The New York Mets have a nice shot to have a strong lineup when the 2022 season opens. We all hope they can get through the winter and spring training injury free. Hopefully, nobody’s feelings get hurt during the CBA negotiations either.
We know the starters for the Mets are solid. What about those second and third-stringers?
Using the ESPN depth chart, I decided to build a Mets lineup using only the second or third guys on the depth chart at each position to build the best team possible. The only rule is that I can’t purposefully try to get someone’s bat in the lineup by putting them at a weaker position. The only time a third-stringer at a particular position is available would be if other options have been exhausted. And if we have to, we’ll deep further down to find the next available player. You’ll see how quickly we need to do it with some positions. I won’t be including a DH because that puts Pete Alonso on the team by default.
Let’s see how good, average, or miserable this Mets team ends up.
Mets starting lineup using only the second, third, and in some cases fourth-string players
CF – Brandon Nimmo
Leading off for the Mets is center fielder Brandon Nimmo. Stop me if you’ve heard that before. Behind Starling Marte on the team’s depth chart at this position, we get off to a nice and familiar with him getting the first hacks.
RF – Mark Canha
Mark Canha is listed by ESPN as the fourth-string right fielder on the Mets roster behind Brandon Nimmo, Jeff McNeil, and Nick Plummer. He’s a fine choice to bat second for the Mets even if he’s playing at a position where he hasn’t seen much action.
2B – Robinson Cano
As much as I personally don’t like Robinson Cano, there’s always a chance he plays well. He bats third for the Mets because you need to hit your incredibly expensive veteran second baseman listed second on the depth chart behind McNeil here, right?
LF – J.D. Davis
Batting fourth, we have J.D. Davis. I know he is on the outs with the team and might not be with them on Opening Day; nor will a couple of other guys. He is listed as the fourth guy on the depth chart behind Canha, McNeil, and Dominic Smith. He might not be the ideal choice to hit cleanup but if you believe in Just Dingers, he’s not such a bad choice.
3B – Jeff McNeil
At third base, we have Jeff McNeil. McNeil is expected to be second on the depth chart behind Eduardo Escobar if he’s able to survive the trading season. Batting fifth is not ideal but you see what I’m working with here.
1B – Dominic Smith
Next up we have first baseman Dominic Smith. Behind only Pete Alonso on the depth chart, he’s one of those guys who may or may not have a good year in 2022. I know putting lefties back-to-back in a lineup is never wise. Don’t worry. Things will get worse.
SS – Luis Guillorme
Behind Francisco Lindor on the Mets depth chart at shortstop is Luis Guillorme. He’s all alone there, too. Seventh feels too high for someone with such limited pop. For sure, we’ll see him hit there or higher at some point on a Sunday in 2022.
C – Tomas Nido
Naturally, the next choice is catcher Tomas Nido. Listed behind starter James McCann, some fans may actual prefer Nido to get the starts. He does in this lineup.
P – Max Scherzer
There’s no crying over this spot. Max Scherzer would be the number one guy on most team’s staffs. On the Mets, he’s behind Jacob deGrom. With the lineup to help him out, the Mets may need to hope for a 2-0 victory.
Here’s how this Mets team lines up defensively:
SP – Max Scherzer
C - Tomas Nido
1B - Dominic Smith
2B - Robinson Cano
3B - Jeff McNeil
SS - Luis Guillorme
LF - J.D. Davis
CF - Brandon Nimmo
RF - Mark Canha
Are they bad? Yeah, they’re pretty bad. This is the kind of lineup you put together when everyone is hurt or you’ve already clinched a playoff spot. There are some early 2015 vibes with it. Not every position is incredibly weak. On defense, they may actually be better at a few spots.