McClaren seemingly leading towards Lopez as #2

DMZ · March 25, 2008 at 8:46 pm · Filed Under Mariners 

I don’t think lineup order matters all that much, though as we head into the season I’ll try to make a much longer post on this. But Jose Lopez over Vidro — well, it’d be an upgrade if he’s the Lopez we’ve been pulling for, and if he’s the Lopez we saw too much of last year, it’ll be ugly. Here’s hoping. The AP article says “Jose Lopez is likely to be hitting second in the Seattle Mariners’ lineup next week when Seattle opens the regular
season against Texas.” but the actual quote from McLaren’s not as strong:

“We’re thinking about it strongly, I think that’s safe to say,” McLaren said Tuesday. “He’s hit behind the runner. He’s swinging at more strikes. I’m not going to say it’s 100 percent but we’re leaning that way.”


24 Responses to “McClaren seemingly leading towards Lopez as #2”

  1. msb on March 25th, 2008 9:09 pm

    coincidently, this popped up just as I accidently tripped over KJR’s baseball pre-season show, and they were on the same subject.

    Puckett, Sandmeyer, Nellie & Furness.

    and then they were taking calls.

    I think my ears are bleeding.

  2. Mike Snow on March 25th, 2008 9:41 pm

    At least because Lopez isn’t a Proven Veteran, if it does get ugly McLaren won’t be sticking with him in the 2-spot for months on end while he puts up an empty batting average and no extra base hits.

  3. Mr. Egaas on March 25th, 2008 9:46 pm

    Gonna be fun when he sits for Willie Bloomquist a few times a week when he struggles, than rather than put anybody else there, he’ll just go with Willie. Or Cairo!

  4. Dave on March 25th, 2008 9:46 pm

    Vidro hitting as low as possible in the order is good news. Theoretically, they’ll be a lot more willing to bench their DH who hits 8th and has no power than the one hitting 2nd who is “doing all the little things”.

    If this gets us one step closer to Vidro out of the starting line-up, I’m all for it.

  5. Tom on March 25th, 2008 10:05 pm

    I actually would’ve thought Yuni would be #2

  6. Breadbaker on March 25th, 2008 10:24 pm

    Lopez has always struck me as the kind of guy who needs some careful nurturing by his manager. McLaren clearly didn’t accomplish anything with toughlove last year, so the idea of showing some confidence in him and approving of his strides in spring training is a good strategy. In 2010, Lopez is still a Mariner and Vidro is doing color commentary on Nationals Spanish language broadcasts.

  7. Mere Tantalisers on March 25th, 2008 10:30 pm

    Here’s hoping they give Beltre another look in the two hole; I’m not sure I can take Lopez hitting that high up and you’d like someone with a better eye for the zone there anyhow.

  8. Dave on March 25th, 2008 10:36 pm

    Right, because Adrian’s known for his prowess in determining what pitches to swing at.

  9. Colm on March 25th, 2008 10:59 pm

    Maybe ‘cuz all around he’s a better hitter than either Lopez or Vidro?

    He is a comically atypical #2 hitter tho’; I’ll give you that.

  10. xxtinynickxx on March 25th, 2008 11:03 pm

    I don’t think its a big deal, the Mariners Vs Mets in the WS, thats what I’ve been told by KJR AM 😉

  11. lailaihei on March 25th, 2008 11:06 pm

    I personally think that batting order should be heavily dependent on whether or not it’s vs LHP or RHP. Ibanez should bat 4th vs righties and Beltre 4th against lefties.
    We really don’t have anyone good for the two-hole… except Ichiro, and we really should just give him as many at bats as possible by hitting him first.

  12. JI on March 25th, 2008 11:18 pm

    If only Vidro was as good as Kenny Lofton…

  13. argystokes on March 25th, 2008 11:27 pm

    I recall reading somewhere (here?) that the most efficient lineups are those that decrease OBP with each position in the lineups, and put the power in the middle. If this is true, then it would seem that Vidro’s perfect spot is the 2 hole, as he has no power but gets on base better than anyone but Ichiro. Even if you take away some of his unlike-to-repeat infield hits, he still should get on base more than Lopez, Betancourt, or Beltre.

    Is the problem that he has so little power that he should bat lower simply to minimize his total number of at bats over the season?

  14. Kazinski on March 25th, 2008 11:37 pm

    Vidro should have his AB’s minimized to keep him from vesting his option. The [Mariners] would be fools to let Vidro get to 400AB’s, however they can’t make it look like that’s what they are doing [or] say hello to a grievance and arbitration.

    Somehow I don’t mind as much when greedy corporations try to use loopholes to screw their employees when it frees up money for a bat with decent power. Exxon should buy a baseball team.

  15. lailaihei on March 25th, 2008 11:44 pm

    recall reading somewhere (here?) that the most efficient lineups are those that decrease OBP with each position in the lineups, and put the power in the middle.

    You want your 1, 2, and 4 batters to be your best hitters. 3 and 5 are pretty much interchangeable, but if all else is equal but one hits into more double plays, he should hit fifth. 6-9 should be your 6th best through your 9th best in skill, respectively. That’s what I remember from The Book, at least.

  16. Sidi on March 26th, 2008 12:04 am

    lailaihei but even if you put out the absolute best lineup, mathmatically, it’s still only a couple runs per season better when the math is done (as USSM has done). It makes a bit of sense though, if a “good” and “bad” hitter are within 10%, shifting the order isn’t going to show up short term

  17. Gerald on March 26th, 2008 12:12 am

    Hate to be an echo, but my immediate thought was: “I’m fine with anything that moves Vidro as far down in the line-up as possible. Anything to keep that, more than likely, ridiculous option from vesting…”

  18. garhof on March 26th, 2008 12:21 am

    Wouldn’t it make more sense to just platoon or occassionally bench Vidro for Ibanez/Sexson/Wilk/Anyone to prevent his option from vesting?

    Of course that assumes that McClaren would actually do that…

  19. rea on March 26th, 2008 5:29 am

    He’s swinging at more strikes.

    But is he hitting them?

  20. Ralph_Malph on March 26th, 2008 8:25 am

    It just occurred to me that this team has four second basemen (yes, I realize most of them aren’t really second basemen anymore).

    Is that what they mean by being strong up the middle?

  21. galaxieboi on March 26th, 2008 8:48 am

    While I tend to agree with the ‘high OBP to low OBP’ theory, after the first couple innings it doesn’t seem to matter anymore.

  22. joser on March 26th, 2008 9:48 am

    Well, the first couple of guys get more ABs than everybody else. That adds up over the season, which is why Ichiro can get his 200 hits. Mostly it doesn’t matter, but that does.

  23. Evan on March 26th, 2008 11:23 am

    Given that they (both Mac and Grover) seem to stress that the #2 guy needs to hit behind the runner, it would be best if the guy hitting #2 was someone who could actually do that competently.

    And that probably means Beltre or Ibanez. Lopez has demonstrated that he’s at his best when he’s a pull hitter.

  24. danuper on March 27th, 2008 2:11 pm

    Why has nobody thought about Coco Crisp for left field? The guy has speed, can hit for average, please great defense, and Boston has no place for him. I’m sure they would love to take Norton or one of our bench people off our hands. Just an idea, yes i realize he is an injury waiting happen. No, i don’t care.

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