Jerry Manuel has stirred up some excitement in the otherwise bland Port St. Lucie by talking about how he's thinking about batting Reyes third in the order to get him to the "next level."
This is not only crazy, it's stupid. Anyone who watches the Mets knows that as Reyes goes so go the Mets. When he gets on in the first inning and scores, it sets the tone for the game. Moving Reyes from that leadoff spot would change the whole context of the Mets lineup.
If Reyes were to bat second behind Castillo, you can expect Reyes' stolen base totals to plummet. There's no way he's running with the Gimp on base in front of him. And if Castillo gets out then if Reyes gets on he will either have 1 or 2 outs and may hinder his willingness to run.
Reyes speed and ability to make things happen on the base paths is what makes him the best leadoff hitter in the league. I understand what Manuel is saying about he's only the leadoff hitter in the first inning, but those first inning runs are oh so important to the Mets and set the tone for the game.
Maybe I'm wrong. Maybe the Mets need to shake things up because what they've been doing the last two seasons hasn't been working. But somehow I don't think moving Reyes is the solution.