Reyes likely to hit leadoff when he returns

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It’s unclear whether Jose Reyes will be able to make Opening Day — for what it’s worth I agree with the Post’s Joel Sherman that it would be folly to push him simply to make Opening Day  — but when he does return, Jerry Manuel says he’s likely to bat leadoff. This is a reversal of earlier plans to move Reyes down to the three spot while Carlos Beltran is out.  By putting Reyes back at the top of the order, Angel Pagan is likely to move way down — like to sixth or seventh — with Luis Castillo hitting second, David Wright third and Jason Bay cleanup.

The article says the change is because Reyes won’t have time to “to get comfortable hitting in more of a power spot” with which he is unaccustomed.  I don’t pretend to know more about lineup construction than Jerry Manuel does, but apart from stealing less, is batting third that terribly different from leading off? Reyes doesn’t become a different hitter simply because he’s batting third. He doesn’t gain power.  Hopefully he’s trying to get good pitches and drive the ball no matter where he hits. What, exactly, is there to become accustomed to?

Mets, Orioles have discussed a Matt Harvey trade

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Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports that the Orioles and Mets have discussed a trade for Matt Harvey.

Rosenthal says the discussions have involved a reliever going back to New York and observes that that Harvey and Brad Brach are projected for similar salaries in their final arbitration years which could make a financial match.

There have been a handful of Harvey rumors over the past couple of days, with a report coming out yesterday that the Mets have spoken with at least two teams about their fallen ace. Jon Heyman said today that the Rangers may have been one of those teams. Maybe the Orioles are the second or, perhaps, the third?

All if this has to be pretty deflating if you’re a Mets fan, given the promise and dominance Harvey showed before injuries waylaid him the past two seasons. Harvey is still just 28 but he made only 18 starts and one relief appearance last year, posting a 6.70 ERA with a 67/47 K/BB ratio in 92.2 innings.

If the Mets can’t find a trade partner this winter, they’ll clearly hope for him to rebound at least a little bit in 2018, allowing him to regain some trade value.