Tuesday, April 15, 2008

4/15: Pre-Game Report

Jose Reyes returns to the lineup after taking a few days off with his injury, and with his return comes a shake-up in the lineup. With Luis Castillo struggling, and after Angel Pagan did a great job replacing the two at the top of the lineup, Castillo drops to 8th in the batting order. However, it is not Pagan batting second, but rather Ryan Church has been moved up into that position.

This would not be as surprising if the Mets were facing a right hander today, as Willie Randolph has put Church above Pagan against some righties. But Odalis Perez, a lefty, will pitch for the Nationals, yet Willie still chose to put the left-handed hitting Church second. It seems like an odd move, but I think Pagan is pretty valuable batting 6th behind Carlos Delgado. I certainly missed his presence lower in the order when he was batting 1st and 2nd. The move also moves Church out from in between the left-handed bats of Delgado and Brian Schneider. I don't know how permanent this will be, so it will be interesting to see what kind of lineup Willie sends out tomorrow.

Of bigger news though is the reactivation of Duaner Sanchez from the DL. Sanchez was a major part of the bullpen's success in 2006, and his absence may have helped lead the bullpen to falter down the stretch in 2007. He last pitched in a Major League game on July 28, 2006. It will be great to see him back.

Carlos Muniz was sent back to the Minors to make room for Sanchez. Muniz did a tremendous job in his three games filling in for Matt Wise, throwing 4 scoreless innings with just 2 hits and 2 strikeouts.

Finally, the Mets will be honoring Jackie Robinson today. All the Mets will be wearing #42.

A recap of last series will come later today. Enjoy the game.

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