Re: Batting Order vs. LHP
posted at 1/28/2012 12:51 PM EST
The issue with last year’s batting order is there is a new sheriff in town, and he is probably going to do things differently. For all we know, Valentine might see Crawford as the #2 hitter as often as possible.
Vs RHPs, I don't see a problem with CC 2nd, AGon 3rd, and Papi & Pedey up 4th and 5th. I sincerely hope he doesn't bat 2nd vs most LHPs, but stranger things have happened. I doubt CC bats 8th or 9th vs LHPs, but it is where he belongs, and maybe Bobby V will figure that out.
I do doubt he buries him in the #9 slot vs. LHP, especially if Jose Iglesias is on the team. I think it is very possible our starting shortstop is Iglesias right out of the gate. Bobby Valentine was the manager for the 1996 Mets at the end of the season when Rey Ordonez was a rookie shortstop, and he kept Ordonez on the team as the starting shortstop for 1997 while the team improved around him, despite Ordonez’ offensive shortcomings.
I'm hoping you are right, and we see Iggy at SS day 1 to day 162.
Ordonez won the starting job for the Mets in 1996 after posting a .554 OPS in the International League the previous season. Jose Iglesias OPS in the IL last year - .554. I would not be surprised at all if Valentine sees similarities and keeps Iglesias around at shortstop, but I would be surprised if Iglesias hit anywhere except ninth, regardless of pitching match ups.
Well, if Iggy does better vs LHPs than CC, which he may not, it makes sense to me to line up the speedsters 9th and 1st
Early in the season, I think the batting order will be roughly the same vs. everyone – Ellsbury / Pedroia / Gonzalez / Youkilis / Ortiz / Ross / Saltalamacchia / Sweeney / Iglesias. The only real question might be who hits seventh or eighth. The L-R-L-R flipping in that order is more of a coincidence.
Salty is horrible vs LHPs. I think we will see Shoppach vs most LHPs.
I also think if DMac is on the team, he bats vs LHPs over Sweeney.
Ross may be dropped downs vs RHPs a little bit.
When Crawford returns, he might simply slide in Ross’ position, but Valentine might try him between Ellsbury and Pedroia, figuring that hitting there will give him his best chance to succeed and best utilize his offensive game, but that assumes he comes back at full strength. The only other option that might happen is simply substituting him for Ross in the above lineup. I doubt he hits as low as eighth if he is healthy. Crawford has hit LHP better in the past that he did last year, and his wide open stance makes him less susceptible to inside pitches from LHP.
Crawford has had a couple decent seasons and one good one vs LHPs, but the vast majority have been horrible. I also do not see anything that hints at a trend upwards. He's been bad for 4 straight seasons. I'm not saying he can't have a good year in 2012 vs LHPs. I was wrong on Papi, but the odds are strongly against him outhitting several other players who have solid histories vs LHPs over recent years.
Crwaford vs LHPs: