Manuel Needs Consistency In Lineup

Brad WebsterCorrespondent IJuly 2, 2009

NEW YORK - JUNE 22:  Daniel Murphy #28 of the New York Mets bats against the St. Louis Cardinals on June 22, 2009 at Citi Field in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City.  (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

While you can't argue against Jerry Manuel's win-loss record as manager of the Mets, you could certainly poke at him for some decisions that he has made this year.

It all starts with the lineup.  I believe that a level of comfort is added for players when they hit in the same spot in the lineup regularly, and they play the same position regularly. 

Obviously lineups change for platoon situations and resting players, but Jerry has basically put a different lineup out every day. 

My first solution is to send down the guys that are simply not worthy to be on a major league roster.  Argenis Reyes and Pat Misch have to go.  I'm not sure how to replace Reyes.  Shawn Bowman is hitting .282-7-34 in 266 AB for AA Binghamton. 

I admit there's not a lot of choices down on the farm.  Reyes would be camping out on the bench if I had anything to say about it. 

The main point here is that we have too many light hitters on the team right now.  For Misch we have some choices.  Nelson Figueroa has a 2.61 ERA in 76 IP and Eddie Kunz posts a 3.41 in 34 IP. 

The second solution is to go back to basics while tutoring the young guys.  Keep Parnell out of pressure situations, bat Martinez eighth, Murphy second.  That sort of thing.  Here's my projected lineup. 

2B Castillo

1B Murphy

3B Wright

LF Sheffield

RF Church

C  Schneider/Santos

SS Cora

CF Martinez

Sheffield shouldn't play more than four times a week, so I'd platoon him with Nick Evans. 

The main point of the lineup is to show that Murphy and Church need to be in the lineup every day.  They are getting the short end of the stick for some reason.  A .250 batting average isn't that bad, considering you knew this was going to happen.  He can't seem to get hot because he's not getting regular at bats. 

Tatis isn't hitting and needs to go back to the bench.  Castillo has done well all year for the Mets, but you don't want thim up there with RISP.  Solution: bat him leadoff. 

Even this lineup won't produce enough runs to win without great pitching, but you put the hot hitters at the top and the slumpers at the bottom and you should get more runs out of the top. 

The third solution is to make a trade for a power hitter and a shortstop.  At what expense?  We can't further deplete the farm sysem for a power hitter. 

It wouldn't take much to go get a shortstop, though.  Clint Barmes, Craig Counsell, David Eckstein are some names that come to mind.  Barmes would be the best fit as he can fill in for Castillo and might be a good utility player for the Mets in the future.