4.29.2011

What is the Best Lineup?

Someone want to send this lineup to Ogawa-san?
So we finally lost a game. Now it's time to panic and decide how we can go undefeated for the rest of the year. Let's start with the lineup. Hopefully Junji Ogawa has caught wind of my verbal attack on Iihara and decides to sit him, at least for the time being. If he is going to continue to play him, why not move him down in the order to relieve some of the pressure. Hitting 7th will have a positive impact on everybody. He has less pressure on him, and the Swallows don't have a black hole in the middle of the order. I like Iihara, he just shouldn't be sniffing the third position in the batting order. Who should then? Here's what I would like the lineup to be:

1. Norichika Aoki, CF- Great table setter. I'd like to see him run more, maybe when his hamstring is 100% we will see that. He's also been taking a lot of meaty pitches, don't know if that is a result of batting leadoff or whether he's just not seeing the ball.

2. Hiroyasu Tanaka, 2B - He's been amazing in this position. His bunting has been flawless and he's hitting .340.

 Hit the jump for the rest.



3. Wladimir Balentien, RF - The first wrinkle in the lineup. I love the way he's been seeing the ball. Every time he steps to the plate I get a good feeling in my stomach. It was a toss up between Hatakeyama and Balentien, but I chose Blad (I was torn between Blad and Wlad but figured the latter would cause too much pronunciation confusion) because he has more walks and with the protection he would have in the 3 hole, he would see even more fastballs.

4. Josh Whitesell, 1B - I put him at cleanup to split up the righties, Balentien and Hatakeyama. His position here is dependent on a reasonable projection that he will bounce back from the injury and start hitting.

5. Kazuhiro Hatakeyama, LF - He's too hot to take out of the lineup. As much of a liability as he is in the field, there's simply nowhere else to stick him. Maybe we can ask the Pacific League if they have for another team and put him at DH.

6. Shinya Miyamoto, 3B - Really no explanation here. He's the leading hitter in the CL up to this point.

7. Ryoji Aikawa, C - He has no business in his current fifth slot. He's been the worst hitting starter to this point, save the revolving door in LF. Now that the unbeaten streak is over, it's time to move Balentien up to at least fifth.

8. Shingo Kawabata, SS - Quickly becoming one of my favorite players. He's been playing stellar to defense and getting on base consistently enough to either flip the lineup or allow the pitcher to bunt him over. I could also have him batting seventh and switching with Aikawa but he's been successful batting eighth so I won't change a working formula.

Feel free to come up with your own lineups in the comment. It doesn't have to make sense, just come up with a lineup that you'd like to see. If you love Shohei Tateyama as much as I do, maybe you'd like to bat him in cleanup; that's fine with me. (And I know there's got to be at least one reader out there willing to comment...don't leave me hanging aka don't pull an Iihara)

© 2011, copyright Julian Jowise

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