Monday, February 14, 2011

#2 In The Lineup: Dodgers' #1 Issue?

Almost missed this quick point from Friday's ESPN Insider's Rumor Central (no link), which picked up the LAT's Steve Dilbeck's piece and Dodgers.com's Ken Gurnick's post about the open question for the Dodgers' #2 hitter. First, ESPN:

When healthy, Rafael Furcal is one of the better shortstops and leadoff hitters in baseball, and it appears he will start the season with said health on his side. But the Dodgers don't have an ideal fit to hit behind Furcal and are considering Casey Blake in that spot, reports the Los Angeles Times. Blake doesn't run well and isn't the greatest bunter of all time, but he is a capable hitter fundamentally. He probably strikes out too much to fit traditionally in that role -- 138 whiffs last season -- but has spent time hitting second over the course of his career, but was just 2-for-5 from there a year ago and didn't hit in that slot in the order at all in 2009. The Dodgers' other options include James Loney, Juan Uribe and Tony Gwynn, Jr. - Jason A. Churchill

And here's Kenny G:

[...Mattingly] hasn't decided on a batting order because he's not sure who will bat second. Admittedly, there isn't an obvious choice for that slot, but among the considerations is third baseman Casey Blake.

However, with Blake now 37 and leadoff hitter Rafael Furcal injury prone, Mattingly implied that the batting order could be a daily shuffle, influenced by structured days off for Blake and Furcal, as well as the anticipated platoons at catcher and in left field.

"I've thought about it, and I want to keep thinking about it," Mattingly said of the batting order. "It's something we'll probably play around with at Spring Training. There are two problems. We want to make sure we keep Raffy strong, that's number one. So I want to have a regular plan of rest and I want to stick to it, good or bad. The hard part is when he's going good you have this 'We need Raffy in there' thing and you push him even further. Look at his numbers after he was hurt and they weren't great. I've been through the back [injuries]. We have to keep him rested so he never gets to that point.

"And in a perfect world, you'd like to leave Andre and Matt in a stable position [third and fourth] and not mess with them in the order. But you want protection for Matt. It could be Juan Uribe, it could be James Loney. Uribe has done about everything. He's led off, he's hit second, he's the kind of hitter you can tinker with. Blake is an interesting guy in the two-hole. He hits the other way, he can take a pitch and with Raffy in there, he gives us a lefty-righty at the top against right-handers. Jamey Carroll, when he plays, can hit in either spot. If [Tony] Gwynn is in the lineup, he could be up there."

Perhaps one of the 57 washed-up pitchers whom we've invited to spring training can be deployed as the #2 hitter?

12 comments:

Dusty Baker said...

No, last season was when we invited all those washed up pitchers to Spring Training but things didn't pan out. We wouldn't be stupid or naive enough to try that again this season!

(cries)

Fernie V said...

That's funny shut.

Spank said...

Suddenly I feel like hearing 311's Beautiful Disaster.

Mr. Doctor said...

Umm, hello? I cannot believe we have all forgot of the wonderful Mr. Thames!

MR. F said...

Please be quiet about Thames; we're crying a river here!

Steve Sax said...

We can cross the Thames issue later.

Dusty Baker said...

Thames is hard for Dodger fans.

Eric Karros said...

The Dodgers aren't the only ones who need #2 right now (I just ate a burrito)

Josh S. said...

Damn. Late on the poop joke by mere minutes!

For the record mine was going to be:

"I thought all of our hitters were #2!"

John G said...

now that the poo jokes have gone down, ive actually thought about this one for a bit.

i think the answer is:

1. furcal
2. ethier
3. kemp
4. uribe
5. loney
6. catcher of the day
7. crappy left fielder
8. hopefully not blake
9. pitcher

if we cant go with the "get guys w/ high obp ahead of the power guys" method then we should go with the "get our good hitters the most ab possible" method.

Mr. Customer said...

That lineup does not fill me with confidence.

Fernie V said...

Urine #4? Should be crappy 2nd basemen we overpaid batting #7.