Opening Day lineup had Mike Jacobs playing first and hitting clean up. Mets final game against the Rockies had Fernando Tatis playing first and batting fifth. Combined Jacobs and Tatis are 7/36 (.194), 1 home run, 5 RBIs with 10 strikeouts. Not exactly what the Mets want from their “power and clutch hitting” first basemen. And we still have plenty of time left before Daniel Murphy is inevitably the first baseman for the Mets.
However, the Buffalo Bisons (5-3) have a first baseman-turned outfielder, Chris Carter who is hitting 10/26 (.360), 4 doubles, 2 triples, a home run, 7 RBIs, and only struck out 4 times. Yeah, you’re reading that right. Chris Carter is hitting better by himself than the Mets two first basemen combined.
Chris Carter lost the Mets final bench spot to the former first baseman, Frank Catalanotto. Manuel chose Catalanotto over Carter because he has played more positions during his 13-year career. I’ll give him that. He’s played every position and can do it without any hesitation, however, the Mets seem to hesitate to use him. Catalanotto has only 8 at-bats, not getting a single hit in any of them and striking out in three of them. Is his defensive versatility really the only thing that is keeping Frank with the Mets over Carter? Seems like it.
However, the conspiracy theorist in me believes that the Mets are afraid that if Carter played well, they wouldn’t know what to do with Murphy. Imagine if Carter was the “temporary” first baseman, and he hit .350 with 7 homers in the months of April and May? What do you when Murphy is ready to return from the DL?
Chris Carter of course, is not the only better choice to play first base for the Mets. Ike Davis is tearing it up in Buffalo as well batting .346 with three doubles, two home runs, two RBIs, and five strikeouts. He too is hitting better than both Jacobs and Tatis. However, as much as I love Ike and want him to play, I know he needs to be in AAA right now. Developing his offensive and defensive skills should be the top priority.
Finally, there is still one more first baseman who is hitting very, very well in the minors. He’s been trying to make it with the Mets for the past three years. I’m talking about the Mets’ original future first baseman even before Davis burst onto the scene… Nick Evans. He’s hitting .364 with four doubles, three home runs, ten RBIs, and five strikeouts with AA-Binghamton.
So who’s the better choice? Well, basically any of them would be an improvement over Jacobs and Tatis. Honestly, I’d rather have Evans, but Carter has a better chance to make the team, and I’m all for that.
Consider this lineup…
1. Jose Reyes SS
2. Luis Castillo 2B
3. David Wright 3B
4. Jeff Francoeur RF
5. Jason Bay LF
6. Chris Carter 1B
7. Rod Barajas C
8. Angel Pagan CF
It may not look like much of an improvement, but I’m sure they would account for more wins than the status quo until Carlos Beltran is back and healthy. Also, it’s time to move Jeff to the cleanup spot. Bay still hasn’t found his groove so until he does lets bat Frenchy fourth and give Wright some much needed support. I love all the walks Wright is drawing, but I love extra-base hits better.
Let’s Go Mets!!! Shut down Albert “The Machine” Pujols!