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With pitchers and catchers in Port St. Lucie, it’s only a matter of time. Today, we break down the New York Mets lineup possibilities.

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Pitchers and catchers have reported. As of Wednesday, Feb. 13, 2019, the likes of Jacob deGrom, Noah Syndergaard, Zack Wheeler, Steven Matz, Jeurys Familia, and the newbies named Justin Wilson and closer Edwin Diaz are dancing in the streets of Port St. Lucie, Florida.

On second thought, are there streets down there? Of course. There must be. But as a complete Port St. Lucie foreigner, I’ll default to New York Mets fandom on the topic.

Streets or not, the bats are coming. Michael Conforto, Amed Rosario, Robinson Cano and the rest of the boys will be Grapefruit League-bound on Feb. 18. All are soon to arrive. Many new yet old, returning yet young. All attempting to serve as a specifically-fitting piece in Mickey Callaway‘s lineup.

Understanding one critical thing is crucial prior to digging in. Young Brodie Van Wagenen has insisted several times that the “everyday lineup” is somewhat of an antiquated notion in Flushing. Instead of clear-cut starters, the 25-man roster is filled with flexibility and variety.

Nobody knows who the first baseman is. Nobody knows where Jed Lowrie will play despite Van Wagenen’s words leading us to believe he’ll play every day. Nobody knows who the de facto center fielder will be on Opening Day.

Therefore, we’ll break down several possibilities.

Mets Lineup vs. RHP

Possibility No. 1

  1. Brandon Nimmo (L-CF)
  2. Jed Lowrie (S-3B)
  3. Robinson Cano (L-2B)
  4. Wilson Ramos (R-C)
  5. Michael Conforto (L-RF)
  6. Amed Rosario (R-SS)
  7. Jeff McNeil (L-LF)
  8. Peter Alonso (R-1B)

The first possibility looks pretty promising.

It’s true; there are many questions surrounding the Mets lineup heading into 2019. Where’s the power?

If power is the only thing the objective view is after, he or she will walk home disappointed.

This isn’t Sandy Alderson’s team anymore. Instead, Brodie Van Wagenen ditched the “walk and a blast” motto for a balanced, flexible collection. This is exactly the type of situation that creeps up on folks. Most can’t recognize a solid lineup if promised power isn’t easily identified.

Brandon Nimmo is the bonafide leadoff man. Finishing with a .404 on-base a year ago, he’s unchallenged at the moment. Jed Lowrie is also the undisputed number two hitter. Despite not knowing where he’ll play within the infield, Van Wagenen has repeatedly made the claim his position is the No. 2 hitter. He said this as late as this week while on with WFAN’s Mike Francesa.

New York Mets

We already know Robinson Cano is the No. 3 man. The real question comes when looking for the clean-up hitter. Witnessing Wilson Ramos‘s name there isn’t ideal. Michael Conforto may be the better option, but splitting up the lefties is much more favorable.

Finally, yes, we are slotting Peter Alonso in as the starting first basemen. He is the key to a truly balanced lineup this season. That right-handed power bat is crucial.

Possibility No. 2 (Off Days)

  1. Brandon Nimmo (L-CF)
  2. Jed Lowrie (S-3B)
  3. Robinson Cano (L-2B)
  4. Michael Conforto (L-RF)
  5. Amed Rosario (R-SS)
  6. Jeff McNeil (L-LF)
  7. Todd Frazier (R-1B)
  8. Travis d’Arnaud (R-C)

On off-days against the right-handed pitcher, the Mets are still solid. Travis d’Arnaud shows face (assuming he wins the backup job) while forcing everybody to move up a tick.

Todd Frazier moves to first base in exchange for the rook.

Possibility No. 3 (Cano at 1B)

  1. Brandon Nimmo (L-CF)
  2. Jed Lowrie (S-2B)
  3. Robinson Cano (L-1B)
  4. Wilson Ramos (R-C)
  5. Michael Conforto (L-RF)
  6. Amed Rosario (R-SS)
  7. Jeff McNeil (L-LF)
  8. Todd Frazier (R-3B)

If Van Wagenen is to be believed, Robby Cano will play a little first base. Here’s what it’d look like if it comes to fruition.

Best-Case Scenario (Alonso at No. 4)

  1. Brandon Nimmo (L-CF)
  2. Jed Lowrie (S-3B)
  3. Robinson Cano (L-2B)
  4. Peter Alonso (R-1B)
  5. Michael Conforto (L-RF)
  6. Amed Rosario (R-SS)
  7. Jeff McNeil (L-LF)
  8. Wilson Ramos (R-C)

The aforementioned key to the lineup is that power-righty bat. This means Peter Alonso coming into his own as a rookie.

In the best-case scenario, Alsono at first and in the clean-up spot presents a very dangerous lineup. More than star power, the depth is incredible. Jeff McNeil and Amed Rosario in the sixth and seventh spots? Not bad.

The power bat of Wilson Ramos in the eighth spot is also a nice placement. Allow the man, if possible, to focus on the staff while driving in whatever he can in front of him.

Brandon Nimmo
(Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images)

Mets Lineup vs. LHP

Possibility No. 1

  1. Brandon Nimmo (L-RF)
  2. Jed Lowrie (S-3B)
  3. Robinson Cano (L-2B)
  4. Wilson Ramos (R-C)
  5. Amed Rosario (R-SS)
  6. Michael Conforto (L-LF)
  7. Peter Alonso (R-1B)
  8. Juan Lagares (R-CF)

Against lefties, certain things will change. There are also natural questions. Can Brandon Nimmo represent the all-time leadoff man against both righties and lefties?

The splits were drastic in 2018. Against righties, Nimmo hit .275 with a .424 on-base. Against lefties, he finished with a .234 average and a .351 on-base. Perhaps they don’t begin with Nimmo in the lineup against lefties.

If not, where do they go in terms of a leadoff man?

Amed Rosario is an option, though nobody wants to see him in the one or two spot until he figures out the on-base game. (Although, he may never and instead, fit the middle-of-the-lineup his entire career.) Jed Lowrie could leadoff in a pinch when needed. Michael Conforto can as well.

We’ll hedge our bets that Nimmo continues pushing forward against lefties.

Juan Lagares replaces Jeff McNeil, bumping Nimmo to a corner outfield spot while possibly also affecting Mikey C.’s placement.

Possibility No. 2 (Off Days)

  1. Michael Conforto (L-LF)
  2. Jed Lowrie (S-3B)
  3. Robinson Cano (L-2B)
  4. Amed Rosario (R-SS)
  5. Todd Frazier (R-1B)
  6. Keon Broxton (R-RF)
  7. Travis d’Arnaud (R-C)
  8. Juan Lagares (R-CF)

The man not mentioned in the previous situation who may start against lefties on a routine basis is Keon Broxton. The kid has loads of potential and could signal the young GM’s sneakiest signing yet.

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If Broxton replaces Nimmo against lefties, Rosario or Lowrie will be forced to leadoff. Furthermore, when Ramos is out, the clean-up spot is in a bad way. Maybe Conforto leads off while Rosario hits clean-up. Based on recent history, that’s probably the way to go.

Remember, this is just the off-day scenario.

Possibility No. 3 (Cano at 1B)

  1. Brandon Nimmo (L-RF)
  2. Jed Lowrie (S-2B)
  3. Robinson Cano (L-1B)
  4. Wilson Ramos (R-C)
  5. Amed Rosario (R-SS)
  6. Michael Conforto (LF)
  7. Todd Frazier (R-3B)
  8. Juan Lagares (R-CF)

With Robby at first on those off-days, Frazier moves to third while Lowrie skips on over to second, similarly to the right-handed pitching setup.

Best-Case Scenario (Alonso at No. 4)

  1. Brandon Nimmo (L-RF)
  2. Jed Lowrie (S-3B)
  3. Robinson Cano (L-2B)
  4. Peter Alonso (R-1B)
  5. Amed Rosario (R-SS)
  6. Michael Conforto (L-LF)
  7. Wilson Ramos (R-C)
  8. Juan Lagares (R-CF)

In the best-case scenario against lefties, here comes Peter Alonso again. The only difference against righties is Lagares in for McNeil.

Peter Alonso
(Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)

Final Thoughts

The Perfect RHP-LHP Generic Scenario

  1. Brandon Nimmo (L-CF)
  2. Jed Lowrie (S-3B)
  3. Robinson Cano (L-2B)
  4. Peter Alonso (R-1B)
  5. Michael Conforto (L-RF)
  6. Amed Rosario (R-SS)
  7. Jeff McNeil (L-LF)
  8. Wilson Ramos (R-C)

The perfect generic lineup looks like this. While it’s true that Wilson Ramos contains a bat, in a perfect world, throwing him in the eighth spot in front of the pitcher allows for his power to shine through while correctly marginalizing his baserunning ability. Besides, he’s a catcher. Let him focus more on the staff without the added pressure the clean-up spot brings.

Nimmo is a plus leadoff man. Lowrie is the prototypical second hitter. From Cano to Rosario, three to six, the New York Mets would showcase a pretty dangerous middle-of-the-lineup face.

Of course, it all hedges on Peter Alonso. He remains the key to a best-case New York Mets lineup.

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