The New York Mets do not have a perfect starting lineup. They have four guys that could hit first or second, two guys that belong in the middle of the order, and a pair of players to hide at the bottom. There’s also the DH spot which is regularly occupied by either Daniel Vogelbach or Darin Ruf.
It’s the DH spot that has fans wondering if it’s time for a change. Vogelbach has had his productive moments and continues to find ways to get on base. Ruf, on the other hand, has been a major weakness.
Whenever it’s Ruf in the lineup, things need to change. Canha should bat fifth. Ruf needs to bat seventh or even eighth.
The Mets starting lineup could benefit from having Mark Canha bat fifth
When a lefty is on the mound, Vogelbach sits, Ruf starts, and the Mets make some minor tweaks to the order. Canha and Jeff McNeil will flip in the order depending on the handedness of the starter. It’s not such a bad plan. However, when it’s a lefty, Canha and McNeil have each proven they are far more productive than Ruf.
There is a logic to not having the lineup go from Ruf to Eduardo Escobar and finally to the catch spot. Those three in a row are going to kill a rally. Having at least Canha or McNeil in there can keep things moving even with two outs.
The biggest change the Mets lineup needs to make should be batting Canha fifth against lefties. McNeil can remain in the seventh spot if that’s what Buck Showalter prefers. McNeil has been so hot at the plate this summer that Showalter can’t go wrong wherever he puts him—just keep him out there as much as possible.
Vogelbach’s presence does offer some upside. We have seen him come up with some huge hits and keeping him behind Alonso against a right-handed pitcher has worked. In that case, let’s not mess with it but see what else the team can cook up with some switches in the back half.