaya just gave $66 million to a guy and his manager is hitting him behind Mike Jacobs.  If this is the regular lineup going forward, Bay is going to walk approximately 237 times this year. He won’t see a strike until his fall bowling league starts.

And while I have hurled mucho hate at Jeff Francoeur in my time, he is hitting way too low in this lineup. And where’s Angel Pagan?

The Mets haven’t played an inning yet and they’re already screwing up.

  1. Dan in Katonah - Apr 5, 2010 at 10:01 AM

    Was on my way out to Shea (it will always be Shea to me) and now I am even less psyched to go. A better line-up could have been made by throwing darts at the program. This may be the least enjoyable Opening Day I have gone to ever.
    recaptcha “cognacs profound” – you said it, brother!

  2. Charles Gates - Apr 5, 2010 at 10:03 AM

    Craig, now you’ve done got Omar all confused. First you criticize Frenchie because he never walks, then you criticize Bay’s spot in the batting order because he’s going to walk 237 times. Poor Omar. After buying Rosetta Stone: Sabermetrics, he thought he would making all the stat-heads giddy with Bay’s BBs, instead, this.
    recaptcha: Turner brats

  3. Brian - Apr 5, 2010 at 10:06 AM

    Six of the nine have career OBPs of .333 or less and five are .313 or less. Not to mention the absolute lack of range in the outfield. And why would you put a 20 year old prospect in Ruben Tejada on the roster only to have him back up Alex Cora? Isn’t Opening Day supposed to be a time for optimism?

  4. Ralph Kramden - Apr 5, 2010 at 10:09 AM

    It’s possible Manuel wanted to put a lefty in between two righties, thus Bay bats 5th.
    It’s possible Gary Matthews has incriminating photos of Jerry Manuel.
    With Matthews the lineup toy simple lineup gives:
    Castillo, Wright, Francoeur, Bay, Matthews, Jacobs, Cora, Barajas, pitcher.
    The Tango-like lineup is the same.
    With Pagan instead of Matthews, the Tango-inspired lineup is pretty reasonable:
    Pagan, Wright, Castillo, Bay, Francoeur, Jacobs, Cora, Barajas, pitcher.
    Tango lineups tend to have the 4th-best batter in the 3rd spot. Notice Castillo is the 4th best offensive player in this lineup based on last year’s stats. This, in a nutshell, may be what is wrong with the Mets this year.

  5. Bill@TDS - Apr 5, 2010 at 10:17 AM

    Wow. Just…um. No.
    That lineup is a fireable offense. Though of course we can’t expect the GM who thinks it’s a good idea to spend actual money on Mike Jacobs and Gary Matthews Jr. to recognize that.

  6. BC - Apr 5, 2010 at 10:22 AM

    Someone pass me the aresnic.

  7. LarryLongBeach - Apr 5, 2010 at 10:30 AM

    Yes, this is an odd lineup. But I can at least see where it comes from.
    Cora bats leadoff because he essentially caddying for Reyes, so he’s gets left in Jose’s spot for a few days. The rest of the lineup is more or less as expected, except you would normally think Jacobs and Bay would be flipped, as well as Frenchie and Matthews. But if you do that, you end up with Wright, Bay, Frenchie all in order, which is too right-handed.
    Yes, it’s too low for Frenchie and an odd spot for Bay, but it’s not egregiously mistaken. It’s not Dusty-Baker’s-use-of-kid-pitchers-level bad.
    I’d have gone with Pagan, Castillo, Wright, Bay, Jacobs, Francoeur, Barajas, Cora, Santana.

  8. YankeesfanLen - Apr 5, 2010 at 10:37 AM

    It’s simple, the Metropolitans want to improve their 70 win season, by doing something different……like this, I guess.

  9. Jonny5 - Apr 5, 2010 at 10:46 AM

    I’m afraid if the Mets ever do anything that makes sense, I’ll be even more confused.

  10. Joey B - Apr 5, 2010 at 10:48 AM

    Bay is the prototypical cleanup hitter. He hit righties last year to the tune of .897 OPS. Jacobs hit righties at a .758 clip.
    Is there even one pitcher in BB, lefty or righty, that would prefer to face Bay over Jacobs? 9th inning, guy on first, down 1, 2 outs. Do you really want Jocobs out there instead of Bay?
    Beyond that, what’s their payroll? $130M or so? And they have no better alternatives for cleanup than a guy non-tendered by KC? Wow, just wow.

  11. Dan W - Apr 5, 2010 at 11:03 AM

    Look sometimes managers take the Lefty – Righty thing to far.
    It is a good idea to break up three right-handers, but it is NOT a good idea to break up three good right-handers with one not so good lefty.
    Can we just spare this blog and the rest of the NY Beat writers a lot of time, effort, and columns by just firing Manuel now instead of later?

  12. john pileggi - Apr 5, 2010 at 11:22 AM

    Come on, wait for some history, like say…, 2 games, before ragging on the Mets! Put it this way, if Jacobs is still batting clean up in 3 weeks, and Reyes and Beltran are not back shortly thereafter, you will have plenty to nail them with.

  13. J. McCann - Apr 5, 2010 at 1:09 PM

    Lineup order hardly matters. It’s just if there are too many stiffs IN the lineup.
    I just like to mix up the lefties and righties. And Bay is smart enough not to swing at crap, so this could work well enough. Plus by the end of the month, I’m sure the lineup will be completely different anyway.

  14. Old Gator - Apr 5, 2010 at 4:50 PM

    BC, confine yourself to the old lace for at least one more evening. That Rube Goldberg lineup took the Feesh apart pretty good today. I was really irritated with myself for arranging to fly to Knoxville today before I realized I was going to miss the game. When I got to my hotel and checked the play-by-play, I was delighted. I might have grabbed the arsenic right out of your….well, no, I take that back. I still would have grabbed the potato chips.

  15. Joey B - Apr 5, 2010 at 4:56 PM

    “It is a good idea to break up three right-handers, but it is NOT a good idea to break up three good right-handers with one not so good lefty.”
    Yup, you don’t see the Cards breaking up Pujols and Holliday by putting Rasmus in between them, for no other reason than he hits lefty. It’s overrated anyway. I can see it for lefties where the split discrepancy is larger, but Wright and Bay don’t really care that much who they face.

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