The New York Post reported exclusively Wednesday that the Mets plan to bat Juan Lagares ninth in some games.
“It is something we are thinking about,” Terry Collins said.
He should stop thinking about it because it is a bad idea. Now, I do not know the stats on whether batting the pitcher eighth and a real hitter ninth is a good thing. But in the Mets case, it is not.
The simple reason is that Lagares was the Mets only reliable hitter in 2014. He will lose dozens of at bats if he bats ninth. So why would the Mets take away those at bats from him?
In this scenario, Curtis Granderson would lead off. That is not a good idea, either. As a leadoff hitter last season he hit a robust .210 with a .289 on base percentage. Not the spark plug needed in the leadoff spot. He hit .375 and .328 in the fifth and sixth spot, respectively.
On the other hand, Juan Lagares hit .276 with a .329 on-base percentage as a leadoff batter. He also had nine stolen bases, most of them late in the season as he tried to become a more prototypical leadoff man.
Aside from the Mets being a better team with Lagares on top, they need Granderson’s power bat in the middle of the lineup. With the shorter right field fences and Kevin Long’s presence, Granderson should hit more home runs this season. Better that they come with men on base rather than empty leading off the game.