Curtis Granderson Moves to Two Spot

Here are this afternoon’s lineups:

Jason Heyward, rf
B.J. Upton, cf
Freddie Freeman, 1b
Justin Upton, lf
Chris Johnson, 3b
Dan Uggla, 2b
Andrelton Simmons, ss
Gerald Laird, c
David Hale, rhp

Eric Young Jr., lf
Curtis Granderson, rf
David Wright, 3b
Daniel Murphy, 2b
Chris Young, cf
Lucas Duda, 1b
Anthony Recker, c
Omar Quintanilla, ss
Zack Wheeler, rhp

Daniel Murphy and Curtis Granderson switch places in the Mets lineup. Granderson is batting .140 and is 2 for his last 16. What do you do with someone slumping so mightily? Move him up in the lineup, of course, so he can get more at-bats. Wait, what?

Hey, maybe it’ll work. The theory, I imagine, is that Grandy will see more fastballs with Eric Young, Jr. hitting ahead of him. Of course, that’s assuming Eric Young, Jr. gets on first base. And thus far, Young, Jr. has been getting on base 35% of the time, which is pretty good.

Well, now, hold on a second — let’s look at this more fully. So, in theory, Young, Jr. gets on first base somehow, and since he’s a threat to steal, more fastballs will be called with Granderson at the plate. Additionally, the first baseman will be holding the runner so there’s presumably a larger hole on the right side of the infield for the pull-happy Granderson to hit through. However, the whole point of Young at the top of the lineup is that he is a steal threat — so, do you want Granderson taking pitches so that Young can take second base? Hmm …

Further, let’s say it works out that Young gets on first and steals second. Now what? Will the opposing pitcher be throwing more fastballs with a man on second? If anything, he’ll probably be offering more breaking pitches, and pitches out of the strike zone, especially with first base open.

And then there’s the other situation — the one where Young, Jr. makes an out / is not on first base. With one out and no one on base, will Granderson get many fastballs?

Finally, there is protection for David Wright. I think that Granderson’s presence on the on-deck circle can help convince pitchers to pitch to Wright in certain situations — regardless of how poorly Granderson is hitting. However, is anyone going to worry about walking Wright with Daniel Murphy on deck? Never mind the fact that Murphy hits fairly well with RISP, and incredibly well with two outs and a man on third — there are few pitchers in baseball who would rather pitch to Wright than Murphy. But, maybe that will work out well for the Mets — pitchers will walk Wright to face Murphy, and Murphy will get big hits. But, that’s getting away from the crux of the matter, which is that Granderson is slumping, and now he’ll be getting more at-bats than anyone other than the leadoff hitter.

Your thoughts?

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. bill April 20, 2014 at 12:20 pm
    Have to try something.if number 2 doesn’t work then it has to be in the The 7th spot.
  2. AC Wayne April 20, 2014 at 1:43 pm
    Don’t like Murphy in the clean up spot, he’s a perfect 2-hole hitter, why not have Grandy bat sixth behind Duda and CY. Not surprised though, Terry Collins is the manager.
  3. Dan42 April 20, 2014 at 2:07 pm
    Collins could be worried about wounding Granderson’s self esteem, or more likely not making Alderson look too stupid for signing him to a ridiculous contract, considering that it could have been spent on a greater need.
  4. NormE April 20, 2014 at 2:52 pm
    The talent level is too thin. TC is no great strategist but it really doesn’t matter. The real culprits are farther up on the Mets chain.
  5. DaveSchneck April 20, 2014 at 9:44 pm
    For my 2 cents, I agree that Grandy does bot belong in the cleanup spot. Righ tnow, he looks like a pitcher at the plate, his swing and miss rateis scary. I would put him #6, and move the Dude into #4. Opposing pitchers seem to pitch him more carefully than Grandy, which tell me they respect his bat more, at least at this point. I also agree with Dan B in that I would stick with TDA, hit him 8th, take the offensive pressure off and let him focus on defending and take offense as gravy. This requires Tejada to be replaces as starting SS.