Pittsburgh Pirates manager Clint Hurdle has decided to give a new look lineup a chance after only sending men to the plate 58 times over the past two games. That is a mere four men over the minimum for two games. What stands out about this lineup is the fact that there is speed throughout the lineup and it’s separated and not stacked in one spot. This can cause havoc on opposing teams as they can’t really get positioned correctly from hitter to hitter. This lineup looks to put up some runs against a struggling Milwaukee Brewers team. The lineup for tonight was tweeted out by the Pirates as this:
I actually like this lineup a lot and Pittsburgh Pirate fans should too minus the fact that Neil Walker is getting a day off today! Of course, this lineup may just be the lineup when Walker gets an off day, but it’s interesting nonetheless!
Let’s break this lineup down a little further:
1) 3B Josh Harrison – As we saw last year he was a reliable leadoff hitter and could produce at the top of the order. Harrison can handle the bat well out of this spot and brings speed to the top of the lineup. Harrison will get his fair share of home runs throughout the year, but he is at the top to get on base so the rest of the lineup can bring him in. Harrison will steal bases and take extra bases on balls hit in the gap. He is an aggressive baserunner which was evident in his two famous rundowns last year. Josh rarely makes TOOTBLANs on the basepaths, and is off to an okay start. Look for more consistency out of him in the coming games.
2) C Francisco Cervelli – A lot of fans don’t like putting a catcher in the number two spot and I’m with them on that one. But in Cervelli’s case he is as solid of an on-base machine as Russell Martin was for the Bucs last year. Cervelli has shown he can also handle the bat and has already had a sacrifice bunt this year and will have more of those opportunities with Josh Harrison getting on base in front of him. Cervelli will be able to drive the ball to gaps and let JHay run like a mad man. Look for this to be a good one-two punch at the top of the lineup.
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3) RF Gregory Polanco – It is a little interesting that Clint Hurdle is choosing Polanco for the number three spot which is generally where you put your best hitter on the team. But honestly I like this spot for Polanco as he brings speed to the three spot along with the ability to put good wood on the ball lately. This will put a little more pressure on the young kid but look for him to get lots of RBIs in this spot. He can drive the ball to all fields and hit home runs from this spot. Will the Pirates let him run with Cutch hitting behind him? AbsoBUCNlutely!
4) CF Andrew McCutchen – Cutch has never really had an opportunity to be the cleanup hitter but in the Pirates world we call him “Mr. Everything.” He has speed, quick hands, power to all fields, and gets on base. I’ll take Cutch’s 80% health over 100% health from Kris Bryant anyday! Again, speed and power at the number four spot never hurt anybody. Cutch will have every opportunity to drive runs in whether it be with extra base hits or singles but he will have men on in front of him all the time.
5) 1B Pedro Alvarez – Power, power, power at the number five spot. Pedro has probably been the Pirates best hitter so far this season and this positioning won’t take away from that at all. He will have lots of opportunity to have men on base in front of him and drive them in. Three of the top four spots have speed and the other has a high OBP; there will be no lack of RBI opportunities for Pedro Alvarez. The “Big Bull” will be loose and on the run so look out!
6) LF Starling Marte – It’s no secret but Marte has struggled heavily to start this season so maybe moving him behind Pedro will give him a new look at driving in runs. If Pedro clears the bases with a homer, putting Marte in a spot to do what he loves and that’s to get on base and steal second. Heck, maybe even steal third! Marte will find his swing from the second half of last year and produce again out of the number 6 spot. Again, speed kills!
What stands out about this lineup is the fact that there is speed throughout the lineup and it’s separated and not stacked in one spot. This can cause havoc on opposing teams as they can’t really get positioned correctly from hitter to hitter.
7) SS Jordy Mercer – Mr. Steady as I like to call him can produce and handle the bat in any spot in the lineup. If Marte gets on in front of him, Mercer can lay down a bunt, execute a hit and run to the right side of the field, or even hit the ball out of the ballpark! Mercer has been consistently putting the barrel on the ball, he has just had some bad luck right now hitting it right to the fielders. If Marte gets on base, look for Mercer to choke up on the bat and deliver a key hit or help move Marte into scoring position.
8) 2B Sean Rodriguez – Rodriguez is an okay hitter and will be able to handle the bat and get on in front of the pitcher’s spot so that the pitcher won’t be leading of the next inning. The number eight hitter tends to be the most intriguing spot in the lineup during a game because he is trying to get on to bring the pitcher up. Rodriguez will also bring some pop and speed to the bottom of the order.
9) P Vance Worley – There isn’t much to say about this one except Worley can handle the bat better than the average pitcher. If he can keep the inning going and turn the lineup over to the top, Pirates’ fans are in for a treat.
All in all we at Rum Bunter believe this is a potentially good lineup for the Pittsburgh Pirates and can produce lots of runs. Starting tonight the Pirates should get out of their offensive funk and put some runs on the board! This lineup has speed and power mixed throughout it. A combination of speed and power kill defenses. Tell us what you on our social media outlets! We want to gear from YOU guys!