In a word: UGLY
Mark Kotsay is swinging a hot bat in the Cactus League, so Ozzie Guillen is apparently considering batting him 3rd against right-handers. Guillen is also "leaning towards" leading off Omar Vizquel over Alexei Ramriez or Juan Pierre against left-handers.
I shouldn't have to tell you this isn't a good idea, but I'll give you the numbers anyway. Kotsay has hit .275/.335/.403 against RHP the last three years. A .738 OPS from your #3 hitter. Good thing we got rid of that base-clogger. Now we can produce some real runs. As for Vizquel, he hit a whopping .247/.305/.300 against LHP the last three years. A .305 OBP from our leadoff hitter. Brilliant!
So I'm trying to figure out what Guillen's preferred lineup will look like. Based off the linked article, here's what I come up with:
VS. RHP VS. LHP 1. Pierre LF 1. Vizquel 3B 2. Beckham 2B 2. Beckham 2B 3. Kotsay DH 3. Jones LF 4. Quentin RF 4. Quentin RF 5. Konerko 1B 5. Konerko 1B 6. Pierzynski C 6. Pierzynski C 7. Rios CF 7. Rios CF 8. Teahen 3B 8. Kotsay DH 9. Ramirez SS 9. Ramirez SS
Obviously, there will be significant shuffling this season with Quentin, Konerko, Teahen, Rios, Pierre and Pierzynski (in order from most often to least often) rolling through DH duties, so it's hard to pin down a lineup. There will be no "set" lineup on the south side this season.
Honestly I kinda like the bottom of the lineup in these scenarios, but it comes at the expense of the top of the order. And when you see that the DHydra makes up fully one third of my projected lineup against LHP, it becomes painfully obvious that the Sox are a bat short. They could have achieved the same flexibility by shuffling more talented deck chairs.
- In Scott Merkin's latest for Chisox.com he alludes to Wanny's "all the pieces in place" comment without a hint of foreboding irony.
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