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Time to remove Reyes as leadoff batter

Posted By James Kwasnik On April 19, 2010 @ 12:01 pm In Uncategorized | Comments Disabled

Except for Jeff Francoeur, none of the Mets are producing offensively. Jason Bay, the grand off-season pickup who was to be the Mets’ offensive saviour, is in a huge slump to start off the season. He’s batting .217 with only two RBI and no homers. Jerry Manuel was right to sit him yesterday.

It’s a bad sign when four out of the top seven batting average leaders on the team are pitchers. The Mets haven’t scored more than five runs in the past eight games.

So, there’s lots of blame to go around. However, the primary blame right now goes to Manuel. He needs to drop Jose Reyes from the lead-off spot in the order. Offensively, he is performing abysmally and could very well be dragging down the entire squad.

Reyes is supposed to be the catalyst for this team. He’s supposed to be the speedster who steals bases and flusters pitchers when he’s on base. He can’t do that if he can’t get on base.

Mets shortstop Jose Reyes has been languishing offensively so far this season. (The Associated Press) [1]

Reyes’s batting average is on the interstate at .154. His on-base percentage is a lowly .209. For a guy who relies on speed, he hits way too many fly balls. Right now, he reminds me of Willie Mays Hayes from “Major League.” Mets pitching coach Howard Johnson should make Reyes do push-ups every time he hits a fly ball.

This all leads to the question, why is he still in the lead-off spot? If it was anyone other than Reyes, do you think he’d still be there? Manuel needs to move him down to the seventh or eighth spot in the order until he finds his swing. The Mets have done this with other players in the past.

Here should be the new order:

Angel Pagan: He should be the everyday center fielder, with Gary Matthews Jr. playing every fifth day. Matthews Jr. is batting .200 and has 0 RBI. Like Reyes, Pagan’s a switch hitter, but his OBP is 150 points higher.
Luis Castillo
David Wright
Francoeur: Why isn’t he the cleanup hitter? He leads the team in hits, runs, doubles, home runs and RBI. Still, Manuel seems to favor Bay in that role. They’re both right-handed hitters, so that’s not a factor. This is another typical Manuel head scratcher.
Ike Davis: Bring him up! He’s a lefty that can break up the righty, righty, righty middle of the order.
Bay: Again, until he finds his swing, he should not be the cleanup batter.
Rod Barajas

It’s time to shake up the order, at least until the Mets are hitting on all cylinders, to mix metaphors.

What do you think the batting order should be?

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