Zack Wheeler 2 (Baron)

Zack Wheeler hitting eighth on Thursday

Zack Wheeler will bat eighth in Thursday’s spring training game. Juan Lagares will bat ninth.

Terry Collins recently said he was considering batting his pitchers eighth. (Sherman, March 5)

Collins, in an attempt to get more RBI opportunities to David Wright and Curtis Granderson, said it’s something he’s thinking about.

“My thought is: How do we get them more RBI chances and also give David, in particular, chances to drive in runs,” Collins said earlier. “It is a possibility I might try [hitting the pitcher eighth.] I don’t know that I will, but I might.”

Tony La Russa, the manager most famous for hitting his pitchers in the eight hole, said that he liked the idea for a player like Wright.




93 comments
beerfinger
beerfinger

This is so stupid and gimmicky I don't even know where to begin. It's scary that a professional MLB manager making millions in salary is capable of wasting so much time and energy on stuff like this.

James Solomon
James Solomon

For a team without ONE lead off hitter, they now want to have TWO lead off hitters back to back? This would be hurting Wright and Grandy's rbi opportunities. You cant have two guys with a 300 obp following the pitchers spot.  Thats essentially 3 straight outs in a row that will leave the middle of the order up with either 2 outs or leading off the innings. At least if they bat Lagares 8th, there will be times where he gets pitched around to get to the pitchers spot.


Ironically, I thought this would have been the right thing to do when we had both Reyes and Castillo in the lineup.  Castillo had a good Obp but should have never batter 2nd behind Reyes because he never hit the ball far enough (and OFs playing so shallow) to let Reyes go multiple bases on a hit.  Reyes could score Castillo from first base with a hit to the wall but never the other way around. And Reyes leading off the game and getting the most abats was key therefore the perfect place for Castillo would have been 9th.

Kenneth Meltsner
Kenneth Meltsner

Well, I guess we've gotta to talk about something (other than the perpetual SS/1B dilemma). Bill James has written extensively on this. Not a big fan. Let Terry juggle the lineup during Spring Training. Nothing to lose.

lafem
lafem

Maybe if they had signed a legitimate lead-off man, Wright and Granderson would get more RBI opportunities...

helloboy
helloboy

On a funnier note, Tejada is hitting 2nd. LOL

Tom Gallagher
Tom Gallagher

As for Wheeler batting 8th, I was against the idea (unless it was back when Dwight Gooden and Charlie O'Brien were a battery) but after reading up on it after the last post about the concept I think it's worth a try. Plus, it's spring, this is the place and time to try it.

mettle
mettle

Wouldn't it be easier to just bat Wright fourth?

yankeehater
yankeehater

I hope this team isn't this uninspiring when they start playing for real. They have been a lousy, boring team for over half a decade now, but this is the first time ever that I truly couldn't care less about them. In 35+ years as a Mets fan, this may be the first year ever that I don't see ONE preseason game. Sadly, its not even that I'm protesting them.....its rather that im not interested enough to bother.

helloboy
helloboy

Also, FYI, GEE has been named opening day starter.

BringBackDaveTelghe
BringBackDaveTelghe

I always get on TC for never thinking outside of the box, his insanely bad choices to bunt, his awful use of the pen, but whether you like this or not, it does show he's open to at least learning and trying new tactics.

helloboy
helloboy

This can have impacts later in the game.  I do not like it, however.  I do not see how many additional chances this will generate in a significant number.  This also cuts off rallies when you can get another bat up with people on already.  YUCK!  Maybe if the pitcher is a decent hitter, it can work on a little.  I am not a fan.

thebeast
thebeast

You know how to get David Wright more RBI chances? Sign or trade for a true lead off man.

hashburry
hashburry

This kind of "progressive" thinking should be limited to teams that can actually score runs.  It is really painful being a Met fan.

OR you could bat den Dekker anywhere.  He has more RBIs this Spring in limited action.  Give the kid a chance. 

Pete Brilvitch
Pete Brilvitch

This goes into the "who cares" department. You can certainly make the argument that Tejeda is a worse hitter than the pitcher and deserves to bat 9th, anyway.

zoddie
zoddie

He wouldn't get as many at bats batting 4th. 3rd gets him more abs and lagares 9th gets him more RBI opportunities.

Tom Gallagher
Tom Gallagher

@mettle   I like Wright in the 3 hole. He's got power, speed, and average. I believe the idea behind these new types of lineups is to actually bat Wright lead off, as he would get the most at bats. That feels wrong to me but I can see the point. 

zoddie
zoddie

Then continue not to watch. Also, you're exaggerating. "Over half a decade" ago (8 years) they were in the NLCS. Then they were in first place much of the next two years after that. Ultimately heartbreaking? Yes, but not boring.

This season, despite them not competing, I still won't be bored. I'm curious how all of our prospects will fit in. Montero. D'Arnaud. Syndergaard. Mejia. deGrom. Vic Black. Puello. Even den Dekker, neheinweis, and Lagares. Heck, I'm curious to see if Ike can turn back the clock a bit and hit 32 HRs like he did 2 years ago.

But to each their own.

aaar2d2
aaar2d2

@yankeehater they are boring because they are mediocre, actually below it. Accountability should start at the top but it doesn't. The smart people will stay away and not enable this ownership to put a AAA/AAAA team on the field.

helloboy
helloboy

@yankeehater  Would it be nice for them to make a trade the week before opening day?  I mean Gregorious would be a significant upgrade from what we have, but not a flashy name.  Still, just seeing a positive move so close to opening day may generate some level of happiness for people to buy tickets last minute.  


Great marketing ploy. 

Joseph DeFazio
Joseph DeFazio

@yankeehater  unfortunately, the longer this continues, the more likely they start to loose a generation of fans.  

lindro88
lindro88

@thebeast  You know how to lengthen the lineup and strengthen the defense... sign Stephen Drew, or trade for Lowrie.  

lindro88
lindro88

 Where should Den Dekker get a chance?  You want to play him over Granderson, either Young, or Lagares?   Spring training RBI's are meaningless.  He has a shot to make the team, but he is not going to play over 4 outfielders who have now proven they can play well at the major league level.  The outfield is the least of our problems.

zoddie
zoddie

1. I care. I want the Mets to score more runs and batting the pitcher 8th helps do that (slightly).

2. You can certainly not make that argument. Feel free to try, though.

lindro88
lindro88

@Pete Brilvitch  Tejada won't be hitting 9th.  It says Lagares will. It's about trying to get some guys on base in front of Wright and Granderson.  If anyone besides Collins, who is thought of as a moron on this site, despite the fact he has forgotten more about baseball, than anyone of us know, came up with the idea for this team, it wouldn't be blasted before we see how it looks on the field.  This board is now just a place for people with very little knowledge, to come on and rip apart anything they read.  Every thread turns into "just sell the team Wilpon"  For every decent post,  5 behind it are just interested in ripping the team, the owners, Collins, and anyone else they can think of.   I really wonder why any of them bother to watch this team, let alone spend two minutes reading about them.  

mettle
mettle

@zoddie It sounds like Terry's rationale is to get more guy's on base for Wright.  But it doesn't play out the first time around the order. That's about 20% of his at bats.  My point is if the idea is to get more guys on base in front of Wright, then bat him 4th.

hankypanky
hankypanky

You don't "loose" fans. You LOSE them, for Pete's sake.

Joseph DeFazio
Joseph DeFazio

@Dr. James DiTuna @helloboy  Adam Rubin is reporting it. However, the article says the decision is not concrete. 

hankypanky
hankypanky

Interesting. So you find Tony La Russa stupid. Typical of the brain dead comments on this blog.

Joseph DeFazio
Joseph DeFazio

@lindro88  i think he would make for a good bat off the bench as well as a good late game runner.  Not just as a 4th outfielder.  

Joseph DeFazio
Joseph DeFazio

@Dr. James DiTuna  to me, den Decker has deserved it, but this is the Mets and they reward mediocre players, so he probably won't make the final 25. 

Pete Brilvitch
Pete Brilvitch

@lindro88 @Pete Brilvitch To be honest, I'm not a big proponent of the pitcher batting 8th. I just think think it's that a big deal one way or another. My guess is that Terry never does this in a regular season game anyway. I don't think he wants the criticism that's sure to follow.

Kevin Scott
Kevin Scott

@lindro88 @Pete BrilvitchIf anyone other than Collins decided to do it, it would be a bad idea as well.  I know what you'll say, but LaRussa did it, so it has to be a genius idea!!!  By that same logic, every other successful in baseball history has batted the pitcher 9th, so batting the pitcher 9th is obviously correct.


Take your love affair with LaRussa out of the equation and please explain why under any circumstance it makes sense batting inferior players higher in the order.  I will be happy to refute every one of your claims.

zoddie
zoddie

That is the rationale. It is a mix of getting guys on base for him AND not losing at bats for Wright by keeping him 3rd.

BringBackDaveTelghe
BringBackDaveTelghe

That's not true, at all.

After the first time through there's just a good chance he's facing the #5 starter. Every team is on a different schedule with off days, rainouts, etc.

lindro88
lindro88

@Thomas McKeever @Joseph DeFazio  For the first month or so it does mean Gee will be facing each team's ace.  Unless they have a bunch of rainouts.  It's tough when you lose a true number one like Harvery for the season.  I can see why they are not starting Wheeler.  He's a young pitcher and facing other team's number one starter the whole month of April could lead to some frustration.  I think its a wise move. 

lindro88
lindro88

@Joseph DeFazio @lindro88  I'd rather have Brown, who can provide some power off the  bench late in games.  They have pretty good speed up and down the lineup.  It's not like Den Dekker is a big base stealer.

lindro88
lindro88

@Dr. James DiTuna @jamets  Brown has shown he can provide big power from the right side off the bench.  We have plenty of good defensive outfielders as it is.  They don't need Den Dekker to replace any of the regular outfielders late in games.

Joseph DeFazio
Joseph DeFazio

@lindro88 @Pete Brilvitch  I'm going to say that's doubtful.  RT is your shortstop until it becomes even more painfully obvious he can't play as a starter in the majors. 

lindro88
lindro88

@Pete Brilvitch @lindro88  I agree.  Unless it clearly is working, I think on opening day  they will have the traditional lineup.  Hopefully by opening day we will have a new SS as well.

lindro88
lindro88

@Kevin Scott @lindro88 @Pete Brilvitch  Last comment from me.  You'd be a desperate manager as well, if you had to look at that middle of the infield.  Maybe Collins is trying to shine a light on how desperate the situation is.  Terry doesn't stock the shelves. He shuffles around the players that Sandy provides him with.  

lindro88
lindro88

@Kevin Scott @lindro88 @Pete Brilvitch  I'm not going to argue about a lineup they try in ST too much longer.  I agree, it is not ideal, but I don't really see the harm in looking at it in March. The bigger picture is the need to sign or trade for a Major League quality shortstop.  In the end this is much about nothing, I regret even trying to defend it.  Enjoy the season Kevin.

Kevin Scott
Kevin Scott

@lindro88 @Kevin Scott@Pete Brilvitch 

I understand what you are saying, but no, this idea does not get more people on base ahead of Wright or anyone else in the lineup.  Over the course of the season this approach will lead to a lower overall team batting average and lower overall on base percentage when compared to the pitcher batting 9th.  There is a reason that every single lineup is filled out with the worst hitter batting last.  The idea is to limit the amount of times the worst player comes to bat.  That is obvious, it's just simple math. 

Another disadvantage to this idea (if that wasn't good enough) is that it forces the manager's hand regarding pitching changes earlier than necessary due to the pitcher coming to bat earlier.

Again, you have not given an actual reason that this is a good idea to try, even once.  It is a silly demonstration from a desperate manager.

lindro88
lindro88

@Kevin Scott @lindro88 @Pete Brilvitch  This is not about Tejada.  He is what he is.  This is about trying to get more men on base for Wright. It's pretty simple.  I doubt they end up sticking with it regardless, for several reasons.  My point is trying it out in spring training is not something anyone should get upset over.  No downside to seeing what it looks like.  

Kevin Scott
Kevin Scott

@lindro88 @Kevin Scott@Pete BrilvitchWhat you're missing is that in your new approach, Tejada (who we can all agree is terrible) is now batting 7th and still not seeing any decent pitches because the pitcher is still hitting behind him.  This does not improve the lineup's strength at all, and I feel it pretty obviously weakens it substantially. 

lindro88
lindro88

@Kevin Scott @lindro88 @Pete Brilvitch  I don't have a love affair with LaRussa.  I'm just saying that if you have a lineup that has a big hole in it, like Tejada would provide, it is worth taking a look at hitting Lagares 9th. The 8 spot is the worst spot in the order.  You see very few pitches, because you have the pitcher behind you.  If the Mets had a deeper lineup, it wouldn't come up.  Since they don't what is the harm in seeing what it looks like.  Lagares followed by the leadoff spot gives them a better chance to put men on base for Wright.  That's the thinking behind it.  I don't like the idea we need to go that route, but I don't see why its a big deal for Collins to see how it works in spring training.

Thomas McKeever
Thomas McKeever

@Robby Johnson @Thomas McKeever@Pete BrilvitchI hope so becuase atleast he will be a different face at that position.  The last few years have seen very little production from SS.  I'm very ok with have a "mostly bat" SS at this point.  Who knows? He might turn out to be decent at SS if we give him enough reps.  Its a risk yes, but at this point, why not?