Changes? Really?

Well Mets fans are officially checked into “Panic City” and as every Mets fan does who has a twitter account they have been calling for changes for weeks, heck months now.  But now with a day off, and Terry Collins saying a shakeup is going to happen, it is going to take more than Plawecki getting demoted to satisfy panic city’s thirst for change.

Lets be honest, I fall under the “Mets fan with a twitter account” and yes a blog.  And as the 3-4 people who have read my stuff you know I am in for change as much as the next fan.  I call for change in lineups, change in players.  After watching my beloved Mets lose 3 straight games to the Braves, who no matter how bad they are I hate still because of those 15 years of dominance, I want change now more than ever.  However what is the right change….

The starting pitching outside of Harvey has been great as the bullpen has been pretty darn good also.  Bastardo and Robles withstanding of course.  The Mets are 2nd in baseball in ERA, so lets go easy on the changes besides a few tweaks, say getting rid of Robles.  The starters are pressing and blaming themselves for these 3-2 losses.  They know once they give up 1 run, it is almost as if they gave up 4-5.  This puts pressure on the pitchers and maybe causes them to be to fine, push to much.

Now Travis is coming back, we know that.  Plawecki has shown zero in his 1 + years replacing Travis, so he is going down with Rivera as the better choice to play every 3-4 games to give Travis a break.  But what is next?  Conforto you say? I say yes, but is there better? Do we let him hit out of this on the MLB level? Is Nimmo the answer as he is the shiny new car in the garage? I say yes, but I say no.  I think he should stay.  Nimmo has been impressive, but lets be honest, it has been in hitter friendly Las Vegas where Eric Campbell is a career .328 hitter.  Nimmo has put together a good stretch, but also only hit .259 in double A in 509 at bats.  He will walk as he has very good plate discipline, but he won’t be Conforto.  In the end I say keep Conforto here, let him hit 7th or 8th and roll with it.

So where should the change come? Should it be Dilson and slide Walker to 3rd? I say yes. As most Mets fans are, I am a huge fan of Flores, but I think he can slide back into his utility role, play 4 times a week at 1st, 2nd, and SS and still be very productive.  Dilson will add some needed speed, enthusiasm and youth to a team that needs a jump start.  Plug him and lets see what happens.

Fans, I think the real change we need to call for is the lineup.  Terry has switched a few things around, but in all honesty he hasn’t switched up the top of lineup enough.  Curtis MUST be moved out of the leadoff spot and down in the order so his pop could produce a 2-3 run home run instead of these solo shots.  Curtis is well over a .330 hitter leading off the game, and well a .200 hitter the rest of the time.  CHANGE is needed in the lineup.  Based on the above with Travis back, Conforto staying and Dilson coming I would make the following lineup CHANGE:

1 – Dilson – Plug and play, make things happen

2- Travis – I think putting him 8th to start year was HUGE Mistake

3- Walker – Lets see what he does at 3 slot

4 – Cespedes – Outside of a minor slump, been Mets best hitter

5 – Grandy – Put the pop in the pop spot

6 – Cabrera – He is solid, helps bottom half of lineup

7- Conforto – Get right my friend

8- Looney – He has to hit someplace, good eye, get on base and clear pitchers slot in order

Mets fans, we don’t need to move Las Vegas to NYC.  We need to get healthy, stay in contention and get back on track. Change is needed, but not all change has to be with players.  Sometimes the manager has to shake things up in the order.  Terry, it is your time to shine…..

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Little League Lineup?

The Mets fans have officially entered “Panic City” after dropping 2 of 3 to the Sox and going 4-6 on the last home stand.  The Mets currently sit 29-23, 3 games behind the Nationals.  Outside of Harvey, and take away the last week of bullpen meltdown, the Mets pitching has been everything as advertised.  Thor/Matz have shown signs of being future (if not already) number 1 and number 2 starters for the Mets for year’s to come.  DeGrom has been back to normal the last two starts, after funky spring schedule, baby being born and maybe some 2015 innings hangover.  Bartolo has been Bartolo, solid beer league pitcher who just gets it done with a bad game thrown in here and there.  So why are we 29-23 and in “Panic City”.  Well the hitting has been a problem as it was for 2/3 of the 2015 season.  This is a Little League Lineup, and no not because the players should be in little league.

I had the pleasure of coaching my two boys in little league this season at the 1st and 2nd grade coach pitch level.  Our team was made up of 11 kids, with 5-6 kids who can hit and 4-5 that we clap after the third strike or the week ground ball to SS or Pitcher.  The Mets lineup currently is in the “little league” state of disrepair.  There are 4-5 who can hit, then the 3-4 who are batting about .200… If I had a dollar every time Plawecki hit a bouncer to 3B I would be writing this blog from a tropical beach and not an office.  If I had a dollar every time I hear “Campbell hits the ball hard and makes hard outs” I wouldn’t need to win the Powerball jackpot.  The Mets started the year with depth.  a 5th outfielder who could have been a 3rd or 4th outfielder on many teams, a utility infielder who hit 16 home runs in 2015, and a backup catcher who was once a top organizational prospect.  Well now we find ourselves back to July 2015 with guys like Campbell, Kelly, Plawecki and Rivera getting too much playing time.

What can be done? Yes, Duda, Wright and Travis are hurt, the trade market is yet to really form and the minors are empty of MLB ready prospects… Well the first thing is to shift the lineup around.  Back to my little league reference, myself and my other coach always wrestled with how we set the order.  Do we stack the top, hope for big innings and let the 4-5 “little guys” strike out every other inning?  Do we mix and match the good with the bad, will that kill a rally… Well the Mets are currently stacking the order but not getting the big inning.  Maybe it is time with this roster to try option B, mix and match.  Terry has never been one to make changes in the order besides little tinkering here and there.  But what about a big change, shake it up a bit and move some guys around.  Put guys in different situations.  Heck, why not, the team sits 28th in avg and bottom tier in runs scored.  So if this was my little league roster I would put the following line-up out there this weekend and see what happens.  Hey it is worth a shot:

  1. Asdrubal – He has been getting hits, doesn’t walk much but better .avg and OBP
  2. Loney – Solid contact guy, good spray hitter, doesn’t strike out much
  3. Conforto – He will hit again, too good not to
  4. Cespedes – Yup he is 4th hitter
  5. Walker – Been very good behind Cespedes
  6. Curtis – We need his pop lower in the order to help for big innings
  7. Flores – He needs to play everyday at 3B, get AB’s as hit 16 bombs in 2015
  8. Plawecki/Rivera – Well someone has to bat there and they combined under .200