“No. 1, we’ve got to find a bat in the middle of the lineup that produces runs,” Collins said at Joe Torre‘s annual charity event in Manhattan.
“We certainly hoped Ike [Davis] could do it. He had a rough year. He’s certainly not done by any means. He’s still a young guy. But for us to compete, we’ve got to make sure we have a guy who we know is going to produce. We’ve got to protect David. I know that’s probably our No. 1 priority right now. ”
The key words in that statement by Collins is making sure we get a slugger “we know is going to produce.”
Collins has been lobbying for some thump in the lineup ever since the Mets announced his two year extension after the season ended.
He told the Midland Daily News that Wright was the centerpiece of the offense, but he needed a cleanup hitter to help him at the plate.
“We’ve got to find us somebody who can keep the opposing pitchers from pitching around David,” Collins said. “That’s one of the things we will be looking for in the offseason.”
We’re all praying that Travis d’Arnaud can provide some of that thump behind the plate, but he would need to stay healthy and not look as overwhelmed as he did at times last season. The Mets need to see some punch from the one-time top catching prospect in the game who soon turns 25.
Currently, the Mets have nobody on the roster who could bat cleanup. Lucas Duda comes the closest, but there’s not a pitcher in the game that fears pitching to him, and that’s what the Mets need to protect Wright.