Tonight’s Mets Lineup vs. Pirates

Here is tonight’s Mets lineup to face Pirates righthander Charlie Morton:

Willie Harris – 3B
Justin Turner – 2B
Carlos Beltran – RF
Daniel Murphy – 1B
Angel Pagan – CF
Josh Thole – C
Jason Pridie – LF
Ruben Tejada – SS
Dillon Gee – P

It seems like whenever I knock Willie Harris, he reaches base four times. But I don’t care about those blips beyond the mean — with Jose Reyes and David Wright out of the lineup, I want Angel Pagan getting a guaranteed at-bat in the first inning. In fact, I probably want Pagan somewhere in the top three even with Reyes and Wright in the lineup. But that’s just me.

Question: if Willie Harris and Justin Turner flipped positions, would Harris be batting second?


Joe Janish began MetsToday in 2005 to provide the unique perspective of a high-level player and coach -- he earned NCAA D-1 All-American honors as a catcher and coached several players who went on to play pro ball. As a result his posts often include mechanical evaluations, scout-like analysis, and opinions that go beyond the numbers. Follow Joe's baseball tips on Twitter at @onbaseball and at the On Baseball Google Plus page.
  1. Joe May 30, 2011 at 5:35 pm
    I would agree with you about Pagan except that before he got hurt, Pagan wasn’t hitting. Harris seems to hit when he starts as an infielder. Hasn’t been too many yet, so maybe he won’t fall to his mean yet. Who knows?

    I see they have the Spring Training “B” line-up up again. Sorry to hear about Reyes’ grandmother, all the same.

    • Joe Janish May 30, 2011 at 7:00 pm
      Pagan is 4-for-16 since his return from the DL. Not awesome, but decent, and most importantly, he looks comfortable at the plate and is hitting the ball hard — unlike before he went n the DL and he was clearly slumping. In other words, I would argue that he is swinging well — maybe not on a hot streak, but swinging the way I expect him to. And as long as he looks confident and is swinging the bat the way he should be, I’ll put him ahead of Willie Harris any day of the week.

      Harris has had two multi-hit games all season. The 3-for-4 day from last week, and a two-hit game on Opening Day. He’s hitting .258 with a .710 OPS as a starter this year. Take out that 3-for-4 day and his average plummets to .225. He’s simply not a good hitter, and shouldn’t be hitting leadoff for an MLB team.

      That said, he’ll probably go 5-for-5 tonight with 5 runs scored. 🙂

      • Joe May 30, 2011 at 7:34 pm
        Harris appears to do well when staring as an infielder, for some reason. It’s a tiny sample size, but so be it.

        What you say really is fine as far as it goes. I would just add that it pays to have a decent hitter in the middle of the line-up too.

        • Joe May 30, 2011 at 7:36 pm
          And, the last point — according to Gary — is the reason why Pagan was put in that spot.
        • Joe Janish May 31, 2011 at 12:46 am
          Gary’s job is to follow talking points. I wouldn’t trust him to make out a lineup or manage a baseball team.

          You want good hitters in every spot of your lineup if possible. But to put a terrible hitter at leadoff for the purpose of putting a better hitter in the middle lineup is illogical. The best hitters should always get the most at-bats, and good hitters should get more at-bats than terrible hitters.

          Harris started exactly three games as an infielder before this ballgame, and went 1-2, 0-4, 3-4. Yes, that’s a total of 4-10, but all it tells us is that he happened to go 3-4 on the same day he happened to be playing the infield. His career OPS is .678, which is terrible, and his OPS this year is .638, which is beyond terrible. Will he have a good game every now and then? Sure, every MLBer does, eventually. That doesn’t justify having him hit leadoff.

        • Joe May 31, 2011 at 5:38 am
          I’m just saying what the guy said. I’m not saying that I’m going for him for strategy. But, the idea he is just there to parrot talking points and by now doesn’t know anything about strategy is a bit much all the same.

          I’d toss out there that Darling said it made sense to pull out Pelfrey the other day.

          I don’t really understand that logic. The lead-off guy is going to have another at bat at most. Say you put Pagan at the top of the line-up. You have an emptiness in the middle of the line-up. Until Thole got his big hit, note how that turned out: repeatedly, people were left in scoring position.

          Lol. Again, he was quite “decent” the few times he played as an infielder and that is w/o knowing if any of the 0 of 4 included some good hacks. There weren’t any great options with this line-up and having a big dead zone after Murphy wasn’t a great option either.

  2. Mic May 30, 2011 at 8:06 pm
    But”…….pagan hits better leading off. He cant leadoff when reyes plays hence .250
  3. gary s. May 30, 2011 at 11:22 pm
    Baseball is simple.The good hitters should get more ab’s than the bad hitters.Harris should never hit above the six hole.I don’t understand Collins’s logic on this.That said, after the mets got 15 hits tonite, Harris will probably bat leadoff again.He did make a couple of good plays at third tonite.He just can’t hit.