This is an open letter to Manager Terry Collins of the New York Mets:
Lou here. Just checking in on you because it’s a new season and your team appears to be having the same problem as last season. Specifically not having enough hitting to support your top notch starting pitching.
Now I don’t want to get too deep due to the fact that the solution to the problem just may be seated at the other end of the bench from you. His name is Michael Conforto, in case you’re wondering. Left-handed hitter? First round draft pick by your Mets, who selected him in the first round of the 2014 MLB draft with the 10th overall pick? You were going to send him to AAA Las Vegas after having a very good spring training. He was the best hitter coming out of Florida but his destination had been predetermined due to a overloaded outfield. So, due to an injury at the position, he made the trip to Queens from Port St. Lucie anyway.
Yoenis Cespedes, starting left-fielder is cemented into the lineup as long as he’s healthy, and rightly so. The same applies to Jay Bruce, starting right-fielder, who is only carrying this team on his back offensively a week into the season. Neither is going anywhere. Then there’s centerfield. Juan Lagares, who had been penciled in as the starter, is hurt again. Same as every season. So 36-year old Curtis Granderson is the starter at a position he has no business playing on a regular basis due to his advanced baseball age, lack of range, and inconsistent hitting.
Here’s where Conforto comes into the picture, Terry. All you need to do is write his name in your lineup daily to help jump start this offense. It’s just that simple. With the protection that sluggers like Cespedes and Bruce can give him batting in the middle of the lineup, I have no doubt this squad, with it’s dominant starting pitching, can overtake the Washington Nationals as division leaders in the National League East. And incidentally, do not pay any mind to those who say you need to play Granderson due to defense. He’s an average defender at best and can’t throw out anyone on the base paths with the wet noodle he calls an arm anymore. Conforto would be a step up defensively, I believe, despite his lack of experience in centerfield.
Now I’ve heard some interesting quotes coming from you recently implying that the call isn’t yours but the front office’s. My take is if you disagree with it, take a stand and fight for this kid. If you fear losing your job for speaking your mind, then shut up or quit. The point is, being all passive aggressive about the situation isn’t solving anything. Especially the lack of scoring. Apparently you and GM Sandy Alderson need to go to dinner and a movie and get on the same page. Just put it on my tab and tell ’em Lou sent you.
I have no doubt moving Michael Conforto into the starting lineup on a regular basis will bring out his full potential and help this lineup support DeGrom, Syndergaard, Harvey, Wheeler, etc. Next is the situation at first base. But we’ll save that for another conversation.
Thinking of you,