I’ve often wondered why teams don’t move their best hitters up in the lineup more. I think many teams would be better off throwing their mediocre #2 hitter in the #9 spot and moving everyone else up a spot. This would give an incremental number of additional at bats to the team’s best hitters over the course of the season, which should translate to more runs.
The Royals seem to be doing this. Carlos Beltran is definitely their best hitter and is a prototypical #3 hitter, hitting for both average and power. The Royals don’t have him in the #3 hole though, they are hitting him #2. Behind him, they have Mike Sweeney, Juan Gonzalez and Joe Randa/Matt Stairs/Ken Harvey.
I was going to use the Astros as an example of a team that should ditch their current #2 hitter, but Adam Everett is actually hitting enough to keep his spot for the moment. I think that lineup would be a lot scarier though if it came out of the gates with Biggio, Bagwell, Kent, Berkman, Hidalgo and skipped Everett.
The Cubs are a decent example: Patterson (though he’s been dropped lately), Sosa, Alou, Ramirez… why is Ramon Martinez in there? The Cardinals: Womack, Pujols, Rolen, Eedmonds, Renteria – why is Sanders/Lankford in the #2 spot?
Teams aren’t using the bunt much anymore, why do they keep the light hitting dude in the #2 spot?