Mets manager Mickey Callaway sets lineup for Opening Day

PHILADELPHIA, PA - OCTOBER 01: Pitcher Noah Syndergaard
PHILADELPHIA, PA - OCTOBER 01: Pitcher Noah Syndergaard /

Opening Day is less than 24 hours away, and we’re finding out on Wednesday who will be starting for the Amazin’s thanks to the new skipper.

The Mets will be playing the St. Louis Cardinals on Thursday at 1 p.m. at Citi Field to kick off the regular season. It feels like it’s been a long offseason, but it’s finally over. Spring Training games are done, and we can finally focus on games that count.

A few of the Mets spoke to the media on Wednesday afternoon about Opening Day. The new head honcho, Mickey Callaway, also shared the lineup that will be starting game no. 1 of the season.

The order will go as follows:

  1. Brandon Nimmo – CF
  2. Yoenis Cespedes – LF
  3. Jay Bruce – RF
  4. Asdrubal Cabrera – 2B
  5. Todd Frazier – 3B
  6. Adrian Gonzalez – 1B
  7. Kevin Plawecki – C
  8. Noah Syndergaard – P
  9. Amed Rosario – SS

A few things automatically stand out from this lineup and batting order. For starter, Brandon Nimmo is getting the nod to start in center over Juan Lagares. Nimmo has had an excellent spring, and after being solid last September, it’s obvious he’s looking to take over the job in the outfield regardless of who his competition is. He’s been able to get on base at a nice clip lately, so hopefully that continues into the regular season.

Cespedes also gets bumped up to the two hole instead of being in a more typical “power” spot in the lineup. The new trend around baseball seems to be to try to bat your best hitter in the second spot of the order. This is done to try to give this hitter more at bats over the course of the year than someone lower in the order. Cespedes is the best bat the Mets have so there you go.

Kevin Plawecki will be getting the start over Travis d’Arnaud on Opening Day as well. Last year, Rene Rivera got the nod over d’Arnaud as he was considered Syndergaard’s personal catcher. It’s likely that that responsibility has transferred over to Plawecki this season.

There’s also a good chance that Plawecki just plain and simply earned the starting deal after having a great spring. Like Nimmo, Plawecki came back roaring in September last year and showed he’s altered his swing for the better when he was in the minors.

Callaway is also deciding to bat his pitcher eighth in this lineup. We know Syndergaard can handle the bat, so this isn’t too bad or strange of a move. Also, by having Amed Rosario bat ninth, it adds the potential of having a speedy runner ahead of Cespedes when the lineup turns over.

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All in all, this is a pretty solid lineup. If these guys can hit like they should, this season could be a magical one. Let’s hope it starts out on the right foot again this season on Thursday.