3) NY Mets starting lineup has options to play percentages
Mr. Burns famously lifted Darryl Strawberry in favor of Homer Simpson because he wanted to play the percentages. There was a lefty on the mound and Burns didn’t want the southpaw to face his last remaining slugger.
It worked out well for the Springfield Power Plant. Buck Showalter will have decisions like these to make throughout the rest of 2022 and maybe into the postseason.
The Mets lineup is easy. If it’s a righty starting, we go with Vogelbach. If it’s a left, Ruf gets his name on the lineup card. It’s timing the pinch-hitting opportunities when Showalter will showcase his baseball aptitude.
We can expect a lot of different Mets lineups through the rest of the season. Eduardo Escobar could see himself playing slightly less in favor of Luis Guillorme. Tyler Naquin over Canha is another likely change against certain opponents.
Even if the National League games are played much more like American League ones with the DH, there are going to be days where Showalter’s lineup card gets messy.
This can always result in second-guessing the skipper. If he was to lift the catcher for a pinch hitter too early, maybe he misses a better spot for later in the game to let Vogelbach swing away. Just to have the option, however, gives the Mets an edge not every team has.
And even if every team had the option, Showalter has shown he can run circles around anyone else in the league. We’ll need to trust his judgment even if he gets it wrong sometimes.