One of the Ghostrunner on First calling cards is covering ground that has been thoroughly trod before, and today will be no different. While I like Cito swearing allegiance to his guys, I don't like the way the lineup continues to be filled out in these stop-gap times. Let's break it down:
- Joe Inglett has really struggled in the leadoff spot. I really like Inglett, and thought he made a good #2 hitter. Cito slotted him in there, and it went well. He's struggled throughout July, dropping nearly 150 points off his on base. For a leadoff guy, that would be categorized as "counter productive". I still like him in #2, though I don't expect him to continue to put up the sort of numbers he did in June.
- Marco Scutaro should not be hitting this high in the order. He's been a good soldier, playing all over the diamond and providing a timely hit or two. But as the number two guy, he just doesn't get it done. He hasn't exactly been terrible, but a .689 OPS isn't good enough.
- I think this works for Alex. Though he's only walked once in the second half of the season, he's got Denbo out of his head and is hitting the ball hard. And slugging. But certainly not walking. Interesting to note how much better his numbers are as a right fielder compared to center.
- Overbay here works for me. He isn't going to hit 25 home runs, but he does lead this team in OBP with a reasonable slugging percentage. He's patient enough to allow Rios to run ahead of him, and drives the ball well enough to rack up RBI, for what that is worth.
- Earlier this week the Southpaw detailed Rod Barajas' struggles from the number 5 spot, and the logic is sound. He can't continue hitting here, but I like Vernon Wells in this spot. When healthy, Vernon's had a solid year. Not spectacular or humongous contract worthy, but solid. He's had success in limited time he's spent as the number 5 guy, and he'll have opportunities to hit with men on. Equally important will be some protection behind him. Protection we all know he desperately needs ....
- ...in the form of Adam Lind. Lind hasn't been asked to be the saviour, nor has he been rushed up the order. Teams are going to be wary of him, which could result in more pitches for free-swinging Vernon Wells to hit. In this spot, he offers a good lefty bat behind Wells without the pressure of a true middle-of-the-order spot.
- Poor Scott Rolen. His shoulder is acting up, and anyone with eyes can see that he can't get around on anything hard. If some rest is all he needs, he will resume hitting doubles, drawing walks and drawing out at bats from the number seven spot. His defense is so good, I don't care if he turns into another version of John MacDonald. The second version that ate the first version.