Mets' Brandon Nimmo is congratulated by teammates after he scored...

Mets' Brandon Nimmo is congratulated by teammates after he scored on a single by Mark Vientos during the first inning of a baseball game against the Miami Marlins, Saturday, May 18, 2024, in Miami. Credit: AP/Wilfredo Lee

MIAMI — After he had mulled the possibility long enough — and, certainly, after he had seen enough — Carlos Mendoza decided to make his move.

He approached two of the team’s leaders, Brandon Nimmo and Francisco Lindor, with an idea Friday night: Swap them in the batting order. Drop Nimmo out of the leadoff spot, his hitting home for about a half-decade, and slot in Lindor, who had been third.

They were all in, Mendoza said. Whatever he needed, they told him. What the Mets have done so far hasn’t worked — since the start of last season, really — so changing it up is worth a shot.

“Trying to create something different,” Mendoza said before the Mets’ 10-9, 10-inning loss to the Marlins on Saturday. “See how it goes.”

Neither Lindor nor Nimmo figured prominently into the ensuing offensive outburst against Miami, but Mendoza highlighted the hitting overall in saying there were “a lot of positives out of that game.” Edwin Diaz allowed four runs in the bottom of the ninth, the latest and largest episode of his sudden struggles.

Lindor went 0-for-5 with an RBI groundout, dropping his average to .190. Nimmo finished 1-for-4, doubling and scoring three runs. He exited in the ninth because of lower-half cramps, Mendoza said.

“I’m Francisco Lindor in the leadoff, second spot, third spot, fourth. Wherever you put me at, I am who I am,” Lindor said. “Hopefully it’s the start of something that’s going to help us trend in the right direction and stick to that . . . We could start with J.D. [Martinez] and me ninth. It don’t matter. As long as we win games.


“What it’s going to come down to is: Are we winning ballgames or not? If we don’t win ballgames, then I might hit somewhere else.”

Senga update

Kodai Senga (right shoulder strain) remains in bullpen session/mechanics purgatory, with no public plan or timeline for him to advance.

He will throw off a mound again Sunday. His most recent such session was Wednesday.

Is four days between bullpens a lot at this stage?

“He’s a unique personality,” Mendoza said. “I keep saying, he’s a player who knows himself better than anybody. We’re going to continue to give him time and whatever he needs to get him back on the mound.”

As the rotation turns

The Mets plan to insert Adrian Houser into the rotation Tuesday against the Guardians. That will mean a week between outings for the rest of the starters the next time around.

Since being demoted to the bullpen after his May 2 start, Houser has pitched just twice (four innings).

Houser getting slotted in means Christian Scott’s next start is pushed back to Friday against the Giants at Citi Field, the start of a Mets homestand.

Minors details

In an overview of the Mets’ Triple-A utility infielder options — relevant since they have none in the majors — president of baseball operations David Stearns characterized Luisangel Acuna as “probably not quite ready but at some point this year could be a possibility.”

That was not a surprise given Acuna’s underwhelming offensive performance, including a .226 average and .598 OPS entering play Saturday.

Perhaps more interesting were Stearns’ comments on Acuna’s defense. He highlighted Acuna’s presence in centerfield — which he has played nine times this year — in addition to shortstop and second base.

Acuna briefly played the outfield in the Rangers’ farm system, but that experiment ended quickly and the Mets did not resume it upon acquiring him for Max Scherzer at the trade deadline last year.

“We've got him playing at all three up-the-middle positions,” Stearns said. “He's doing a really nice job, especially with his past limited exposure to centerfield. Now he's getting out there a little bit more and has done a very nice job out there, which is great to see. That gives you a Swiss Army knife capability on the roster.

“And his at-bats are getting better. This is a player who's going to continue to learn, continue to evolve as he gets more experience, learning how to control the strike zone a little better. We are seeing signs of that.”

Extra bases

Carlos Beltran has been with the Mets this weekend, the first of what are supposed to be regular in-season visits with the team in his role as a special assistant in the front office . . . The NHL’s Eastern Conference final matchup, Panthers-Rangers, pits Christian Scott’s favorite/hometown team against his new city. “I’m gonna keep it quiet,” he said with a smile. “But I’m glad it worked out like this.”


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