Thursday, March 22, 2007

Some thoughts about the lineup

Hey, this offseason there has been some talk about the ideal lineup and the likely Tracy lineup. (See also this PG page and this PG page).

Some have been concerned that Tracy looks poised to hit Jack Wilson second and Jason Bay fifth. I have stood to the side of these debates because I doubt lineups matter all the much. To me, it makes sense to give Jack Wilson one more chance to hit as he did once; if he does not do it in the first few weeks, then I think dropping him to eighth makes sense. But in the eight-spot, he's pretty certain to not be productive offensively. I say that on nothing but intuition, so "certain" is probably not a good word, but I'll use it.

Now I wonder if this lineup decision does not have something to do with Jason Bay. The Pirates look poised to bury him somewhat. He had that knee thing and he has not looked strong at the plate this spring. Could it be that the coaches anticipate a slow start to Bay's season? If he bats in the third spot, that would magnify the effect of any diminished production.

One other thing: Ronny Paulino looks more and more like a middle-of-the-lineup hitter to me. He's a big man and he's been hitting the ball with authority.

What are your thoughts? Do you also anticipate a weak first month or half from Bay? I know I am lowering expectations, but perhaps that's overreacting.

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