Here we go:
- LF Starling Marte
- RF Jose Tabata (Travis Snider)
- CF Andrew McCutchen
- 3B Pedro Alvarez
- 2B Neil Walker
- 1B Garrett Jones (Gaby Sanchez)
- CA Russell Martin
- SS Clint Barmes
I know Tabata has stated he prefers to bat leadoff and Marte has stated he prefers to bat second, however Clint Hurdle seems more inclined to have Marte in that spot. Also, Snider stands to be interchanged often with Tabata in the lineup and is also a good fit for the two-hole in the order. So, pegging those two here will allow for them flow in and out of the lineup without a domino effect disruption to the rest of the batting order.
McCutchen is McCutchen. Beast.
This is the year Alvarez comes into his own. He won’t hit for high average, probably around .255 for the season, but he’ll strike fear in opposing pitchers with his ability to mash the ball. Neil Walker is an integral part of the lineup. It is no coincidence that his injury struggles last season contributed to the late season collapse. He’s a clutch hitter who needs to be near the middle of the order.
Jones and Sanchez will platoon and provide nice power out of the sixth spot in the order. They will probably move up to cleanup on those days that Alvarez is given a rest. These two veterans won’t be effected emotionally by the 4-spot or the shuffling of the order. If Alvarez struggles, then the platoon of Jones and Sanchez might even be moved to cleanup for the season, but if this occurs then the season will likely be another losing effort.
Martin and Barmes bring up the final two spots before the pitcher. All we hope for is for these two not to be automatic outs and play excellent defense. If Martin can add a little pop and be a good situational hitter, then he will be a dramatic improvement over Rod Barajas.
Prediction of the 25 man roster will occur next week.