When I asked to be a part of this site, Wilcox gave me a template to use for my 2007 predictions, but since I came to the party late, I didn’t address one of the topics they did. One of those topics was the prospect of David Wright in the two hole, instead of Paul LoDuca. Both my colleagues were very positive about the experiment which Willie Randolph toyed with the second half of spring training; I, however, not only subscribe to the “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” theory, but I also think, as this team is constituted right now, it would be a move in the wrong direction.While I don’t disagree with the idea of putting your best hitters at the top of the lineup, and while I agree that David Wright is one of the Mets’ best hitters, at this point in his career he fits better in the 5/6 hole than he does up at the top. The biggest issue I had with Wright’s 2006 season, aside from his major slump after the All-Star break, was the obscene amount of full counts he ran. Typically he would fall behind early in the count, and then spend the second half of his at bat fighting off pitches the opposite way. “What’s wrong with that?” I hear ringing in my ears as I type this (the doctors told me this would stop…but they don’t root for the Mets). The problem I have is, we know Wright can take the ball the other way well, but he’s not Mike Piazza; he’s not going to hit the ball 450 feet to right field. If Wright is going to increase his power numbers and become a lock for 30 homeruns a year, he needs to take advantage of pitchers trying to get ahead of him early with a fastball. Hitting behind Reyes would cause him to continue to be overly selective. Wright needs to bat at a place in the lineup where he can grow as a hitter. I don’t think any Mets fan wants to concede that Wright will be a .300 20 100 player. We don’t want Fonzie at his best, we want better.
For those of you who want stats and other silly stuff like that, I’m sure Wilcox can give you them, but as just a free thinking Mets fan, I am perfectly happy with the lineup card the Amazins’ handed Gary Cederstrom Sunday night. And look, if you still aren’t satisfied with it, we all now LoDuca isn’t playing 162 games this year, so when he’s on the bench Willie can move Wright up to the number 2 hole…so let’s not freak out too early. Hey, they’re on pace for 162-0 so don’t complain…leave that garbage in the Bronx.