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On the offensive: The Starting Lineup

January 15, 2007

C-dunc adam kennedy

its that time of year again, time to start thinking about the lineup, bullpen, starting rotation and bench. its time to starting analyzing and guessing what is going to happen during the regular season.

the first series i will do is called “On the offensive” and i will analyze the starting lineup, spot by spot starting with the leadoff spot sometime this week.

today, I’ll give you a variation of starting lineups and what i think tony will do.

so the starting eight are set for the cards, so lets go over them real quick: C-molina, 1b-pujols, 2nd-kennedy,ss-eckstein, 3b-rolen, rf-encarnacion, cf-edmonds and lf-duncan/???.

all positions seem to be filled axcept for left field. i saw an interview las night with walt jocketty and he said that duncan being the starter in lf is not a given. although he is the favorite to land the job, it is not handed to him. those who will probably be competing with him are: Scott spezio, eli marrero and john rodriguez.

I think he has left field locked up unless he really struggles defensively and offensively during spring training. there is a chance that could happen, but it is very unlikely.

now, lets get to the lineup. where will kennedy bat in th lineup. in my mind, there are three spots in the lineup where he can bat: 2nd, 7th and 8th.

to me, I think the best place for him to bat is 2nd in the lineup. its the best situation in my view. you’ve got Eck batting leadoff with some speed. then, if you put kennedy in the two hole, he is another guy that can hit and play smallball. thats what I like. i want the two guys in front of pujols to get occasional doubles and not much power. why? because if they slap doubles all over the field the opposing team will walk pujols instead of giving him a chance to put the bat on the ball.

thats my biggest problem with hitting duncan or any other power hitter in front of pujols. it seems to take away at bats from the great pujols and thats not good for anyone.

now, if kennedy bats 7th or 8th, it means that duncan is batting 2nd (or whoever is playing leftfield). tony might have a point there because duncan hit really well in the two hole because he got a lot of good pitches to hit. why? because he was batting in front of albert, so tony has a good reason if he does go with duncan batting second.

kennedy batting 7th is alright, but I would prefer him bat 8th. you ask “WHY?” my reasoning is this: with molina hitting 8th, you would be giving away 2 outs instead of 1 each time the last to spots come up to hit. if molina bats 8th and he gets on, there is a very low chance that he will get to 2nd base on a bunt by a pitcher. the pitcher is a slow runner and molina is the slowest runner I’ve ever seen, so I dont think that is a good idea.

now, if kennedy is batting 8th thats another story. if molina gets on, he can be advanced. kennedy can bunt him over, if not, molina is out at 2nd but kennedy would be safe at first(so the cards wont be giving away 2 outs at once). or, since kennedy is a good hitter, he can hit his way on and advance molina(instead of the really bad hitting pitchers).

now, my preferred lineup: eckstien, kennedy, pujols, rolen, edmonds, encarnacion, duncan, molina, pitcher

there could be some variation with that lineup. for example, against righties, edmonds can hit fourth and duncan 5th or other variations that tony like to toy with. or the lineup above could be used to hit against lefties.

most likely lineup that tlr would put on the field: eckstein, duncan, pujols, rolen, edmonds, encarnacion, molina/kennedy, kennedy/molina, pitcher.

what lineup would you like to see on opening day/what lineup do you think tlr is going to go with?

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