Thursday, August 7

What to do about this lineup...

That guy from Washington Heights is gone and the sky is not falling, the Sox are scoring plenty of runs and are 5-1 since his departure. It is my belief that the national media underestimated how well the rest of our line up could effectively pick up the slack. Jason Bay has been fantastic, no real need to go into that any further, but Youkilis, Pedrioa, Lowire and Drew have collectively replaced any drop off we may have felt from losing Ramierez (ITM note: I have not included Lowell since he is clearly not 100%, yet another point of how good/deep this lineup can become).

Combine the aforementioned with Ellsbury’s recent resurgence and we have multiple lineup possibilities that could work well. The key here is finding the right order and mix to produce the most effective and deepest product. While I am not for rushing Ellsbury back into the leadoff spot after two or three games of seeing the ball well at the bottom of the line up, but JD Drew is not the long term answer in the number one slot. Because of this, I’ve come up with a proposed short and long term lineup (long term assuming Mike Lowell and Ortiz are healthy, and Ellsbury is indeed out of his slump).

Short term

1. Pedrioa
2. Lowrie
3. Drew
4. Ortiz
5. Youkils
6. Lowell
7. Bay
8. Tek
9. Ellsbury

I know Ortiz does not love to bat 4th, but the combination of Drew’s success in the 3 spot in June and Lowell’s inability to drive runners in due to injury creates a scenario where Ortiz can benefit from having more people on base and seeing better pitches. Given the way he is hitting the ball to all fields, I love Lowrie in the 2 hole….not long term, but as a short term boast with his high OBP.

Long Term:

1. Ellsbury
2. Pedrioa
3. Youkilis
4. Ortiz
5. Lowell
6. Drew
7. Bay
8. Lowrie
9. Tek

This is a lineup we can go into the playoffs with. It is considerably deeper and more balanced than most in the majors. You could argue that the 5-6-7 hitters in this lineup is the best in baseball, if they choose to pitch around Ortiz, we have some great chances behind him to knock him in. Bay in the 7th spot is an issue, but it sustains a R, L, R, L, R matchup through the middle of the order, making it difficult for opposing bullpens. Granted this lineup is a product of a lot of assumptions, and I’m not Tito Francona, but it is deep and formidable no matter who is pitching. Having Drew in the 7 hole means you can extend rallies and innings via his high OBP. This lineup will make any starting pitcher work and throw a lot of pitches. You can argue that Tek is a “hole” all you want, but with 8 other tough outs on the team, we can manage.

Thoughts? Concerns? Personal lineup cards you would like to see??

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