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View Full Version : Gordon Beckham and the 2 hole


soxfandy
04-10-2010, 10:53 PM
It's still very early in the season so I'm not going to panic about our offense yet. I'm just wondering what everybody thinks about battting Beckham in the 2 hole? As far as our offense goes this team will be built around Quentin and Beckham for years to come. I don't want to see Beckham's game go completely downhill because we put him in a situation that he has probably never had to deal with. From what I have heard Beckham has been the stud on every team that he has been a part of. He has probably never had to do such things as taking pitches to allow a baserunner to steal, hit and run, sac bunts, etc. I believe Gordon will be a very good run producer during his career so I'd like to see him in a position where he can swing freely and not have to think.

I know A.J isnt a great obp guy, but put him in the 2 hole. He knows the game and he makes solid contact most of the time. He came through the Twins organization so he knows the fundamentals.

By putting A.J in the 2 hole it gives you some options on what to do with Beckham. You could just move him down a spot so the lineup looks like this:

Pierre
AJ
Beckham
TCQ
Paulie
Jones/Kotsay
Rios
Teahen
Alexei

Or you could just push Beckham down into AJ's old spot or lower in the order.

Please don't bash me. I'm just throwing ideas out there. I'm just happy we finally got a prospeect that looks like the real deal. Don't want that to change because of the way our management handles him up here.

DonnieDarko
04-10-2010, 10:54 PM
Why not try Alexei in the 2 hole? I know that he was good there last year for a time. Put Teahen in the nine spot, and bat AJ 9th? I know that would break up Ozzie's LRLR thing, but why not try something a bit different?

Chrisaway
04-10-2010, 10:57 PM
Call me crazy but I'd like to see Pierre in the 2 hole with Bacon or *gasp* Rios leading off.

soxfandy
04-10-2010, 10:57 PM
i'm up for anybody in the 2 hole as long as it gets beckham out of there....

MarkZ35
04-10-2010, 10:58 PM
The 3 hole could put even more pressure on him. Then he may try driving the ball too much instead of being a good all around hitter. He may just need more time to adjust to the 2 hole.

DonnieDarko
04-10-2010, 11:03 PM
I say let him at the three spot in the lineup, or at least the fourth. He should be in a run-producing position, not only because he's done it all his non-major career so far. I believe that he should be trying to drive in runs, not try to bunt the fastest man on the team over.

For God's sake, try a hit and run (if it's done right, it just might score a run!), but why bunt him over? Why?

TDog
04-11-2010, 09:51 AM
I say let him at the three spot in the lineup, or at least the fourth. He should be in a run-producing position, not only because he's done it all his non-major career so far. I believe that he should be trying to drive in runs, not try to bunt the fastest man on the team over.

For God's sake, try a hit and run (if it's done right, it just might score a run!), but why bunt him over? Why?

Let me preference this by saying I don't believe in the sacrifice bunt in most circumstances. However, if you are in a potential game-ending inning with the score tied, most managers will sacrifice a leadoff runner, unless a Quentin, Konerko or Thome is up. It's considered a no-brainer. in a close game Friday, the Twins attempted a sacrifice with their No. 2 hitter and later sacrificed the eventual winning run into scoring position. I think the sacrificed is overused because giving up an out decreases your chances of scoring. (It is most ridiculous with a runner on second.) Last season there were actually arguments that the sacrifice was good because it kept you out of a doubleplay. This season, now that Beckham has learned to bunt and is being asked to do it more, the sacrifice seems to have dropped appreciably in popularity.

Of course, the hit-and-run isn't simply having a runner break and letting the hitter swing away. It takes the bat out of a hitter's hands, although to a lesser extent than the bunt. You are asking the hitter to do something specific no matter where the ball is pitched. You generally need a favorable count that guarantees the pitcher is close to the plate. Missing a high-and-tight pitch, for example, probably results in the runner being thrown out at second. You don't need a fast runner. The hit and run, when it was employed more frequently, was most often done with slower runners to get them to third base. If you have a runner who is a threat to steal, you generally have to wait for a count where there is no chance of a pitchout. (You used to see pitchouts sometimes with slow runners on base if the other team smelled a hit-and-run.)

The hit-and-run also was done with weaker hitters to open up holes in the ground-ball defense that wouldn't normally be there. If a hitter hits the ball into the defense created by reaction to the hit-and-run, fans will complain that the hitter got robbed. Really, the hitter didn't do his job -- i.e., he wasn't supposed to hit what normally would be a single up the middle but instead turned into an easy doubleplay because second-base was being covered by the shifting defense.

An advantage to hitting No. 2, if Pierre is getting on base, is that the hitter will see more fastballs. That is why Ramirez, hitting behind Podsednik, was such a good No. 2 hitter last year before he was injured and moved into the spot.

I have never believed Beckham should be hitting second. When Ramirez hits midseason form, I think he is the best option on the team for a No. 2 hitter.

Part of the problem right now is that Pierre hasn't been doing as much as fans expected him to. When he played for the Cubs, Cubs fans turned on him after a slow start. When he hit midseason form, he was doing well offensively, but it didn't bring the fans back. I see Pierre picking it up. I hope Sox fans don't emulate Cubs fans in this case.

BringHomeDaBacon
04-11-2010, 10:05 AM
Beckham is going to be out #3 hitter for the next 10-15 years (hopefully). Get him in there now! Quentin is a fine cleanup hitter and Konerko is more appropriately hitting fifth anyway. I would also be okay with moving Rios up to #2. I don't want AJ there because of his lack of speed. We need someone that can score from first on a double or get to third on a single.

russ99
04-11-2010, 10:12 AM
Part of the problem right now is that Pierre hasn't been doing as much as fans expected him to. When he played for the Cubs, Cubs fans turned on him after a slow start. When he hit midseason form, he was doing well offensively, but it didn't bring the fans back. I see Pierre picking it up. I hope Sox fans don't emulate Cubs fans in this case.

Everyone's hitting poorly. Why single out Pierre?

He's been on base 5 times (with a good OBP to BA ratio) and stole twice, and he's been a hair shy of a few solid bunt singles.

His batting average is in the tank like the rest of the team.

And as far as Beckham goes, he needs to produce too. I'm getting peeved that everyone's anointing him as a superstar without the play to back it up. Sure, he had a nice rookie season, but lots of guys do that and never become all-stars. Major league players need to bunt and hit and run at times, he's not proven to be exempt from that yet.

TDog
04-11-2010, 10:32 AM
Everyone's hitting poorly. Why single out Pierre?

He's been on base 5 times (with a good OBP to BA ratio) and stole twice, and he's been a hair shy of a few solid bunt singles.

His batting average is in the tank like the rest of the team.

And as far as Beckham goes, he needs to produce too. I'm getting peeved that everyone's anointing him as a superstar without the play to back it up. Sure, he had a nice rookie season, but lots of guys do that and never become all-stars. Major league players need to bunt and hit and run at times, he's not proven to be exempt from that yet.

I singled out Pierre because he was mentioned by another poster. Really, if he gets on base more, it will make a big difference to the offense.

And, of course, I'm not anointing Beckham as a superstar.

Konerko05
04-11-2010, 11:09 AM
Beckham is fine in the two hole.

Beckham will have a higher OBP than Ramirez. He is also better at hitting to the opposite field. Ramirez is way too all over the place.

TDog
04-11-2010, 12:44 PM
Beckham is fine in the two hole.

Beckham will have a higher OBP than Ramirez. He is also better at hitting to the opposite field. Ramirez is way too all over the place.

You might be right, but last year Ramirez was a better No. 2 hitter than Beckham was. And while Beckham's overall .347 on-base percentage was better than the .333 Ramirez put up, in the No. 2 hole, Beckham had an on-base percentage of .328, lower than the .343 put up by Ramirez there.

The way things worked last year, Ramirez in the No. 2 hole performed close to what Beckham did overall and Beckham in the No. 2 hole performed close to what Ramirez did overall. And both hit No. 2 more than they did any other spot in the order. Overall, Ramirez was more disciplined in 2009 than he was as a rookie, when he rarely walked. He also had a lower batting average and fewer grand slams.

Part of Ramirez being better in the No. 2 spot no doubt was due to the fact that he was in mid-season form when he hit there. Beckham went into a slump that dropped his average 40 points shortly after moving to the No. 2 spot, but that coincided with pitchers catching up to him, something that I think was accelerated by being put in a more dangerous spot in the order. Still, Beckham last year didn't do the things a No. 2 hitter was supposed to do as often as you would like a hitter to do it.

That doesn't mean he isn't capable of being a good No. 2 hitter. He could develop into a very good one, but he hasn't been a consistently very good one yet.

If people go ballistic every time he sacrifices, something that should have been expected out of the No. 2 hitter on this team going into last season, something fewer people complained about with Ramirez last year, it might be better for all concerned if he hits elsewhere.

fram40
04-11-2010, 05:45 PM
I don't want Beckham batting second if Ozzie is going to sacrifice often. If Ozzie insists on sacrificing in that position (and remember he did it a lot with Gooch in 2005 playoffs), I want someone else batting second.