Terry Collins: Daily lineup is the manager’s ‘hammer’ — not GM’s

Written By kom nampuldu on Kamis, 09 April 2015 | 18.18

WASHINGTON — When it involves the daily lineup card, manager Terry Collins insists he is the boss.

Amid chatter that general manager Sandy Alderson was behind the unorthodox lineup the Mets unveiled for the season opener, Collins on Wednesday said it was the manager's call.

"The one thing the manager has in his power is this," Collins said while holding up the lineup card before the Mets' 2-1 loss to the Nationals on Wednesday. "He's got one hammer, and that's who plays. And I am certainly very lucky to have that hammer."

As a joke, Alderson walked into the manager's office during his pregame media briefing and handed Collins a lineup card: "Here's your lineup for tomorrow," the general manager told Collins.


Jeurys Familia's workday will be beginning a little later.

The Mets reliever insists it's not a big deal, but his move to closer with Jenrry Mejia on the disabled list will put him firmly in the spotlight for the first time in his career.

"I am doing the same thing," Familia said. "I trust myself to just go out there and throw my ball over the plate. Trust my sinker, my fastball and my slider and try to get the hitter out."

Mejia had elbow stiffness while warming up in the bullpen Monday and later was diagnosed with posterior swelling in the joint. He received a cortisone shot, but was told to rest for 10 days.

So an already thinned Mets bullpen — Vic Black and Bobby Parnell remain in Florida rehabbing — will be without another key component.

Familia pitched a perfect eighth inning against the Nationals on Monday, and Collins turned to Jerry Blevins and Buddy Carlyle to get the final three outs. Familia would have been held back for the ninth if Collins had realized Mejia was hurting.

Last season, Familia recorded five saves as the backup to Mejia at closer. Overall, Familia went 2-5 with a 2.21 ERA in 76 appearances for the Mets.

"He's made huge advancements in the last year," Collins said. "In the second half of the season his confidence just soared each and every time he went out there.

"The command of his stuff, he throws so hard, he's got to command that big sinker, and he started doing that. That and the fact he threw his breaking ball for strikes, he became tough to hit. We all thought down the line if something ever happened he's got closer's kind of stuff, and we'll see how he does."

Collins said he could consider occasionally splitting up the ninth inning if the opposition has a tough lefty hitter due up, but said his preference would be to use Familia the whole inning.

With Familia moved into the later slot, Carlos Torres and Rafael Montero will handle more significant roles than originally planned.

Torres will be shifted to Familia's old spot in the eighth inning and Montero will get the seventh. Collins also has the veteran Carlyle, rookie Erik Goeddel and three lefties — Blevins, Alex Torres, and Sean Gilmartin — at his disposal.


The manager's lineup, which includes David Wright (1-for-4) batting second and Curtis Granderson (0-for-4) leadoff, was first proposed by bench coach Bob Geren in February, according to Collins.

But the final decision to implement that lineup didn't come until last weekend in Texas.

"This is something we talked about when we came to spring training," Collins said. "We thought we'd look at it in spring training, we did and we're still hoping somebody rises to the occasion and becomes the complete leadoff hitter. There is conversation every day on the lineup."

Lucas Duda's power makes him a good fit for the third spot in the order, behind Wright, according to Collins.

"The number that we talked about earlier, the one stat that stood out, the guy who comes up the most with two outs and nobody on is the three hitter," Collins said.

"We're very lucky that our star player [Wright] doesn't care where he hits. 'Just leave me there,' that is the only thing he asks."


Duda (1-for-4) will get a day off this weekend, according to Collins, because the Braves have lefty starting pitchers scheduled for Friday and Sunday.

John Mayberry Jr. would move to left field and Michael Cuddyer to first base, giving the lineup an extra right-handed bat.


Travis d'Arnaud (1-for-3, RBI) will get a day off on the road trip, according to Collins, giving Anthony Recker a start behind the plate.


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