Gutierrez To Hit 3rd
Shannon Drayer has the story of Wak deciding to start the season with Death To Flying Things hitting in the #3 spot in the order, seemingly to avoid putting undue pressure on Casey Kotchman. I talked about this the other day, but there was certainly a chance that Kotchman could have ended up as an easy scape goat for frustrated fans if the offense slumped early and he was hitting into a bunch of double plays. It’s not really the way you want the fans to get to know your new first baseman, so I think this is probably the right call.
If you start Kotchman off down in the order and he struggles, he may still attract some derision, but he won’t be seen as the reason the offense is failing. If he starts off hot, it’s easy enough to move him up.
I’m glad to see Wak make this move. It’s just one potentially bad scenario avoided.