In a lineup with Jose Reyes and Curtis Granderson, not many would guess that the leadoff batter would be Michael Conforto.
With both Reyes and Granderson struggling out of the gate, Collins has opted to go with Conforto atop a banged up Mets lineup. However, if Reyes snaps out of his current funk, which manager Terry Collins believes he will, Reyes will return to the leadoff spot despite Conforto’s success.
“If Jose rights the ship, he’s the ideal guy because of what else he brings to the table,” Collins said. “Certainly there’s going to be times, like we’ve seen so far where leading off is a good spot for him. He’s been getting some balls to hit and is certainly going ahead and doing a good job with it. Right now, in this moment, Michael is the right guy for that.”
Conforto has been a bright spot in the Mets lineup thus far hitting two home runs atop the Mets batting order including a leadoff home run against Washington Nationals ace Max Scherzer on Sunday night.
As for Reyes, Collins believes that the end of his slump is near.
“Every day I think all he needs is two solid at-bats and he will get it going,” the Mets skipper said. “That is why I am looking forward to next week: It’s supposed to warm up a little bit and I think when it warms up he’s going to be a different guy.”
It is fair to say that with a confident Reyes performing to his ability, there is no one better atop the Mets lineup in terms of base running and base stealing.
“I think Michael has demonstrated what he can do if you’re not a base stealer and that’s hit the ball over the fence,” Collins said. “He’s done that from the leadoff spot and he’s doing a good job of that. He’s got us off to two games where we are up 1-0. That’s something nice to have.
“That’s why a guy like Jose, when he gets on, he can steal second. Then, you get him over and hit a fly ball and you’re up 1-0. Michael has been able to do just that, without stealing bases. I think he’s done an outstanding job so far. There are a lot of guys around the league that are power-hitting guys in the leadoff spot. It’s just because of the type of pitches you’re going to see with the whole lineup coming up behind you.”
Whether it’s Reyes or Conforto, in the leadoff spot, the Mets have plenty to work with.