In the grand scheme of things, we know lineup order means little. It’s certainly more important that a manager have the right guys playing than have them in the proper order. Lineup decisions aren’t worth a tenth of all the ire they produce on the Internet and radio.
And, yet, once in a great while, those poor lineup decisions get exactly the results they deserve. For example, here is how the Royals have fared in all six of Chris Getz’s starts in the leadoff spot this season:
May 22 – Lost 3-1 to Houston
May 23 – Lost 5-4 to L.A. Angels
May 24 – Lost 5-2 to L.A. Angels
May 25 – Lost 7-0 to L.A. Angels
May 26 – Lost 5-2 to L.A. Angels
Aug. 13 – Lost 1-0 to Miami
That’s six games, all losses, with a total of nine runs scored. Getz went 4-for-21 with four walks between the six games, giving him a .320 OBP that slightly exceeds his career mark of .310.
Obviously, if Getz has to play, he should be batting ninth. And that’s usually where he bats in manager Ned Yost’s lineup. But not tonight, for some reason. Jarrod Dyson, who has better numbers against right-handers and is faster than Getz, hit ninth tonight. David Lough, the usual leadoff hitter against righties, hit fifth, apparently because he was needed there more than he was at the top.
The Mets have begun working outfielder Jay Bruce and second baseman Neil Walker at first base as potential insurance in the event Lucas Duda continues to experience back discomfort, Mike Puma of the New York Post reports. Duda has been sidelined recently due to back spasms and missed all but 47 games last season as a result of a stress fracture in his lower back.
Manager Terry Collins spoke about Bruce’s work at first base on Sunday, saying, “I liked everything I saw today. “It looks like he’s got the athleticism, he’s got the hands, he’s got the arm angle. He made some throws in our drills that you wouldn’t expect an outfielder to be able to make, but yet he does. If that’s where we have to go, I think we’ll be fine.”
Bruce has only three games’ worth of experience at first base at the major league level, but still has high expectations for himself. He said, “I am going to work at it. I want to give myself a chance and the team a chance. I am not going to go over there and be a butcher. It’s just not the way I go about my business on the baseball field and it wouldn’t be fair to the team if I wasn’t capable to do it, so I am going to work at it and we’ll see what happens.”
The Mets made Bruce available via trade over the offseason but didn’t get an offer that whet their appetite. As a result, Michael Conforto appears to be the odd man out in the Mets’ crowded outfield.
Indians second baseman Jason Kipnis has been diagnosed with a strained rotator cuff in his right shoulder, MLB.com’s Jordan Bastian reports. Kipnis has received a cortisone shot and will be shut down from throwing for the next four to five days.
There’s a lot of spring left, so it’s perfectly sensible for the Indians to play it safe with their star player. The club already had Kipnis on a shoulder strengthening program.
Kipnis, 29, helped the Indians to the playoffs after batting .275/.343/.469 with 23 home runs, 92 RBI, 91 runs scored, and 15 stolen bases in 688 plate appearances during the regular season last year. He then helped the Indians reach Game 7 of the World Series against the Cubs, where they were eventually stopped, as he provided a .741 OPS including four homers and eight RBI in 15 playoff games.