Carlos Delgado Back in the Lineup, Should He Remain As No. 4 Hitter?

Wendy AdairAnalyst IMay 5, 2009

NEW YORK - APRIL 26:  Carlos Delgado #21 of the New York Mets bats against the Washington Nationals on April 26, 2009 at Citi Field in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

Carlos Delgado returned to the Mets lineup against Atlanta last night and he did fine, but you do have to wonder if his hip injury will significantly affect his power and production in the lineup.

Swapping Carlos Beltran and David Wright seems to be paying off so far, but if last night was any indication, things may change in the fourth and fifth spots.

Wright seems to be coming out of his slump, seeing the ball better and putting pitches into play that he had been fouling off the last few weeks.

Carlos Delgado is a premiere and established power hitter no question, but if he is hampered with chronic hip pain, his ability to hit for power and his running the bases will suffer, although Delgado was never a fast runner.

Along with Jose Reyes and Carlos Beltran, Wright is one of the fastest runners on the team and with him currently hitting behind Delgado, especially now with his hip injury, Wright's own running game may suffer if Delgado reaches base ahead of him.

Last night after Beltran's home run in the sixth inning, Delgado singled and Wright followed with a home run to put the Mets ahead for good. 

If Wright had not homered, but hit a single or double, the chances of Delgado even advancing to third base would have been risky at best.

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The Mets, especially Ryan Church as of late, are hitting into a lot of double plays which is a huge rally killer and if Wright had not homered there would be another potential double play situation.

If Wright shows that he has emerged from his slump and continues to produce (his home run last night generated his 500th and 501st career RBI, the seventh met to reach that milestone), he may earn the cleanup spot back in the lineup.

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