The Mets lineup will have a different look Friday against the Phillies — David Wright will be hitting fourth.
Wright has hit third, where traditionally a team’s best batter hits, in every game this season. But with usual cleanup batter Ike Davis struggling mightily, Terry Collins figured the team might be better with Wright fourth.
ESPNNewYork.com reports that the suggestion actually came from Sandy Alderson, who saw how well David Wright hit during the World Baseball Classic, when he batted fifth. He had plenty of RBI chances because of all of the runners on base before him.
“It was more about David,” Collins said. “I took the one guy who has a .400 on-base in Mike Baxter (leadoff) and said if we can get him on, we got a guy at No. 2 (Ruben Tejada) who can handle the bat and hit behind runners and hit in the holes and bunt and do the little things. Dan Murphy’s hitting .350 and there might be some guys on ahead of David and I just thought that might give us an opportunity to score some runs.”
As Collins said, Murphy will hit third. That makes sense because he leads the team in hitting this season at .346. I question putting Tejada second and Jordany Valdespin eighth. I might switch them.
Lucas Duda hit cleanup in Thursday’s game, but it appears Collins is hesitant to make it a full time move. He understands that Duda is a very fragile player and that hitting fourth might put more pressure on him. Best to leave him where he’s comfortable.
Davis has been dropped down to the seventh spot. He will likely remain there until he breaks out of his slump.
Except for not stacking lefties or righties, I’ve always thought batting position was a bit overrated. Players should be able to hit wherever they are in the lineup. However, it makes a difference to some players; remember how discombobulated Jose Reyes got when he batted third?
In any case, David Wright hitting cleanup will not be a bad thing at all.