1 change in the Mets starting lineup we shouldn't expect when J.D. Martinez arrives

J.D. Martinez will impact the Mets lineup, but it won't change some of the philosophy they've gone with thus far.
New York Mets v San Francisco Giants
New York Mets v San Francisco Giants / Ezra Shaw/GettyImages

J.D. Martinez is expected to join the New York Mets as soon as this Friday when they return home to play the St. Louis Cardinals. The long-awaited debut of the veteran slugger will be welcomed for a club that has scuffled at times at the plate.

The idea of having him hit behind Pete Alonso might not stick on a nightly basis. Depending upon the performance of some other individuals and the pitcher on the mound for the opponent, it’s not outrageous to see Carlos Mendoza hand in a lineup card where the name Alonso is on top of Martinez.

A lineup change is coming for the Mets upon Martinez’s arrival. One thing we won’t see is how unafraid the Mets have been to stack the lefties.

Expect the Mets lineup to still stack lefties whenever they face a right-handed pitcher

The ideal situation for any team is to never have individuals hitting from the same side back-to-back. At the very least, splitting up the lefties is the traditional way to build a lineup. The Mets have consistently not done this for a couple of reasons. Take for example their starting nine on Tuesday when they went against San Francisco Giants righty Logan Webb.

Hitters 5 through 9 were all lefties. It proved unsuccessful this time around. The only real changes they could’ve made would be to have Harrison Bader in there instead of Joey Wendle with some defensive shifting. Martinez would eliminate DJ Stewart from the lineup as well. Choosing Tomas Nido over Omar Narvaez is pretty much moot as neither is a very good hitter.

We can go a step further. With Brandon Nimmo continuing to hit at the top of the lineup, it’s actually six straight lefties in the order instead of the bottom five.

There is a possibility of mixing it up a little more with Martinez even if all he does is hit fifth and move everyone else down. Moving Starling Marte to the top of the order and Nimmo to second puts a halt to it. Having Bader or Tyrone Taylor in the lineup ends the long string of left-handed hitters more quickly.

Oddly, Mets hitters haven’t performed quite as predicted against lefties as they have righties. Nimmo is slashing .259/.310/.444 against them with McNeil even better at .292/.346/.375. Taylor, whose specialty is advertised as killing southpaws, is at only .217/.217/.261. Alonso has had the toughest time of any of the regulars, slashing just .158/.273/.632. All three of his hits versus lefties have gone over the outfield wall for a home run.

The conventional wisdom in forming a starting lineup can be tossed aside for the most part. It may look a bit ugly to see a long string of lefties. Don’t fret. Even Brett Baty is hitting .278/.316/.444 against them. Numbers like those could quickly change. The important thing is to place the players in the best spot in the lineup without necessarily worrying too much about matchups they may never see.