What Might the Opening Day Lineup Look Like?
Assuming no more trades or signings, if you had to pick an Opening Day lineup for the '06 Twins today, how would you fill it out? After much deliberation, this is how I'd likely bat them:
POS NAME BAT
LF S. Stewart R
2B L. Castillo S
C J. Mauer L
CF T. Hunter R
DH R. White R
1B J. Morneau L
RF L. Ford/J. Kubel R/L
3B T. Batista R
SS J. Bartlett R
In my opinion, Stewart and Castillo are interchangeable. You can lead off with either, and the other will bat second.
Mauer needs to bat 3rd or 4th. And with his eye at the plate/ability to get on-base, he should bat third. Plus, there's no one else who I could see batting third above him.
Hunter sort-of defaults into the clean-up spot. The Twins don't have that RBI machine you'd like there. And by virtue of no better cantidate, I'd give Torii the nod. He is an established and feared hitter, remember. At least in the eyes of other teams.
Unless Morneau has a fantastic spring and looks like he's going to have that "breakout year", Rondell White should be batting fifth. Morneau would gain the 6 hole based on his potential and/or his year of "experience".
Now, the question is "Should you bat Lew Ford or Jason Kubel above Tony Batista?". Yes. Unless T-Bat has a very encouraging spring, he should bat 8th.
Obviously, Bartlett bats 9th. If he wins the starting job out of spring training (I sure hope he does).
A lot can still happen, even aside from injury. Batista might be horrible, and Cuddyer could end up with 3rd again. So what do you think? Am I right? Am I wrong? Do I know nothing about baseball? I doubt this will end up being the starting lineup, but it looks pretty good to me.