By: Stache Staff

Opening Day Lineup Observations


After today’s Grapefruit League finale against the Baltimore Orioles, manager Terry Collins released his lineup plans for Monday’s season opener against the San Diego Padres. The lineup is pretty close to what I was expecting. Not only is this Mets’ lineup not as bad as people think, it says a lot about how the Mets are feeling towards specific players. Here is what Terry Collins has planned:

1) Collin Cowgill, CF

2) Daniel Murphy, 2B

3) David Wright, 3B

4) Ike Davis, 1B

5) Marlon Byrd, RF

6) Lucas Duda, LF

7) John Buck, C

8) Ruben Tejada, SS

9) Jon Niese, P


We all knew that Niese would get the nod for Opening Day last week, and I am excited to see him pitch this year. He had a fantastic spring, plus last year he was 13-9 with a rock solid 3.40 ERA. If Jon Niese can repeat last years’ season or improve, he will solidify his role as a #2 or #3 MLB starter.

Starting with the middle of this lineup, we basically know what we are getting from Wright year in and year out, but Ike Davis is somewhat of a question. There is no doubt he has the most power on the team, and if he can combine his 30 home run power with an average around .260 or so, the cleanup spot will be taken care of perfectly. If Ike can do his, he can become one of the best all around 1st basemen in the National League because of his stellar defense.

I expect Murphy to get on base often and to hit some doubles to set himself up to score. I am fairly confident in Murphy’s ability to hit around .290 with a high on base percentage, and that is exactly what a #2 hitter should do. It would be nice to see Murphy hit a few more home runs and mix in some stolen bases, but whether or not not he has that ability remains to be seen.

In the 8th spot lies Ruben Tejada. Earlier this week it came out that the Mets may not view him as  long term solution, and I am alright with that notion. For the time being, all he needs to do from the 8th sport is work the pitcher by taking long at bats, and to get on base so that whomever is pitching for the Mets can move him over for the top of the lineup. Could Tejada be a long term solution? Maybe. Fans need to remember he is still only 23 years of age. (Younger than Matt Harvey, Travis d’Arnaud, and backup Jordany Valdespin).

Now on to the juicy stuff. The first thing I noticed when I saw this lineup was that Marlon Byrd was in the 5th spot right above Lucas Duda. The main reason for this is to split up Ike and Duda (both left handed), but I think it says a lot about what the team thinks of Byrd. They think his fantastic spring may have been for real. If Byrd can be a legit hitter, it will help protect Ike and the pitches he sees.

Along with his lineup, Collins announced that Collin Cowgill will be the everyday center fielder. Cowgill also had a nice spring, but I was expecting him to platoon with someone who can hit right handed pitching. Cowgill bat over .300 against lefties last year, but he struggled against righties. If he can improve, I like him in the lead off spot. He is a jack of all trades but a master of none to me. (Not that there is anything wrong with that).

Lastly we have John Buck in the seven hole. To me, Buck is nothing more than a placeholder until top prospect Travis d’Arnaud is ready, but in the meantime he will hit some doubles and homers with a low on base percentage. As long as he can call a good game, anything he contributes on offense is gravy to me. He will be an above average backup once d’Arnaud is set to go.

This lineup that Collins created is not as bad as some fans are making it out to be. Sure, there are some question marks, but there are also some guarantees. It will certainly be interesting see how all of the Mets’ hitters pan out this season, starting Monday vs the Padres.

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