The lineup the Mets featured on Opening Day was both unexpected and surprising to many. There was also some speculation as to who ultimately derived the lineup, whether it was Terry Collins or members of the front office.
But on Tuesday, Marc Carig of Newsday reported it was in fact Collins and his staff and not the front office who decided on the starting lineup, although they did get some feedback from the front office before posting it.
In either case – and it really doesn’t matter – Carig says to expect a similar – if not identical – lineup to be posted for Wednesday’s game when the Mets go for the series win over the Nationals at 7:05 PM.
The only change which the team could make, according to Carig, is Jacob deGrom possibly batting eighth, but the staff hasn’t yet decided if that will happen.
If they do that, perhaps the Mets would install Juan Lagares in the ninth spot of the order, which would then be turned over to Curtis Granderson, David Wright and Lucas Duda at the top.
The idea is to get the top of the order more run scoring opportunities, and that is certainly understandable. However, most eight hitters are still more competent than even an above average hitting pitcher, so they’re conceivably lowering the odds of driving in base runners from the middle of their lineup, especially if a pitcher batting eighth comes up with two outs.
Certainly in the case of someone like Bartolo Colon, there’s probably no tactical advantage gained by bumping him up in the lineup since he’s one of the most ineffective hitting pitchers – or hitters in general – in the league.
The point is, it’s not something the Mets can do everyday, and a lot could depend on how well the pitchers are hitting early in the year and who they’re facing on any given day as well.