Crap I am getting anxious for the season to start so I thought I'd like to see what you guys think the opening day line-up should look like. Here's how I see it. (I'll add Sport Fanatics projections for each player just for fun! Ave, HR, RBI, Runs, SB)
If the Royals start a lefty then I would insert Chris Shelton instead of Pena. Shelton would then bat 5th with DaMeatHook falling to 6th. Shelton is projected to hit .290 23 76 70 0.
I'm not saying that that is how I would line 'em up, but I think that is likely to be how Leylan does.
I would move I Rod down to 6th, Monroe to 5th, Maggs to 3rd, Shelton 4th.
I also think the projections for Maggs is low. He should hit for more power and I think he'll hit much closer to 100 RBI, if not over. Not a terrible line-up and downright potent if players play to potential.
It's gotta be getting close to ST because I look at this line-up and see a competitive team.
I don't see Pena being much more than a spot starter to rest Shelton, at least at the beginning. It's hard to trust him anytime before the allstar break. Especially if the rumors are true that Dmitri has already lost at least 15 pounds. I would like to see Shelton play around 150 games this year. I think he could very well lead the team in both HR's and BB's.
I have Granderson last because of his speed and to have some pressure off of him. Let the young guy prove himself before moving him up. His bat showed some promise last year, but the plate discipline needs to get a bit better.
I think I heard that Leyland has already penciled in Polanco at #2, but of course there is plenty of time for things to change. He obviously profiles well as a #2 hitter, but...
I still don't know about that leadoff spot. A healthy Guillen has some pop to be good lower in the order, but he also gets on base. I would love to see Inge go back anywhere near 1st half form and put him in leadoff, but until I see that I have Guillen as the best candidate (other than Polanco). I couldn't care if Inge hits .270 or not, the way he worked the count and drew walks in the first half of last year was special. His bat just seemed slower and weaker in the second half making me think that fatigue could've been the culprit, considering as well how little they rested him.
I agree the lead off position is still lacking. I would love to see Granderson get a shot leading off as he has some speed, but I don't think he makes enough contact and takes pitches well enough at this stage in his career. Guillen is pretty slow to be leading off and is coming off a leg injury. I penciled him in at 2nd just because of his hitting ability, but he should really hit 6th or so until he shows he is the hitter we saw in 2004.
I think there may be a push to try and get Pena going, either to put up as trade bait or for his HR pop. Though I do have a tough time seeing Shelton sit. A lot will depend on how well they do in ST.
As for Young, there is a rumor that the reason he didn't attend Tigerfest was because he was still much heavier than they want him to be so he stayed away to try and knock off some poundage. I hope that is not true, but it would be consistant with him. I would rather he came back fat then lose a bunch of weight suddenly and lose his pop. I would rather see Shelton play before Pena or Young but they make more and money does talk.
I think Inge may have showed last season that he doesn't have the strength to play regularly. Remember the reason he faded in year past was because playing catcher took too much out of him. Well so did playing third base, eh? I wonder if Guillen could play third and have Infante play SS?
You don't want Dmitri to lose weight? I do. As long as he's losing fat, which there is a WHOLE lot to lose based on last year's Dmitri, and not losing muscle, I don't think losing power is a huge concern. He always had power before he fattened up last year. Maybe a slimmed down Dmitri can even spot start in the OF if needed, as long as the resulting outfield is NOT Dmitri in LF, Monroe in CF, and Ordonez in RF. Also, he has to actually play well to get paid next year, instead of just getting so many plate appearances. Anyways, we won't know how much if any weight he will have lost until he shows up for spring training.
As for Pena, hopefully having a more experienced manager and a new hitting coach will help get him over the bug that causes such a ridiculous gap between his first half productivity and second half productivity. His first half career numbers are dreadful, but his second half career numbers actually make him look pretty close to a middle of the order threat. Either way, I see Shelton not being affected by either Pena or Young, unless he for some reason isn't hitting.
As far as Infante goes, I hope he'll be working real hard with the new hitting coach. His second half made Inge's look fantastic. A .227 OBP and 2/33 BB/K ratio!? At least he can play the field well. Although if that's all he can do, Ramon Santiago can do that too and also not hit a lick. Or if we want a bit better offensive backup 2B/3B, Raburn might not look as foolish as Infante did in the batter's box.
Yeah, I am pretty disappointed in Infante's offense to date. He seems to show flashes of greatness then settle into bad habits that make him a mediocre hitter by minor league standards. But he would help the infield D considerably. Inge just isn't the answer at third. He would be much better served as a super sub. Get rid of Wilson, he serves no purpose if you use Inge as a backup C.
My concerns with Dmitri aren't that he is losing weight. That couldn't harm his production. You are kidding about him in the OF, right? Losing weight won't make him a competetent OFer. He'll still get bad jumps and take poor routes to the ball. No, what worries me is that he is crash dieting, if you would, because he didn't lose the weight as he was told to during the off season. And I've seen too many time where that type of weight lose cost a player his strength or energy. Add to that the trajectory of his career and it looks as if his better days are behind him. Time to dial down expectations for out $8 millon dollar DH.
I couldn't agree with you more on Pena. I would so much as waste one of Shelton's ABs on him. In fact I would've traded him or outright cut him. His inconsistancy at the plate far outweigh his over-rated defensive prowess. Expecially given how many DH/1B types they have. He or Dmitri should have been exiled.
moochman wrote:My concerns with Dmitri aren't that he is losing weight. That couldn't harm his production. You are kidding about him in the OF, right? Losing weight won't make him a competetent OFer. He'll still get bad jumps and take poor routes to the ball. No, what worries me is that he is crash dieting, if you would, because he didn't lose the weight as he was told to during the off season. And I've seen too many time where that type of weight lose cost a player his strength or energy. Add to that the trajectory of his career and it looks as if his better days are behind him. Time to dial down expectations for out $8 millon dollar DH.
Is he crash dieting or is that just speculation? Losing weight won't make him a better outfielder, but it will at least aid him in gaining back some mobility and endurance so he's not having sore legs after one game in the outfield which seemed to be the case last year. He was never particularly great before last year, but I can see him as a 5th outfielder. Last year, he was in the worst shape of his career and in poor shape for being a professional athlete. In my opinion, losing weight for him is a MUST.
To keep more on topic, I think other than a few spots this is a hard lineup to predict. Ordonez is a lock for #4 and Polanco will be either #1 or #2. Shelton will be either #3 or #5. There are some definite options and I can see spring training performances being influential. And then there will be some lineup juggling as the year goes on with quite a few of the players requiring rest.
cmchampa2 wrote:1 rf Granderson 2 2b Polanco 3 ss Guillen 4 dh Ordonez 5 1b Shelton 6 c Pudge 7 lf Monroe 8 3b Inge 9 cf Logan
Crazy, stupid stuff. Just for kicks, though, I'd like to see speed covering the outfield and I like Nook a lot. I know Young is a good hitter, but what team could rival this defense?
I would love it if Granderson could lead off, I just don't know that he will get on base enough. Logan is a situational player at this point. I think you have to have Young in there DHing and Maggs in the OF. With their D they have to score runs.
cmchampa2 wrote:Logan is a situational player at this point.
I would like to see Logan abandon batting left-handed. You watch him hit and you can tell by far right-handed is his natural side. I think he's one of those guys who became a switch-hitter just because he's fast and batting from the left side gives him that extra half step or whatever. He has no power as it is from the right side, and even less power from the left. The defense plays in on him, which in turn even makes bunting harder and they know he's not going to hit the ball far if he does swing away.
Unless he shows improvement in some regard, he is going to be a defensive specialist, pinch runner, and maybe a spot starter vs. LHP. Fortunately all of those elements could be very useful for this team, however, there may be situations where we would want a better offensive outfielder available for the lineup, for example, on a day of rest for Ordonez. I think this is a situation where we'll see Dmitri get spot starts in the outfield with Pena at DH, which would maintain a lot of power in the lineup particularly vs RHP. Logan will see some starts in place of Granderson vs tough LHP.
Here's my updated Opening Day Lineup, assuming that lefty Mark Redman will be the Royals opening day starter instead of Greinke:
1) Inge, 3B - He hits LHP very well and should be refreshed after a long offseason. I would like to see him sit out at least 20 games this year. Too bad our backup infielder isn't a lefty.
2) Polanco, 2B - Best #2 hitter the Tigers have seen in years.
3) Shelton, 1B - He'll be deadly here as he puts up a great OBP and makes a run at 30 HRs.
4) Ordonez, RF - if he's in the lineup, he has to hit cleanup
5) Guillen, SS - the first of two straight switch hitters. I like him over Dmitri because he is a more disciplined and high average hitter while Dmitri has more power.
6) Dmitri, DH
7) Pudge, C - I don't think he'll ever be as good as 2004 again, but better than 2005 is still possible.
8) Monroe, LF - to me he is the definition of a mediocre starting OF, but a guy with his bat at 8 looks good.
9) Granderson/Logan, CF - As mentioned before, if Logan looks good in the spring, I think he can steal some ABs from Granderson vs. LHP. Until then I give Granderson the upper hand.
If Greinke or another RHP starts for KC, then I stand by my previously posted lineup. If they sub in a RHP, Pena could be a late inning pinch hitter, while the guy who sat out between Granderson/Logan goes in the field following the inning. I have to say, that lineup I just posted would be a nightmare for opposing lefties.