Gary Matthews, Jr. hit leadoff in an intrasquad game yesterday, and he liked it:
“Just the ability to switch hit, I’m comfortable taking pitches and
obviously I’ve done it and had success in Texas. Hitting leadoff is where I’ve had my most success, so it’s where I’m
Given his struggles in recent years the notion of sticking Matthews at the top of the order seems kind of nuts, but Matthews is right that he’s had most of his success at the top of the order. His career OPS is slightly higher batting third (.802) than leadoff (.792), he’s got three times as many plate appearances at the top of the order.
I wouldn’t hit him leadoff — if I’m Jerry Manuel I try to limit his plate appearances as much as possible while praying to the deity of my choice that Carlos Beltran gets better quickly — but it’s not like there are a ton of other options there, especially if Manuel follows through with his plan to bat Reyes third.