1 more bold starting lineup change the Mets could consider to spark the offense

The Mets lineup change has helped, but there's still room to make it better.
New York Mets v Miami Marlins
New York Mets v Miami Marlins / Rich Storry/GettyImages

The recent New York Mets starting lineup shuffle with Francisco Lindor batting first, Pete Alonso in the two-hole, and Brandon Nimmo third has worked in some ways and not in others. They’re hitting a whole lot more but not winning much. We can blame the pitching in some cases. In other instances, the change hasn’t lit a consistent enough fire under the lineup.

A lineup change is the softer version of firing the hitting coach. This example was to essentially take some pressure off of players in their previous roles while trying to get more from Nimmo who was the most successful at driving in runs all year.

It’s fine to continue on with the lineup they have since it has woken them up. But if there’s one more starting lineup change to consider, it would be to promote a hot hitter up the lineup as opposed to keeping him in a familiar spot right in the middle.

The Mets should think about moving J.D. Martinez up in the starting lineup

The starting lineup is irrelevant if players aren’t performing. Someone who has done well from the start is J.D. Martinez. A delayed beginning to his season due to a late free agency signing and setback during his minor league stint, the Mets lineup is much better with him than without.

Martinez in the number two spot instead of Alonso makes a bit more sense as far as production goes. Martinez is winning the battle to hit over .300. Down in the number four spot on a regular basis, it delays his first plate appearance. The idea of him hitting behind Nimmo works well. What about moving Nimmo back to the leadoff role and Martinez up to number two?

The recent rise in the lineup for Lindor and Alonso to get them producing goes counterintuitive to what we’d normally expect. Struggling players are usually demoted in the lineup. The Mets have gone in the opposite direction. They’ve even refrained from promoting another candidate for a higher spot in the lineup, Harrison Bader.

Bader might actually not be such a bad choice in the number two spot. Far lighter on power, he was a great fit to begin the year as the number nine hitter in the lineup. However, with one of the better batting averages on the team, thus one of the better OBPs to go along with it, he’s actually making himself a more valuable asset on offense and someone to potentially move up in the order.

Making this sort of a drastic change again might go against the team’s plans. We’ve seen the offense improve with the adjusted lineup. Was it really something as simple as a lineup shakeup?

How the players have done since moving in the Mets lineup

Since moving to the leadoff spot, Lindor is hitting .240/.333/.320 in 30 plate appearances across 6 games. Oddly, he has yet to steal a bag. It’s a small sample and with games against the Miami Marlins, you can’t read too deeply into any numbers.

Meanwhile, Alonso has spent a little more time in the two-hole than Lindor has in the leadoff spot. He has had at least one hit in each game since moving to second in the order on May 15 against the Philadelphia Phillies.

Nimmo’s change from batting first to third is the most significant. While Lindor has hit leadoff plenty in his career and Alonso regularly hit second for the Mets in the past, Nimmo is unfamiliar with the middle of the order. He has a hit in all 5 of his games batting third.

The “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” rules apply here. All three players have hit better in their new spots. It just hasn’t led to wins. Martinez should stay parked in the fourth spot for now and Bader isn’t going to usurp Alonso’s spot in second after the liveliness shown in his bat. As improved as this new lineup is, one run on Monday—on a Tomas Nido solo shot nonetheless—and then three more on Wednesday all coming on solo home runs with Alonso being the only top-of-order guy to hit one shows there are improvements to be made. Carlos Mendoza hasn’t been afraid to make them all year. Another series loss against the San Francisco Giants this weekend and it might be time to see what one more swap can do.