Brewers Will Try New Lineup Style

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Brewers manager Ned Yost is considering a lineup that would have Jason Kendall batting ninth and Ryan Braun and Prince Fielder hitting second and third, respectively. Yost wants Braun to get more at-bats and thinks if he were in the two spot, the second and third time through the lineup he will have opportunities to drive in runners. This would also allow for Fielder to hit like he was in the cleanup spot. Although the idea has a good chance to work with their kind of lineup, it does put a lot of pressure on the 5-6-7 guys to get on base. If they are unable to get on base, it completes ruins the idea and will allow teams to limit Ryan Braun's potential damage. Furthermore, the Reds always start off very strong in April and early May and if the Brewers struggle, they will have a much harder time coming back. Not only that, but if the Cubs start off strong with new acquisition Kosuke Fukudome and rookies Geovanny Soto and Felix Pie finding their swing, it would put a lot more pressure on Milwaukee to stop the idea and adjust quickly. I think it is a good idea, but a good idea later in the season after players find their step.

Word coming out of Brewers camp is that Braun's agent, Naz Balelo, is working on an extension
for Braun, similar to the one Troy Tulowitzki got. "It's certainly something I am open to, but I honestly haven't thought about it too much yet," Braun said. "I'm definitely not opposed to considering whatever they have to say." The meeting was informal, but positive, according to officials. I do not expect something to get done before the season starts, but something next off season seems likely.


Anonymous 10:51 PM CST  

No way, no how Kendall will bat 9th. This is just talk for the sake of talk.

Eli 11:36 PM CST  

he will bat after the pitcher, who will hit eighth.

Krycek 4:09 AM CST  

That's a big if with Felix Pie's .215 average in 177 ABs. Furthermore, why would the Reds scare anyone with a hot April?

Anonymous 8:19 AM CST  

Yost will not have the pitcher bat eighth. This is just silly talk.

Bucky, NY 11:14 AM CST  

I believe in having your two best hitters getting the most atbats in the game. Put a high on base guy to lead off and a decent run producer batting 4th and 5th you should have the best offense in the NL. And Kendall should hit late in the lineup, he hasnt shown in the last couple of years he deserves to be any higher than 6th.

Anonymous 8:34 AM CST  

The fact that several managers are now re-considering hitting the pitcher ninth is a testament to the respect that Tony LaRussa has earned in this game (and this is from a die-hard cubs fan). He showed last year that, in some cases, having a more capable hitter in the ninth spot does indeed improve the potential of your lineup.

That having been said, hitting Braun second is just plain silly. There's a reason that, throughout the national league, #2 hitters are the way they are. Having the #2 hitter bunt, work the count and hit grounders to the right side are part of baseball's conventional wisdom for a reason: it contributes to more consistent run production.

Braun may end up with 40 more at-bats in the 2-hole, but at what cost? Either he’ll bat like a conventional 2-hitter, and give himself up in some way 60 or more times; or he’ll hit like a 3-hitter, and the Brewers offense will alternate between producing 7 run and 2 run games, and will be no better than .500 at the end of the season. As a cubs fan, I hope they try it, and stick with it all year. It’ll mean one less team to worry about come September.