The Mets have been talking about the need for a fast start, and at least one of them got the message. Rightfielder Jeff Francoeur is off to a hot start at the plate with a six-game hitting streak to begin the season.
Heading into tonight's game in Colorado, Francoeur leads the National League with a 1.000 slugging percentage, ranks fourth with a .476 batting average, ranks sixth with a .538 on-base percentage and is second with six extra-base hits, including two home runs. The barometer for Francoeur this season might be on-base percentage because he has said he wants to be more patient at the plate to draw more walks. He has four through six games after walking just 23 times in 632 plate appearances last season. His career-best number is 42 walks in the 2007 season.
Newsday Mets beat writer David Lennon suggested in his analysis in Tuesday's editions that it might be time to consider moving Francoeur from sixth to fifth in the batting order behind cleanup hitter Jason Bay. Although Mike Jacobs is a home-run hitter when he's in the lineup at first base, he doesn't make nearly as much contact as Francoeur, who has driven in 100 runs twice in his career and averaged 20 points higher than Jacobs.
There's no time like the present to make a move with Francoeur. He drove in seven runs in his past five games at Coors Field.