Francisco Alvarez belongs in the Citi Field Opening Day lineup

Wild Card Series - San Diego Padres v New York Mets - Game Two
Wild Card Series - San Diego Padres v New York Mets - Game Two / Jim McIsaac/GettyImages
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This is a pleasant surprise in a roundabout way. Francisco Alvarez will get a chance to be on the New York Mets roster much sooner than expected. Catcher Omar Narvaez has landed on the IL and rather than ask Tomas Nido to be superhuman, the Mets are calling up their star prospect to help out.

How they use the catching duo will differ from the Narvaez/Nido split considering both hit right-handed. With righty Edward Cabrera on the mound for the Miami Marlins on Friday, a natural start for Narvaez should go to Alvarez.

We all adore Nido. We pay to see Alvarez.

The Mets starting lineup for the opener at Citi Field must include Francisco Alvarez

This isn’t a case of “If John Cena wins, we riot” but it would be disappointing to see Alvarez promoted and sit. Regardless of the lineup Buck Showalter puts together, I do think we’ll see Alvarez at some point for game one at Citi Field.

Interestingly, if Alvarez does start, he might get one of the larger ovations. The Mets have sputtered out of the gate. Emotions are high.

With many Mets fans already seeing the team in action down in Miami last Thursday to open the year, they’ve gotten some of their cheers out of the way for certain players. This will be our first chance to root for Alvarez except for any of us who made it up to Syracuse.

So what should the Citi Field Opening Day lineup look like? Here’s a guess:

1) Brandon Nimmo, CF
2) Starling Marte, RF
3) Francisco Lindor, SS
4) Pete Alonso, 1B
5) Jeff McNeil, 2B
6) Daniel Vogelbach, DH
7) Mark Canha, LF
8) Francisco Alvarez, C
9) Eduardo Escobar, 3B

It's not the lineup I'd draw up but what I expect. I think Showalter will want to get all of the "regulars" into the lineup and won't be afraid to have back-to-back lefties with McNeil and Vogelbach. It doesn't play much of a factor anyone with Tommy Pham ready to pinch hit for Vogelbach at any point.

Escobar is also back in the lineup but hitting behind Alvarez. I see Showalter, if he does give the nods to Alvarez, giving the veterans like Vogelbach and Canha a little bit of respect. I'd love for Alvarez to bat fifth or sixth. Maybe he'll prove that's where he belongs.

A part of me still says Showalter will wait until Saturday to start Alvarez against the lefty. If so, I can wait a day.

Next. 5 minor leaguers who will be key for the Mets in the first half. dark