Mets starting lineup vs. Phillies: Starling Marte sits, Jeff McNeil returns, the catcher

The Mets starting lineup for the London finale will look a bit different than game one.
2024 London Series - Philadelphia Phillies v New York Mets
2024 London Series - Philadelphia Phillies v New York Mets / Alex Pantling/GettyImages

The New York Mets play an early one today as they conclude their two-game series versus the Philadelphia Phillies in London. The starting lineup is out and there are a couple of takeaways from it.

Starling Marte is sitting after his right field adventure

The big story from Saturday was Starling Marte letting a ball with a 95% catch probability fall in front of him. Difficult visibility was the reasoning provided for the misplay. We’ll see how DJ Stewart handles any similar situations.

This isn’t so much a benching of Marte as much as it is to get the stronger hitter against righties in the lineup. Marte has been brilliant against left-handed pitchers this season while Stewart can only bat against right-handed pitchers. After facing nothing but lefty starters in Washington, Stewart will finally get another shot to re-enter the starting lineup.

Jeff McNeil will make his Mets lineup return

As promised, Jeff McNeil is back in the starting lineup. He’ll bat seventh which is a minor upgrade over the number eight spot where he has found himself more regularly. That’s because we’ll see Brett Baty at third base as the Mets hope a stack of lefties against Taijuan Walker proves effective.

The Mets stuck to their guns and never threw McNeil a bone with a start against a left-handed pitcher in their recent games. He hasn’t played since last Sunday against the Arizona Diamondbacks when he went 0 for 3 with a double play groundout. Although the Mets haven’t officially called it a platoon at second base, Jose Iglesias and his .409/.435/.500 slash line in 23 plate appearances disagrees.

The Mets have probably made up their decision for the backup catcher spot

Luis Torrens will start both games in London after all. Acquired just over a week ago, the journeyman catcher is batting .308/.357/.846 with a pair of home runs. He has thrown out 3 of 4 attempted base stealers. Who knew he’d be such an upgrade over Omar Narvaez?

Torrens has suddenly overtaken Tomas Nido on the depth chart. Back-to-back starts in London practically seem to guarantee he’ll be the choice to stick on the roster when Francisco Alvarez returns.