Dare I say it? I think Quade's gonna bat Jeff Baker leadoff against lefties in 2011.
This may not be news to you, considering Baker got 28 at-bats in the leadoff spot last year, and started in the one-spot seven times at the end of last season. But it should be a shock to at least a few of you: the man had a .326 on-base percentage last year, for goodness' sake!
Our own Mike Wilkinson said he'd like to see Baker hit 7th or 8th against lefties, and that's a perfectly likely outcome given Baker's overall numbers. But look at his career splits:
Against lefties (396 AB): .308/.363/.545 (.908 OPS)
Against righties (574 AB): .244/.300/.378 (.678 OPS)
Hard to call that a function of small sample size, although one season's worth of data isn't exactly the most robust thing you've ever seen. But yeah, look at today's game against the Royals. Lefty Bruce Chen starts, righty Jeff Baker leads off. And like I said before, Quade has toyed with this idea previously.
It's sort of crazy to think about Jeff Baker leading off for your team, under any circumstances. But maybe against lefties, it's a good call.