Worst Mets Opening Day starters at each position since 2000
By Tim Boyle
First Base – Mo Vaughn in 2002 and 2003
Mo Vaughn isn’t the most obscure guy to start at first base for the Mets on an Opening Day since 2000. He’s definitely the worst, though.
Believe it or not, Vaughn wasn’t always the big injured first baseman he was during his brief time with the Mets. Only a few years earlier, Vaughn was an MVP. Mets fans wouldn’t have any idea if all they saw were his years in New York.
In his 2002 Mets debut, Vaugh went 0 for 5 with a pair of strikeouts against the Pittsburgh Pirates. A year later, when he started on Opening Day against the Chicago Cubs, he went 1 for 3 with two more strikeouts. Any good he was able to do was erased in the 15-2 loss.
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Second Base – Brad Emaus in 2011
In the “who’s who” of Mets history, the name Brad Emaus is often forgotten. In all fairness to those who don’t remember him, Emaus played in only 14 MLB games. On Opening Day 2011, he was at second base for the Mets.
Through 42 plate appearances at the major league level, Emaus mustered only six hits; all of which were singles. The Mets have had some really good second basemen over the years start for them on Opening Day. Unfortunately, Emaus isn’t one of them.
On his April 1 started against the Florida Marlins, Emaus went 0 for 2 with a walk. He did pick up hits in each of his next three games but failed to do enough to stay with the club beyond April 17.
Third Base – Jose Reyes in 2017
Jose Reyes made his way into plenty of Mets Opening Day lineups over the years. When he was the starting shortstop, things were going well. In 2017 when he opened the season as their third baseman, he was a fraction of the player he once was.
We all know how unproductive Reyes’ second tour with the Mets went. Now utilized as a utility man more than a starter, his final three years in New York ended with a .238/.308/.399 batting line. Somehow, the 2017 season included 145 games played. Opening Day was just the beginning.
On this Opening Day, Reyes went hitless in four at-bats. Thankfully, he did draw one walk and score a run in the 6-0 victory against the Atlanta Braves. The season was a huge failure for both he and the Mets and quite possibly the most miserable campaign fans have had to endure all decade long.
Shortstop – Rey Sanchez in 2003
Before they could rely on Jose Reyes as the Opening Day shortstop for many years in the 21st Century, the Mets had to rely on several journeymen veterans. In my opinion, the worst among them was Rey Sanchez.
Sanchez joined the Mets for the 2003 campaign and failed to last the year. He slashed .207/.240/.236 in 174 plate appearances. Practically void of power, only 4 of his 36 hits were for extra bases.
Opening Day 2003 was a horrific one for the Mets as they were blown out by the Chicago Cubs by a score of 15-2. Sanchez went 0 for 4 with an RBI. A groundout that plated Mo Vaughn in the second inning was the second and final time the Mets scored all day.