March 29, 2010

Iwamura Leading Off In Revamped Buccos Lineup

PITTSBURGH, Pa. / March 29, 2010

Did John Russell get drunk while chatting with Tony LaRussa on Facebook? Check out the brand new Pirates lineup:

1. Aki Iwamura, 2B
2. Andrew McCutchen, CF
3. Garrett Jones, RF
4. Ryan Doumit, C
5. Lastings Milledge, LF
6. Jeff Clement, 1B
7. Andy LaRoche, 3B
8. Pitcher
9. Bobby Crosby, SS

While we're still in Spring Training, it's almost time for real baseball and this lineup has been featured a couple of times now. A few things jump out:

Akinori Iwamura leading off. I love the move. He was good enough to lead off for the 2008 American League champions. McCutchen at second is perfect. If you have two players with equal on base skills, bat the one with less power first. I view McCutchen as more of a Grady Sizemore type than a Chuck Carr, and that is a good thing.

The pitcher batting eighth. Awful. I know all of the new sabermetric analyses say that a hypothetical lineup scores more runs this way. I don't believe it. A major aspect of National League baseball is the decision on whether to pinch hit for your starter or let him throw another inning. Well, if Paul Maholm is batting eighth maybe that comes up one inning earlier. It's not like Crosby/Cedeno is a true second leadoff man either. Connie Mack never batted his pitcher eighth and neither would I.

Crosby starting at SS. Like it. Crosby has more upside than Ronny Cedeno. Starting Cedeno is a move you make when your goal is going 74-88. I'm ignoring the fact that that actually is the 2010 Pirates' goal.


  1. Biggest problem with batting pitcher 8th is it gives Penguins/Steelers fans something to latch onto when they bitch about firing the management team. Probably not worth it for potential return of a couple runs over a whole season.

  2. LaDainian,

    Never knew you were a closet Bucs fan. Thanks for the post even though you killed my fantasy football team. Go Chargers!