nsulham wrote:I'm lazy and don't feel like digging through news articles but has Torre even given an explanation why he's batting Kemp eighth? I remember hearing it was because of the strikeouts but is that still the reason?
I don't really know if Torre expressed his reasons, at least in terms of this season. Sometimes, a past reputation for being a far-from-seasoned batter/baserunner is still prevalent, in spite of the fact he's made great strides in enhancing his overall baseball IQ. Sure, Kemp strikes out a lot, but he's working counts a lot better and recognizing offspeed pitches so as not to get baited into swinging at them frequently.
FWIW, Matty has been batting 5th/6th the last few days, hit 7th yesterday and had a big game. I guess it has to do with the perceived "pressure" of hitting in the middle of the order, which is why Torre has kept him at the bottom of the order. Nonetheless, he has fared well over the last few weeks in late-inning situations.