Luis Rojas says Mets lineup beginning to take shape

Brandon Nimmo Francisco Lindor Mets
Expect to see Brandon Nimmo and Francisco Lindor leading things off for the Mets in 2021.
Jim Rassol-USA TODAY Sports

The Mets’ lineup to start Wednesday afternoon’s spring-training game against the St. Louis Cardinals looks eerily similar to what it might be come Opening Day and beyond in the 2021 regular season.

All one would have to do is move JD Davis to third base while Luis Guillorme is put to the bench for the pitcher to be batting in National League play:

  1. Brandon Nimmo- CF
  2. Francisco Lindor- SS
  3. Michael Conforto- RF
  4. Pete Alonso- 1B
  5. Dominic Smith- LF
  6. Jeff McNeil- 2B
  7. JD Davis- DH
  8. James McCann- C
  9. Luis Guillorme- 3B

Naturally, Mets manager Luis Rojas would not confirm that this is what his lineup would look like for a majority of the games in 2021. But he did admit that he’s whittled down his options significantly since the start of spring training.

“I’ve come down from 50 lineups to a lot less than that,” he said with a smirk on Wednesday. 

The very top of the order, however, is something that should be expected all season with Brandon Nimmo batting lead-off and Francisco Lindor in the two-hole.

“Lindor already knows what Nimmo does… that feel of hitting behind somebody is important,” Rojas said. “The longer we can keep that, the better the guys can put a plan into play. I’m thinking this might be a lineup or a couple lineups that will be used consistently. Knock on wood that we’re healthy through camp and into the season.”

Lindor’s switch-hitting capabilities allows the Mets to break up its stack of lefties, moving righty Pete Alonso down to the No. 4 spot to separate the likes of Nimmo and Michael Conforto.

It was a decision that Rojas got some feedback on, paneling some of his players for what they would prefer — most notably, Lindor.

“I talked to them and asked them where they feel comfortable,” he said. “Not with everybody, but there’s a few. A majority go ‘I don’t care’. I had that conversation with Francisco on where he’d like because he batted lead-off and third last year, not second.

“But we talked and got into hitting second and he likes that. Hitting behind somebody like Nimmo… he’ll be okay. He likes that second spot in the lineup. He told me ‘I can bunt guys over’ and I was like ‘nuh-uh that’s not what we want.'”