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Your Opening Day Line-Up?

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  • Your Opening Day Line-Up?

    Jeff Blair wrote there that John Gibbons is contemplating switch the order around.

    John Gibbons sounds like somebody ready to follow his head instead of his heart when he shows up at the Toronto Blue Jays spring training complex in Dunedin, Fla., the day after Valentine's Day. That likely means Vernon Wells's days of batting third every day are history.

    "Vernon's a little more of a free-swinger and I think hitting out of the fifth spot in the order might play into his strengths a little better," Gibbons, the Blue Jays manager, said Thursday. "I've been thinking a lot about what the lineup might look like, with all the moves we've made."

    That could potentially leave the Blue Jays with three left-handed batters at the top of the order, with Russ Adams still the odds-on choice to lead off and Frank Catalanotto clearly preferring to hit second. Of course, Gibbons could flip Overbay and the right-hand hitting Wells against a left-handed starter but he's intrigued with the idea of having Wells hit behind two batters who see as many pitches as cleanup hitter Troy Glaus and Overbay. Glaus saw 4.12 pitches per plate appearance last year with the Arizona Diamondbacks, the 16th-highest total in baseball. Overbay was 31st at 3.96 for the Milwaukee Brewers.
    When reading that and with all the new additions we have recieved, i wondered who everyone thought will be are starting line-up this year. Here is what I think we will look like:

    1. Adams - SS
    2. Johnson - LF vs. Lefties/Catalanatto - LF vs. Righties
    3. Wells - CF
    4. Glaus - 3B
    5. Overbay - 1B
    6. Molina - C vs. Lefties/Molina - (C/DH) vs. Righties
    7. Hillenbrand - DH vs. Lefties/Hill - 2B OR Hillenbrand - DH vs. Righties
    8. Hill - 2B vs. Lefties/Zaun - (C/DH) OR Hill - 2B vs. Righties
    9. Rios - RF

    My reasonings: I think a permanent lead-off hitter is essential for any club and Adams will be that guy here. I like Johnson as a lead-off guy too but he fits in well in the 2 spot in the order. I think he will split time with the Cat in left this year dispite all the possibilities that can be used there. Wells will stay as the #3 hitter IMO because I believe he will have a year like he did when Delgado was behind him. Had a tough time deciding between Shea and Bengie for the 6 spot vs. Lefties but Molina bats so well against lefties I had to put him there. Shea bats good against them too but he had few at bats against them last year so I find it hard to gauge how good he actually is. Molina will be the permanent #6 hitter except on his day-off when Hillenbrand will bat there. I think Zaun will get some starts against righties but he won't everytime. When he doesn't play, Hillenbrand will be in the #7 spot and Hill will bat #8. When he does however, i believe that Hillenbrand will be taken out of the line-up and Hill will bat #7 leaving Zaun at #8. The last one is Rios batting #9 and I don't like him there but I don't see any other option.

    I hope that all made sense

    They way I see it, all the off-season moves have been finished but if there are anything JP wants too do (upgrade in the outfield, though I don't see it happening), Rios and Hillenbrand look like they might be goners. One of those guys will be dealt during the season sometime I think.

  • #2
    Rios hitting ninth is not a bad place for him to hit. He'll get a lot more pitches to hit there, and his speed will play out well hitting ninth.


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