The New York Mets have changed up their starting lineups plenty in 2020 and have even more directions they can go.
New York Mets baseball is back and with it comes plenty of debate on social media about what the lineup should look like. Although few lineups you will find online are exactly the same, it’s not as if anyone is wrong with what they view as their ideal starting nine.
In fact, Luis Rojas has enough depth on this team to mix and match lineups all 60-game season long.
Heading into the 2020 season, depth was a major strength for this team. The bench had a chance to consist of veterans like Jake Marisnick and Eduardo Nunez. Joining them, we can find younger players like Dominic Smith and Andres Gimenez.
There’s no doubt the Mets have options. It’s a matter of selecting the right ones that becomes the tough part.
For instance, the Mets can go with a lineup featuring Smith as the DH, J.D. Davis in left field, and Brandon Nimmo in center field. It’s not the best defensive alignment. However, it’s definitely a dangerous one on offense.
The team has the option of planning more favorable for defense. They could keep Smith as the DH or put Davis there, put Nimmo in left field, and give a healthy Jake Marisnick a start in center field. The outfield is suddenly a whole lot better from a defensive standpoint, only trading Smith’s or Davis’ bat for Marisnick’s.
This is just one example of how the Mets can build a lineup and still look good. One of the two is likely the ideal one most Mets fans would put together. With the infield pretty much set with lesser backups there, we can at least rest safely knowing there are alternative albeit weaker options behind those expected starting four.
Better than being built to beat down their opponent, the Mets can more easily survive their own worst enemy: injuries.
They have more than enough DH options even after Yoenis Cespedes decided to opt-out. The club has enough versatility to get by if anyone lands on the IL for a prolonged period of time.
Flexibility on defense remains one of this team’s greatest strengths. McNeil is a jack-of-all-trades with the glove and can give them innings just about anywhere. His presence alone can help the team survive almost anything.
If there is one thing that may prevent the Mets from having the best lineup possible each night it’s ego. We know they’re huge in sports. The general managers want their decisions to look smart and the veteran players don’t want to be viewed as declining shells of their former selves. Because of this, fans are unfortunately subjected to seeing fading stars placed in bigger spots than they deserve.
Fortunately, Robinson Cano hasn’t been that same lineup albatross in 2020 that he was in 2019.
A starting lineup isn’t going to make or break the season. It’s a combination of everything that determines a team’s record.
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As well as almost anyone else in baseball, the Mets can scramble up their players and put together a lineup we can get excited about. This team is deep from the leadoff hitter down to the last man on the bench. Using all pieces appropriately will get them to where they need to go.