1. Leyland said he plans to lead off either Granderson or Logan, whoever wins the center field job. I wonder if that will last. Neither one did all that well in limited time as the leadoff man last year. But there is no perfect leadoff guy on this club.
I guess that settles the lead-off debate. For now atleast!
That's how sad it is, they have nobody that can lead off. No one. Knobler was being kind. He should have said they have no adequate lead off man. But they have 80 1B/DHs in the system.
Does anyone think Logan has any chance to beat out Granderson for CF? Logan is just too much of a rally killer when he goes into one of his prolonged slumps. And he makes Granderson look like he has a major league arm. Either on of the two scare me big time leading off. Too making weak ABs to set the tone for the game.
No games have been played yet, so that means nothing to me. As far as I'm concerned, just get a guy in the leadoff spot who can handle the bat and draw walks, regardless if he's really fast or not. Sounds like Carlos Guillen to me. Getting on base is far more important than speed. Who needs speed. Oakland is a pretty slow team every year, but they do well because they get on base.
And the only chance I can see of Logan having of beating out Granderson is to completely abolish batting left-handed. Logan is AWFUL left-handed. He's far from great right-handed, but he at least looks like he has a chance out there.
Leyland is saying A LOT of things right now without seeing much game action. Little things like saying he is already penciling in Dmitri Young for a handful of starts at 3B just make you want to see it to believe it. I'm sure he has his reasons for doing so, but we'll just have to see for ourselves.
Looking at your line up, Lambskin, and I can't fault it. What I can see is that Pudge and Young are already causing problems. I can't see either being happy playing where you have them. Pudge will somehow demand to hit 3rd or 5th and Young will be 5th or 6th. We will probably see another season where their second best RBI guy hits 8th.
Is it a sign of how strong the line-up is, or how hard it is to let go of past performances of a couple of has-beens? Only time will tell.
I really think that Granderson is either going to come out of ST hitting the snot out of the ball or he is hitting 8th. I much prefer Guillen or Polanco hitting there.
Dan Lambskin wrote:this team is a mess...their lack of a true leadoff hitter is killing them and they have too many hitters who are best suited for 2,3,5 hole
What is a true leadoff hitter? Is it necessarily a guy with blazing speed? Absolutely not. I'm sorry we don't have the next coming of Rickey Henderson, but as far as I'm concerned, the key ingredient is getting on base and handling the bat well is always a plus. We have 2 guys who do this: Polanco and Guillen. With Guillen and Polanco at the top in some combination, I would be very comfortable. I can in no way agree that this team lacks options at leadoff as long as these two players are on the roster. You could even spot start Inge at leadoff vs LHP and not be disappointed with the way he destroys southpaws.
I still wonder why Leyland is already making such a statement. I'm sure he's been seeing what he has little by little, but with no real games having been played, handing the important leadoff spot to one of two unproven players just doesn't seem right. That's why I won't believe it until I see it. Of course, he's the manager and he's not exactly new at the job, so he likely knows what he's doing.
We need to remember that there is plenty of time for Leyland to go to plan B. Polanco and Guillen are mature players who won't be thrown off their games if he tells them "Oh BTW, you are out new lead-off man".
In the mean time he has two young players who know what the role is expected to be rather than have to worry about where they will bat. They also know that the job hasn't been given to Granderson and Logan isn't out of the mix. I don't have as much of a problem with Leyland saying it now as I will if he repeats himself and April 2.
Leyland continues to work on possible lineups, and he spent time filling out more of them after Thursday night's team barbecue. Other than batting Polanco second and his center fielder first, he doesn't have anyone set in one particular spot.
"One thing about our lineup, it's got a chance to be pretty balanced," Leyland said. "I don't know that our 3-4-5 [hitters are] going to sound as impressive as somebody else's 3-4-5, but I think 1 through 9 we're going to be pretty good, and I kind of like that. We might not have the big boppers right in the middle, but ... I think you can get a lot out of whoever's going to hit 7-8-9."
One tendency he might use is to put a power hitter in the bottom third of the order. If everyone is healthy, he has enough from which to choose.
"I do like a three-run homer late in the lineup," he said. "Somebody that's not a real good runner, but I think that he's got power, I like the three-run homer down late in the lineup. I guess in the National League it would be a little bit more important with the eighth hitter and then the pitcher."
Is he talking about Shelton, which would be foolish, or DaLardHook?
I don't know that Young wouldn't return to the cancerous baby he was last season if they try to put him in the bottom of the line-up. Though I think he certainly has earned the right to bat 7th.
Everybody in the expected starting lineup has double digit homerun power, so I really don't think he needs to worry much about having a guy in the lower third with power. Although I will say there is some degree of interchangeability in the lineup when it comes to players like Pudge, Monroe, Dmitri, Pena (maybe if he proves himself Granderson as well). Aside from them, I think you have to have Guillen, Polanco, Shelton and Ordonez in the top half of the lineup as all of them are going to be our high OBP guys, with all of them more than capable of posting .340+ OBPs, which is gold as far as this team goes.
Still, I'll believe any of these things Leyland is saying when I actually see them, but it sounds like spring will be very interesting.