Blue Jays making good decision with Dalton Pompey in the two hole!
Yet another one of my bold preseason predictions has already come true. Since the team has traveled to Baltimore to battle the O’s Dalton Pompey has been slotted into the 2 hole. The past couple games have been quite impressive for Dalton Pompey. The move up in the order has already resulted in more production from his offense. The first game of the series with the O’s he popped two doubles with 2 RBIs and scored 2 runs. The second game he was blanked just like most of the Jays lineup in a resurgent performance by Ubaldo Jimenez. In the Sunday matinee he collected his first home run of the season. A two run blast that was confirmed after the fact because the original call stated it was not a home run. It was over turned and Pompey was allowed to round the bases.
For the series in Baltimore Pompey collected 3 hits in 14 at bats (.214 BA) with 4 runs scored, 4 RBI, 2 doubles, and a home run. This while striking out 3 times and drawing 1 walk. Batting Pompey in the 2 hole makes sense offensively. This is nothing against Russell Martin who filled the 2 hole most of the spring and the first series against the Yankees. Martin’s bat in my opinion is more damaging lower in the lineup when runners will be on base. He has proven he knows how to hit with runners on and gets them to score. His batting skills with runners in scoring position go to waist early in the game with only Jose Reyes possibly on base before him.
Toronto Blue Jays
This is where the Pompey idea comes in. Pompey being a switch hitter causes issues for pitchers just before the meaty heart of our lineup comes to the plate. Late in games managers will have a harder time playing match ups because of the duel switch hitters at the top. The tandem of switch hitters at the top of the lineup worked well for us last season. Reyes and Melky Cabrera performed great in front of the mashers last season. The nice thing about Pompey over Melky is the considerable speed upgrade. This should cause havoc for pitchers trying to hold on Reyes and Pompey while Jose Bautista and company dig in.
Pompey could thrive in the 2 hole with the threat of the power that follows. I wouldn’t want to put Pompey on base if if I was pitching to the Jays lineup just to attempt to go after Bautista, Encarnacion, and Donaldson. Pitchers are going to try their best to make sure the Pompey does not walk. This should lead to him getting more fastballs for himself to mash. All 3 of his hits in the Baltimore series were extra base hits. He helped ignite the offense for game 1 and 3. His first double got things going in game 1 and he homered in the first in game 3. He is getting good pitches to hit and taking advantage of it.
From a baseball stand point I love seeing a line drive hitter like Pompey in the 2 slot. His speed and switch hitting ability make him a valuable asset that early in the lineup. This frees up Martin to back up the mashers and clean up any base runners they may have left stranded. Having Martin and Pompey switch spots lengthens our lineup to a scary level. Everyone in the Jays lineup has been hitting thus far. My one and only gripe that I have with the current lineup is we are very right handed. Michael Saunders return will bring a solid lefty bat that we need for the lower half of the lineup. He is approaching a return and will probably push the hot hitting Kevin Pillar back into a reserve role. The Jays have a fearsome lineup and Pompey’s improving offense will play a key role in the Jays success.
All Statistic information provided by baseball-reference.com.
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