Results tagged ‘ lineup ’

Countdown to Spring Training: No. 1, Lineup

Of all this issues addressed in the first nine countdown items, this may be the last to be settled on.

We all know how much Bruce Bochy loves to juggle his lineup and play the hot hand. So the lineup he puts out on March 31 at Dodger Stadium may look nothing like the lineup he rolls out on say, Memorial Day. But we have to start somewhere.

So we’ll take a look at the lineup MoreSplashHits believes the Giants will roll out on opening day. Then, we’ll look at the lineup we’d prefer to see.

Projected opening day lineup:

CF Andres Torres
2B Freddy Sanchez
1B Aubrey Huff
C Buster Posey
LF Pat Burrell
SS Miguel Tejada
3B Pablo Sandoval
RF Cody Ross

This is basically the core lineup the Giants used to start the postseason last October, except with Tejada filling Juan Uribe’s spot in the lineup. So we project this lineup to start 2011. Bochy liked Ross in the No. 8 hole. Sandoval will have to earn a high spot in the lineup. Huff was locked in at No. 3 for the second half of the season. The lone question remains whether Tejada hits fifth or sixth. That all depends on how Burrell swings the bat. If he has a solid spring, he’ll hit fifth. If it’s mediocre, he’ll hit sixth. If it’s REALLY bad, Aaron Rowand or Mark DeRosa will start in left.

But if MoreSplashHits were making out the lineup card, it would look like this:

CF Andres Torres
2B Freddy Sanchez
C Buster Posey
1B Aubrey Huff
LF Pat Burrell
SS Miguel Tejada
RF Cody Ross
3B Pablo Sandoval

We wonder how long it will take the Giants to figure out that Posey is their best hitter. Generally, you put your best hitter in the No. 3 hole. It’s where Sandoval hit during the 2009 season. It’s he started 2010 before his struggles became too evident to ignore.

We believe Posey is the Giants’ best hitter, and will continue to be in the future. Huff is better suited as a cleanup hitter than Posey.

The other change we make is to drop Sandoval to No. 8. We’ll start him there until he shows he’s ready to return to the hitter he was in 2009.

What you want from a No. 8 hitter is someone who is willing to expand his strike zone to deliver an RBI in a two-out situation ahead of the pitcher’s spot. Sandoval ALWAYS expands his strike zone, so it seems a perfect fit.

We’d also like to see Cody Ross to hit higher in the lineup. We could move him up to No. 6. But we like him at No. 7 because Ross has some foot speed. The idea of the not-so-speedy Burrell or Tejada hitting ahead of Sandoval and his 26 GIDPs in 2010 is not a good fit.

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