Mark it eight, Dude!
I love talking lineup construction. I think my interest in lineup construction, and the questions I ask about it, tires Skipper La Russa. I ask about it a lot.
Anyway, I asked about tonight’s lineup, and the vs-LHP lineup in general, today. When Taguchi is in LF and Luna is at 2B against a LHP, Taguchi has tended to hit second, with Luna eighth. If it were my call, I’d do it the other way around, and I was curious as to the reasoning. So I asked. And the answer was short and simple:
"So handles the bat better."
Here’s the thing, though…
How much does that matter in the 2 spot, when the No. 3 hitter is Albert Pujols? How often are you going to bunt in front of him? Answer: basically never, because he’ll be walked. How often are you going to hit-and-run? Once in a while, but not a great deal.
To me, if there’s a good justification, it’s so as to break up 7-8-9 and keep the bottom third of the order from just turning over 1-2-3 too often. That’s a justification for having a guy like Luna in the eighth position.
But overall, personally, I want the guy with the more potent bat hitting six spots higher, not six spots lower. It’s not the end of the world, it’s not going to be the difference between this team making or missing the postseason. But it’s a little edge, and it’s one that I think it’s unwise to give up.
Just my $.02. What do y’all think?
-M, amused by the Excel-style stats on the scoreboard at new Busch. If a guy’s on-base percentage is .300, it’s listed as 0.3. If his slugging percnetage is .567, it’s listed as 0.567. Fun times.