On Tuesday, Cleveland manager Eric Wedge made some adjustments to his batting order. He stated that the new order has been in the planning stages and was not a surprise to any of the players. The new order had Kenny Lofton leading off and Grady Sizemore batting 3rd. This change seemed to work immediately as Sizemore hit a two-run homer in the first inning but soon the pop was gone.
Television color commentator Rick Manning suggested that, after the first inning, it didn’t really matter who batted where. I would disagree as Lofton was the lead off batter in 3 of the 9 innings.
Chuck Tanner authored a book, “The Official Major League Baseball Playbook” in which he teaches readers to build their line-ups with the following in mind;
There are two spots that statistically lead off more innings than any other. Those spots are 1st and 6th positions in the line-up. Building your line-up around these two positions will give the manager a greater percentage of batters reaching base and base runners scoring.
Here are some different looks that could help the Indians maximize opportunities:
Vs. Right-Handed Pitching:
Vs. Left-Handed Pitching:
Sizemore batting second in each line-up will cut down on his strike outs and allow him to hit behind the runner, something he does well providing Lofton/Gutierrez get on base. Blake in the six spot is a good fit for the second lead-off position. Martinez, being a switch hitter, is a valuable and natural third hitter. The key to any Indian line-up is to get Peralta and Barfield producing again.
Fun stuff...more fun when the Tribe starts winning again!