What The Mets Lineup Could Look Like With DH

Ken Rosenthal of the Athletic reported yesterday that sent shockwaves through Twitter as he wrote that the MLBPA has made a counterproposal to MLB to have a universal DH for the 2019 season with pitchers and catchers set to report to Spring Training next week and some already present.

While it is far from a guarantee it gets enacted, at least this season, it is certainly starting to appear plausible that it could come to fruition.

If this does happen, the Mets actually are in a very prominent position, given the strong depth they have assembled throughout the offseason which gives them a lot of flexibility.

So, there are three different scenarios I am going to play out here and I would love to hear what you guys think about this in the comment section.

1. Defensive Minded

With a DH, the Mets would have the ability to get Jeff McNeil‘s bat in the lineup consistently which in turn could allow the team to suffer a bit offensively in the outfield, given the fact that (most) bench players are better hitters than pitchers.

Getting Juan Lagares‘ or Keon Broxton‘s glove in the outfield would be a big-time addition to the outfield that would allow the Mets to shift Brandon Nimmo and Michael Conforto to the corners instead of having Jeff McNeil start his experiment in left field on an everyday basis right away.

Lagares had five defensive runs saved and a 1.4 ultimate zone rating in only 128 1/3 innings last season while Broxton had 11 DRS and a 6.5 UZR in 134 1/3 innings. Brodie Van Wagenen said early in the offseason that defense would become a priority for the Mets in 2019 and this would be the way to prove that.

As can be seen below, I also have McNeil and Robinson Cano switching between second base and DH because of the fact that Cano is 36 and could probably use a decent amount of rest while McNeil’s natural position is second base making him a good choice to platoon between the two spots with.

  1. Brandon Nimmo  LF
  2. Jed Lowrie  3B
  3. Robinson Cano  2B/DH
  4. Michael Conforto  RF
  5. Wilson Ramos  C
  6. Jeff McNeil  2B/DH
  7. Todd Frazier  1B
  8. Amed Rosario  SS
  9. Juan Lagares  CF

2. Alonso Joins the Club, Offense First

Another scenario that could very well play out is one where Peter Alonso is no longer expected to handle first base when he gets called up, probably before the end of April.

In this scenario, I will go on the offense first side of things where the defense would be somewhat neglected. If that is the case, Todd Frazier would probably be the bat to try and get into the lineup. Alonso’s defense has been criticized at times, but his bat is no doubt worth getting into the lineup, at least in the Mets’ eyes.

Therefore, he would not have to play first base in this scenario and Frazier would stay at the position.

  1. Brandon Nimmo  CF
  2. Jed Lowrie  3B
  3. Robinson Cano  2B
  4. Michael Conforto  RF
  5. Peter Alonso  DH
  6. Jeff McNeil  LF
  7. Wilson Ramos  C
  8. Todd Frazier  1B
  9. Amed Rosario  SS

3. Cespedes Returns (Potentially Sooner Than Expected)

So, the lineup that includes Yoenis Cespedes is always the one that gets people the most excited and for good reason, especially when you consider the availability of a DH spot in this specific scenario.

While everyone wants his bat in the lineup, coming off double-heel surgery will be no easy task with him not expected back until at least July. On top of it, there is no guarantee that he will be even an average defender in left field upon his return and probably will need a lot of rest from the position early on.

Cespedes, 33, would potentially be able to return quicker from injury if only relied upon to DH early on as the Mets have done with him and other hitters in the past when playing AL clubs.

With a full-time DH at the Mets’ disposal, they could take their time moving him back to the outfield.

  1. Brandon Nimmo  CF
  2. Jed Lowrie  3B
  3. Robinson Cano  2B
  4. Yoenis Cespedes  DH
  5. Michael Conforto  RF
  6. Peter Alonso  1B
  7. Jeff McNeil  LF
  8. Wilson Ramos  C
  9. Amed Rosario  SS

In all likelihood, if the NL adopts a DH in 2019, all of these scenarios will play out at one point or another and the Mets would have a rotating turnstile at the position, trying to give rest to everyone on the team so they will, hopefully, be well rested for an October playoff run.

The Mets are among the teams best positioned to handle the switch this season if it does actually come to fruition with the Chicago Cubs (Kyle Schwarber) really the only team in the NL that might be more set up for this scenario.

About Josh Finkelstein 542 Articles
I am a senior at SUNY Cortland majoring in Sport Management. I have been a big Mets fan since 2007 and David Wright has and always will be my favorite player. Follow me on Twitter @JoshFinkMets. LGM!