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The Sacrifice Cheat Sheet: The batting order

March 4th, 2010 by Ray

With Bud Black busy eating burritos and drooling over Eckstein’s intangibles, I thought I’d give him some help with the state of the lineup and what he could to do make it better.

Last month, Black was pressed to name his batting order for this season, and we’ll forgive it because he was pressed. To further help bail Black out, I have come up with a proper batting order for the skip.

1. Everth Cabrera, SS

Don’t worry Bud, I’m not going to get all weird on you. The baseball constitution dictates that every team must utilize a fast player to leadoff (I think) and I will gladly go along with it. Everth is the fastest player on the team, but he can also get on-base, if only relatively so. Last year, he had an OBP of .342 with a walk rate of 10.5%, and most major projections see him keeping up his pace if not exceeding it. I can see questions arising regarding Cabrera’s age and lack of experience, but what could it hurt to challenge him?

2. Tony Gwynn, Jr./Scott Hairston, CF

AJ and Hairston, Sr. should see time in a platoon this year and they bring differing skill sets. Against right-handed pitching last year, AJ posted an OBP of .379. While his slugging was only .385, he still had a wRC+ of 118 in the split. At .378, Hairston has a similar OBP in his left-handed split, but his slugging was .543. During his previous stay, he was Adrian’s M&M buddy in the middle of the order, but another of my concessions to Bud is that one spot in the order is equal to one position on the field – the center fielders are hitting second. And with Hairston, the heart of the order could frequently find themselves at-bat with runners in scoring position, if not already in.

3. Chase Headley, 3B

If I didn’t put Headley in this spot, I would’ve put him at second. Not only do I value his OBP higher in the order, I don’t trust him hitting behind Adrian. Now that he’s back at third, Headley should hypothetically see an improvement in his offense: he’ll be able to concentrate more on his hitting as a result of concentrating less on his foreign position and he’ll be able to put back on the weight he lost to better run around the outfield. Add to that Headley’s hot-ish second half (.798 OPS) and there’s reason to have confidence in Headley.

4. Adrian Gonzalez, 1B

Right?

5. Kyle Blanks, LF

Stay with me.

On one hand, I feel like there’s no explanation necessary. Last year, in 148 at-bats, Blanks hit 10 home runs with a wOBA of .372. Stretch that out over a full season and Blanks could hit more than 30 home runs. That would make Blanks only the second player to accomplish such a feat in Petco Park. This guy has prodigal power. But then those are the only 148 at-bats of Blanks’ career. He could still be a bust, or we could be lucky and he could just suffer through a sophomore slump but if it doesn’t work out, the team could still try Headley or Venable, or move Hairston to a more permanent position.

6. Will Venable, RF

I’ll let you know right now, the batting order gets pretty predictable from here on out. While I’m not a big believer in Venable, he has 20 homer potential and he’s left-handed, which only makes sense coming after the right-handed Blanks.

7. Nick Hundley, C

I’m not going to try to sell you on Hundley. It comes down to not being:

8. David Eckstein, 2B

I feel that it’d be better if I didn’t say anything at all.

Posted in players | 7 Comments »

7 Responses to “The Sacrifice Cheat Sheet: The batting order”

  1. Randy Ready says:

    Perfect…but $10 says Eckstein still hits second.

  2. Melvin says:

    I still like Cabrera, Headley, Gonzalez, Blanks, Venable, et al. Maybe replace Venable with Hairston or Gwynn, depending on their hitting.

    Lets be real though, the only thing that matters is keeping our favorite coach in a uniform from spilling suck all over the top of the order.

  3. […] Ball Friarhood Radio 3.4.10 – The Friarhood 2010 Padres Expectations – The Friarhood The Sacrifice Cheat Sheet: The batting order – The Sacrifice Bunt Starting Off With a Loss! – Unfinished Business Padres primer: 3/5/10 – Who’s […]

  4. The Pad Father says:

    More spam from the Fro. He puts that crap all over the other Padres blogs. Gotta wonder about him.

    • Melvin says:

      You mean comment #3 above? That’s a trackback that is generated automatically when he links to other sites. Not spam, but thanks for looking out.

      PS, does your name make you a grandfather?

  5. Cris says:

    There is no way the order will look like that.
    I would prefer that Everth leadoff, but Black will have Gwynn hit there, Eckstein will definitely hit second. he can bunt, hit and run, and he makes consistent contact. Adrian will hit third considering he will be walked a lot. Better he work in the three spot with less outs and get a chance for one more at bat in a game. I believe they will hit Headley fourth, but they should have Blanks hit there. Blanks provides legitimate protection for Adrian and is a stud. The last objection I will make will be that Yorvit will get more at bats than Hundley. he is flat out a better player.

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