Before Jose Reyes' thyroid problem, it looked like he was going to be the No. 3 hitter on Opening Day. His thyroid set him back, but when he returned, the question came up again.
The only reason the Mets even considered batting Reyes third is because Carlos Beltran is injured. With Beltran gone, the Mets lineup could use some more depth.
Manager Jerry Manuel decided to stretch out the lineup, and put Reyes at the three-spot. He had played 591 straight games in the leadoff spot.
Mets fans were split on the decision to bat Reyes third.
Reyes is your ideal leadoff hitter. He's fast, gets on base, he's really fast, he steals bases—and he's extremely fast.
Did I mention if he was fast?
Even though Reyes hasn't been going all out in his running, he's still one of the fastest runners in all of baseball. His calf injury is still keeping him from going all out while he's running.
In Reyes' first time batting third, he had a fantastic game. Manuel looked like a genius. He looked even smarter when his team finished a 9-1 homestand.
Hitting third really didn't help Reyes' production, but it really helped Jason Bay though. Bay broke out of his ice-cold slump and began to hit like the Mets were paying him the big bucks to.
Despite a good night last night for Reyes, he has not looked like himself though.
I was in favor of this move in the lineup, but I am seeing some cons along with the pros.
With Bay batting behind Reyes, he hasn't really had a lot of chances to steal bases. Bay is not a guy who will take pitches to let Reyes steal. I don't expect Bay to do that at all. It's just disappointing, because a little bit of Reyes' ability to change the game is taken away from him.
Reyes is a fantastic player, and I believe he can succeed anywhere in the lineup.
If Reyes doesn't break out of his mini-slump, then changes should be considered. Angel Pagan hasn't been great in the leadoff spot, so any changes might help.
I'm willing to give Reyes another week or two to prove himself though. He's still not at full strength, and I never expect someone to be great after they haven't played baseball for almost a full year.
This will be an interesting thing to watch.
I think that both Reyes and Pagan will step up. We will see.
We do know one thing though: Reyes has the ability to help the team, whether he's batting leadoff or third. He's a fantastic player who will help the Mets win a lot of games this season.