NEW YORK, NY - MAY 02: Yoenis Cespedes #52 of the New York Mets hits a double in the first inning against the Atlanta Braves on May 2, 2018 at Citi Field in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City.
(Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

What will the New York Mets’ lineup look like now that the universal DH rule is going live in the National League?

On Wednesday, Joel Sherman of the New York Post reported that MLB’s offer to the players would include a universal designated hitter for both the 2020 and 2021 season.

Many fans of National League teams will be sad to see pitchers no longer come up to bat, but it’s undeniable that teams like the New York Mets will benefit from the new rule.

Their roster is crowded with talented hitters who were at a disadvantage because they had nowhere to play on the field. Let’s take a look at how the Mets may possibly assemble their lineups with the new DH spot.

Obviously, the lineup will look different depending on who is on the mound, a right-handed pitcher or a left-handed one. The majority of pitchers in the league are right-handed, so this may be the lineup we see the Mets put out most next year:

Brandon Nimmo, CF
Jeff McNeil, 2B
Pete Alonso, 1B
Michael Conforto, RF
J.D. Davis, 3B
Robinson Cano, DH
Wilson Ramos, C
Dominic Smith, LF
Amed Rosario, SS

This is what the Mets’ lineup will look like against lefties:

Brandon Nimmo, CF
Jeff McNeil, 3B
Pete Alonso, 1B
Yoenis Cespedes, DH
Michael Conforto, RF
J.D. Davis, LF
Robinson Cano, 2B
Wilson Ramos, C
Amed Rosario, SS

Let’s analyze these further. The lefty Brandon Nimmo will likely leadoff and play center in both scenarios, especially since the organization has reiterated that he will be featured in center more often than not.

Jeff McNeil will hit second in both scenarios, as well, but his position will change. In order to get Dominic Smith in the lineup against righties, J.D. Davis will have to move to third, forcing McNeil to move to second.

McNeil is a natural second baseman, so he will feel comfortable there, but is actually best at third base, so either scenario will turn out fine for him and the team.

Like Nimmo, Pete Alonso’s place in the lineup and defensive position will remain the same regardless of who is pitching.

Because Yoenis Cespedes’ situation is up in the air, I have him being left out of the team’s lineup against righties. They will likely look to keep him rested and healthy since he’s so injury prone.

However, Cespedes is one of the team’s best defensive players, so if he appears to be coming along nicely as the season progresses, we may begin to see him in the field, primarily in left, more and more.

Also one of the team’s best defensive players, Michael Conforto will be manning right field in both scenarios, but will be moved down in the lineup against lefties.

The DH spot benefits Davis more than many, and he will be featured in both lineups, but at different positions.

He’ll play left field against lefties but, as we mentioned before, will have to move to his natural position at third base against righties to make room for Smith.

Overall, Davis isn’t a good defender regardless of where he plays, so his defensive positioning doesn’t really make a difference.

Robinson Cano will also start in both scenarios — as the DH against righties and second baseman against lefties. Cano isn’t getting any younger so having him DH will be important in preventing injuries.

While Tomas Nido is one of the best defensive catchers in the league, he is an abysmal hitter (arguably the worst on the team), so he will likely rarely start.

Nido’s ineptitude at the plate will prevent Wilson Ramos from DH-ing, even though his defensive numbers aren’t great and he’s older and injury-prone.

Ramos will assume catching duties and hit towards the bottom of the lineup against both righties and lefties.

Amed Rosario will play shortstop and hit last in both scenarios.

The implementation of the universal DH rule will benefit Smith the most. Although he’s a natural first baseman and Alonso has claimed the starting first baseman job for himself, Smith can now realistically start (likely in left) a good chunk of the team’s games, primarily when a righty is on the mound.

Luis Guillorme will likely rarely start but may be used as a pinch-runner, hitter, and injury-replacement.

Jake Marisnick is an elite defender but an awful hitter so the Mets may elect to use him often as a defensive replacement. He may also come in to pinch-hit, mostly against lefties.

Lastly, we have Jed Lowrie who missed the entirety of the 2019 season due to injuries. But he seems to be healthy now and ready to go when the season commences. His signing last year didn’t make much sense since the Mets already had an overcrowded infield, but he was expected to add depth and veteran experience.

That obviously didn’t happen, but Lowrie will seek to contribute this season, especially since he will be an unrestricted free agent after the year ends.

It’s hard to envision the team benching any of the aforementioned players to start Lowrie, but he can be a threat off the bench, especially since he’s the team’s only switch-hitter.

The speculative lineups obviously aren’t definite and even if they are accurate, the Mets will certainly change them up at least every once in a while.

Fans are going to miss seeing pitchers hit, but will at least there will be more offense and fewer automatic outs.W

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