Will the Mets switch it up for Lindor?

It seems as if New York Mets manager Luis Rojas wants to find the perfect spot in the lineup for the newly acquired superstar Francisco Lindor. It’s possible that both sides have found that spot for Lindor and it’s looking like it’s in the number two hole.

Now I think it’s important to remember here that Lindor has spent a lot of time either leading off, or batting in the three-spot. So this is more of a rare occurrence for Francisco.

With Brandon Nimmo having an incredible spring, the Mets may want to lead off with the extremely well disciplined outfielder. Especially since Lindor is an MVP caliber player that has the potential to hit 30+ home runs during this upcoming season.

Nimmo won’t steal a ton of bags while leading off but it’s also becoming less likely that Lindor can keep up with his previous stolen bases numbers. So the plus here is that Nimmo is top five in the league in OBP and Lindor has the great ability to split outfielders and even clear the fence.

But what do the Mets do when the ops throw a left-handed pitcher on the bump? Pillar should be able to handle the lead off spot, at least on a short term basis but it would be great to see Nimmo succeed against lefties as well.

The Mets can even push Lindor up to the lead off spot, however doing so, the team will lose an important switch hitter in the two-hole.

If the team can find a steady lead-off batter without having to go to Lindor, the Mets will put themselves in a great position. It’s incredibly tough when you put your superstar player like Lindor, who’s also a shortstop, in the lead-off spots.

It’s not like the two-whole is so much easier, but leading off a game is a compartmentalized to getting on base. That’s what Nimmo specializes in, and he’s not yet a $20M player that should have more responsibilities.

The luxury here is that if it doesn’t work with Nimmo, the Mets could then potentially experiment with the likes of McNeil, possibly Jonathan Villar, or worst case scenario just go to Lindor.

This is all good news, the Mets don’t have to rely on one lead-off player just yet. There are a few interchangeable parts within this lineup and you know what, that kind of reminds me of 1986.

Mets send down Yamamoto

Jordan Yamamoto has been sent down to MiLB camp today. The Hawaiian born right-hander had an impressive spring as he was in competition for a spot in the rotation.

Although he’s only pitched in three games, he does owns a 1.08 ERA in 8.1 innings pitched while also having struck out five. Even though the former second-round pick doesn’t have an overwhelming fastball, he does know how to work his secondary pitches really well.

With this move, it looks like the Mets will utilize a rotation with two lefties included. The first being David Peterson and the latter being the newly acquired Joey Lucchesi.

While it was pretty much expected that Peterson would have a job on the MLB club, Lucchesi may come as a surprise to some. However, it probably won’t come as too much as a surprise.

This spring Lucchesi appeared in three games and has pitched to a 3.24 ERA in 8.1 innings pitched. While these numbers may not be a good as Yamamoto’s, it’s important to point out the Lucchesi has gotten batters to swing and miss more often.

The Mets may choose to skip Lucchesi’s first start of the season, being that there’s two days off within the first 10 days. This will give the Mets a fresh arm to use a couple of weeks later while not pushing the limitations of the starters in the rotation.

With everything said and done, we’ll see a healthy portion of Jordan Yamamoto this year. The right-hander has a ton of talent and knows how to put an incredible amount of movement on his pitches.

James shows off his “McCannon”

The Mets have had been defensively challenged behind the plate for the last few season. With Wilson Ramos, it was very much “what you see is what you get”. Since then, the Mets have moved on to a much more athletic backstop that also has a gun for an arm.

In the first televised game for the Mets, catcher James McCann threw out Freudis Nova as he attempted to swipe second. The “strike em out, throw em out” double play would end the inning for the Astros.

Mets fans should look forward to McCann not just handling the pitching staff like a true veteran, but also athleticism we haven’t seen from behind the dish in quite a bit… if at all.

Photo from Anthony DiComo

Couple of Former Mets Seeking Job.

With Spring Training starting today, a couple of former Mets relievers still vying to get signed by any organization. Chasen Bradford and Rob Whalen are openly trying to get an opportunity, showing their work on Twitter.

https://twitter.com/CBbaseball46/status/1358875402177974272?s=19

Bradford, when in the majors, has been able to put up solid numbers on the mound. Without overpowering stuff, he has a 3.89 ERA, 1.27 WHIP and 111 ERA+. Pretty solid numbers for a guy asking for a minor league opportunity.

Another guy that’s looking for a job via Twitter is Rob Whalen. Whalen never pitched for the Mets major league squad, but did help the Mets get Kelly Johnson back in 2016. The former Mets farmhand has a career 5.75 career ERA over 36 career innings in the bigs.

Good to see that both these guys are working hard and showing themself online to get their opportunities. Let’s hope it pays off for them to get a job. We are rooting for you guys!

Photo from Deposit Photo

Lindor talks Extension

Lindor started off by saying that there hasn’t been any talks as far as extension so, stating “we haven’t found the time”. Obviously understandable since Lindor just reported to Port St. Lucie.

However, if there were some talks going on since the trade, I don’t expect the organization or Lindor to be fully transparent about it. Lindor is walking into an 2022 off-season that’ll have him smiling all the way to the bank, so there’s no need to cause any disruption throughout the process.

He went on to say “if something comes up… that’s between my agent, Sandy, and the rest of staff.”

He also mentioned that the reason he’s not in a rush to get an extension done is because as a player he feels he has a duty and obligation. That being on-field and trying to be apart of a winning product, and that’s something he says he really wants to focus on.

Photo from CBS

Yamamoto talks to media

I’m already a huge fan of Jordan Yamamoto… I’m not even exactly sure on why, but I feel like there’s something there. At only 24, the Mets were able to acquire the right-hander via trade with the Miami Marlins for minor leaguer Federico Polanco.

After Sunday’s team workout, Yamamoto spoke to the New York media. Here’s a clip via SNY…

It’s interesting to hear Yamamoto talk about getting batters out without relying on “++” fastball. He also compares aspects of his game to Marcus Stroman in pertains to his athleticism as well as his attitude and personality.

Yamamoto has made it clear that he’s here and that he’s “ready to rumble”!

Photo from ESPN

I liked this addition… here’s why I don’t anymore: Villar

When the Mets first signed Jonathan Villar, I thought “tight!”. I thought it was a great depth move that was made for a cheap $3.5M, even with Luis Guillorme on the roster. On the surface, what we see with Villar is a player that plays multiple positions, swipes a ton of bags, and hit more than 20 HR’s just a couple of years ago.

For anyone that says Villar is a great defender has unfortunately been fooled by a handful of clips in which the man goes all out. I love it, I love the effort, however the metrics just don’t match the little bit of flash we’ve seen in clips.

But then another super utility-man, Marwin Gonzalez signed a one year contract with the Boston Red Sox worth $3M. But what’s the big deal?

The big deal here is in the metrics. Remember, metrics like these are used in all the top clubs across the league.

With Jonathan Villar, the Mets got a player that’s in the bottom of the league when it comes to OAA (Outs Above Average). Not just around the bottom, but Villar is scraping against the bottom of the barrel.

Baseball Savant

Let’s backtrack a little bit here… So, Villar signed a deal worth $3.5M with added on incentives, so on and so on.

Now let’s take a look at Boston Red Sox’ Marwin Gonzalez’ metrics.

Baseball Savant

Does Gonzalez sprint as fast as Villar? No. Is he better at just about every other aspect of his game? The metrics tell us yes. He hits the ball harder and he tends to strike out less while also walking more. Not to mention he’s at the top of the league when it comes to OAA.

So while the Mets signed Villar for $3.5M, the Red Sox may have gotten the better player for half-a-mil cheaper. This is obviously that’s something that’s debatable, but the metrics say that Gonzalez is the better player with the better upside in 2021.

Photo from ESPN