Kansas City Royals second baseman Omar Infante (14) – Mandatory Credit: Matt Marton-USA TODAY Sports
Ok, so Ned’s not going to play two of his best players on Sunday. Is that any reason to wipe his rear end with the lineup card? For the love of all things common sense, I’m praying that Ned might have had a seizure while filling out the lineup card. In no way did it make sense, and in no way could it be considered as putting his team in the best position to win, which is, you know, HIS JOB!
Lineups aren’t hard, you guys. There’s some pretty simple math behind the whole thing, which goes all the way back to little league.
Who do you want to have more chances to hit? Jimmy, who is proven to be a good hitter, shows up to practice every day, maybe hits the batting cages on his own from time to time?
Or Johnny, who picks his nose out in right field, seems to have an allergic reaction to the dandelions in the outfield, gets distracted easily by butterflies, and shows up to practice wearing jeans?
Rolling Escobar and Infante out there to start off your lineup is asinine, and opposing starting pitchers are probably pinching themselves whenever they see stuff like this.
This works at the big league level too. In Sunday’s game, it came down to a simple decision between Alex Gordon and Omar Infante. Ned, through the majesty of his lineup card, indicated he wanted Infante to get more and more meaningful at-bats than Gordon.
Hence, Infante bats second, Gordon bats fifth. On what planet does that seem like a good decision?
I don’t understand how this can be so difficult for a professional manager to comprehend. Logjam the top of your order with your best hitters. You want them to get the most at-bats. That will net you the best results.
Let the Johnnies of MLB occupy the lower part of your order, and thank God for any contribution you get from them. Mixing your worst hitter in at the top of the lineup is absurd to the point of managerial malpractice, if there is such a thing.
Look, I can barely stomach Alcides Escobar batting lead-off. That ship has run its course. He had some decent success there in the past, and earlier this year, but the shine is seriously wearing off quickly. Rolling Escobar and Infante out there to start off your lineup is asinine, and opposing starting pitchers are probably pinching themselves whenever they see stuff like this.
Next: Bullpen Management