Toying with the lineup
My feature tonight is a look at how I expect the Cardinals lineup to shake down, but suffice it to say I have a few different ideas about lineup construction than skipper La Russa does. Mind you, I’ve won about 2200 fewer big league games than he has, but even so, indulge me.
Here’s how I expect the Cardinals lineup to look on April 3:
Eckstein, Encarnacion, Pujols, Edmonds, Rolen, Taguchi, Molina, Spivey, Carpenter
And here’s how I would do it, assuming the same nine guys:
Eckstein, Edmonds, Pujols, Rolen, Encarnacion, Spivey, Taguchi, Molina, Carpenter
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. When your No. 3 hitter is Albert Pujols, then there is one main thing I want from my No. 2 hitter — a high OBP. If he happens to have some power, even better. If, in Edmonds case, he has the ability to stay out of the double play, that’s great too. But I don’t care if he strikes out a lot, I don’t care if he’s not a hit-and-run guy, and I don’t care if he doesn’t have speed.
Encarnacion is the kind of guy who might make a nice 5-6-7 kind of hitter, driving in the guys from scoring position much the way Edgar Renteria and Reggie Sanders did.
I still have confidence in Spivey; I’m not willing to jump ship until we’re a little ways into games that count and he’s still struggling.
And I understand La Russa’s rationale for wanting Molina out of the eighth spot, because a slow player really can make sacrificing difficult. But I’d still put him there until he develops a little more offensively. I expect him to be the least potent offensive player in this lineup, and therefore I’d hit him eighth.
Currently playing on the iPod: the Cure: Kiss Me, Kiss Me, Kiss Me (yes, I’m old).