It's Super Bowl Sunday. Football, beer, pizza...but if you're me, it means the last day of football and the countdown for baseball begins to get serious. Today I'm concluding the lineup series with the bottom 1/3 of the lineup.
The old and new school pretty much agree here. You put these batters in order of best remaining hitter to worst. The difference is how they view and evaluate offensive ability.
Instead of going through each and every spot and coming up with candidates, what I'll do is go ahead and fill out the lineup card as I think it may go to open 2012 and then I'll project a 2015 lineup. Maybe a futile exercise since so much should change by then, but it still seems like a fun thing to think about.
2012 Opening Day Lineup
1. David DeJesus: A good combo of OBP and baserunning ability. Jeff Baker could spell him against some lefties.
2. Starlin Castro: The best hitter on the team and has the extra base power you like in this spot
3. Marlon Byrd: Not a classic #3 hitter, but new school says this spot is for your 5th best hitter, so we'll go Byrd.
4. Bryan LaHair: The best combination of hitting ability, OBP skills, and power.
5. Geovanny Soto: Good extra base power and a disciplined hitter. Could switch with LaHair vs. LHP
6. Ian Stewart: A toss up between him and Soriano. Could switch spots vs. lefties.
7. Alfonso Soriano: Good power but that sub .300 OBP means he makes too many outs to bat much higher.
8. Darwin Barney: Low OBP and slugging puts makes him worst overall offensive player on team. He's in for defense.
2015 Opening Day Lineup
1. Zeke DeVoss (2B): Speed, OBP, and hopefully just enough pop to keep pitchers honest.
2. Starlin Castro (SS): Still will be the best hitter on the team
3. Javier Baez (3B): May be next best pure hitter after Castro but has power you want in this spot.
4. Anthony Rizzo or Dan Vogelbach (1B): May the best slugging first baseman win.
5. Jeimer Candelario (LF): Switch-hitter's bat is too good and Cubs will find a spot for him.
6. Brett Jackson (RF): Power/speed combo is ideal in this spot. Can either drive in runs or create them with his legs
7. Matt Szczur (CF): Speed better utilized here when team needs to create more runs.
8. Welington Castillo (C): Could give occasional pop, but in there for defense and controlling running game.
The 2015 lineup was so much more fun to make. Better balance, better fits in each spot -- of course, it'll be a miracle if everybody turns out the way we hope. There's also one player -- Yoenis Cespedes -- who could factor in both lineups should the Cubs be able to acquire him.
How would you fill out your 2012/2015 lineup cards?
Filed under: Lineup