New Top Of The Lineup Worth Keeping
May 11, 2013; Boston, MA USA; Toronto Blue Jays left fielder Melky Cabrera (53) hits an RBI single during the third inning against the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY SportsSome baseball fans hate it when the manager of their favorite baseball team constantly changes the lineup order. Other fans like it or just don’t care.
Personally I don’t care if the manager wants to change the lineup a lot. If he feels he’s got to change it based on whose pitching that particular day that’s his business.
But I think the top of the lineup the Toronto Blue Jays used in the last 2 games of the Red Sox series is worth sticking with.
If you missed the games or need a reminder the Blue Jays had Melky leadoff, Bautista in the 2 hole and Encarnacion hitting 3rd.
Lawrie, Kawasaki, Rajai, Bonifacio all didn’t pass the leadoff hitter tryouts.
Since the Jays couldn’t find a leadoff man why not do the next best thing and move everyone up a spot?
You could argue that with the weaker hitters at the bottom of the lineup that they won’t get on base enough for the top of the lineup to drive them in but no one was getting on base enough in the leadoff spot anyways.
Melky, Bautista and Edwin are the Jays 3 best hitters so with them at the top of the lineup they’ll get the most at bats which should help the Jays score more runs. When opposing pitchers turn the lineup around they’ll have to face Melky and Bautista right away as opposed to having to face a nonthreatening leadoff hitter.
With the guarantee that the Jays big 3 all hit in the 1st inning it gives the opposing pitcher a huge challenge right from the start.
They are all very selective and see a lot of pitches so they can get a pitcher’s pitch count up in the 1st inning. That’s something the Jays have done a very poor job of this season. It seems like the Jays always get out of the 1st inning only seeing 12 or less pitches even when they score a run sometimes.
Melky, Bautista and Encarnacion hitting in the 1st inning also gives you a better chance of scoring runs in the 1st inning. The Blue Jays haven’t had the luxury of early leads very often this season.
John Gibbons has been playing around with the Jays lineup a lot this season but I think he’s finally found the right top of the lineup that doesn’t need to be changed.
With the way the Jays offense has been struggling this season you have to love the idea of their 3 best hitters being guaranteed to hit in the 1st inning and getting the most at bats.