"Talking about legitimate No. 3 hitters, he's the best option we have right now," McClendon said. "If you're talking about championship-type clubs - Barry Bonds-type hitters or Albert Pujols-type hitters - Jason Bay is the ideal No. 5 hitter, for the matter even No. 2. We're not there yet, so we'll do the best we can."
I haven't finished translating this Mac cryptoquote yet, but think that this means Tike will bat third to start the season. This solves the Wiggy-hits-5th? problem I guess. But usually a team's best or second best hitter hits third, with the idea that they'll plate the 1+2 hitters (Matt and Jack). Tike makes contact and has had a great spring. He also sports a .286/.319/.394 line in 919 career ABs (with 42! BB).
What do projections project? PECOTA:Tike::Azibuck:Lynn Swann. Pure hatred. (BTW, when we were kids Swann was Rowdy's favorite Steeler, Stallworth mine. Maybe Rowdy's ashamed of that now but that's how it was). PECOTA hates Tike to the tune of a .274/.319/.372 projection with a 47% Collapse (worst on the team for everyone not named Javier Guzman), 15% Improve (worst on the team),and 4% Breakout (tied for lowest on team with Jack). I don't know how accurate PECOTA is. BP claims it's "deadly accurate", but does anyone know of an accessible web source that supports this claim? To me over the years it has seemed to be accurate more often than not, but I'd like to see the comparison of PECOTA projections vs. actual performance. It makes sense to me though that the odds are against a 28 year old who rarely walks, has limited power and hasn't established himself as a quality major leaguer. All the more reason to pull for Tike to stay hot and defy expectations. All hail Tike!