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  1. <3 Joe Maddon.

    Comment by Steve — May 23, 2012 @ 10:39 am

  2. This is much better than Jim Leyland’s “I don’t wanna move everybody around in the lineup just to accommodate one guy” mentality, which leads to rather hilarious lineup construction. Like Don Kelly and his sub 300 wOBA leading off, or batting cleanup and protecting Miguel Cabrera

    Comment by j6takish — May 23, 2012 @ 11:06 am

  3. I’m actually ok with Pena leading off, as long as Drew Sutton or Jeff Keppinger aren’t hitting cleanup.

    And why is Zobrist in the OF while SRod, Keppinger, & Elliott Johnson play everyday? Tampa HAS to have an OF better than one of those 3.

    Comment by Mario Mendoza of commenters — May 23, 2012 @ 11:12 am

  4. Once Desmond comes back then Zobrist will probably go back to 2B, and they could potentially put Allen in LF if he were to make it back before DJ but he is quite the adventure on defense. Right now due to injuries, they really don’t have an OF better than those guys you mention.

    The infirmary:
    Longoria
    Jennings
    Fuld
    Chirinos
    Allen
    Guyer
    Keppinger
    Lobaton
    Farnsworth
    Niemann

    Comment by Andy — May 23, 2012 @ 11:26 am

  5. Doing something wacky = smart?

    He’s batting Drew Sutton cleanup today. And Pena is again leading off.

    Comment by James Bones — May 23, 2012 @ 11:29 am

  6. I’d love to hear from those Rays fans who were bashing the Red Sox for not having enough OF depth in the “Red Sox Forced to Reshuffle Outfield” thread.

    Comment by Mario Mendoza of commenters — May 23, 2012 @ 11:29 am

  7. I wonder if a different manager would also be credited with “knowing his players” for such a move. Would Jim Leyland or Dusty Baker be given the same courtesy?

    Comment by Jason H — May 23, 2012 @ 11:56 am

  8. Joey Votto, leadoff hitter

    http://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/CIN/CIN200806180.shtml

    Comment by RMD — May 23, 2012 @ 11:57 am

  9. Man, that’s weven worse than the Nats! I thought we were doing bad, but…wow.

    Comment by jorgath — May 23, 2012 @ 12:12 pm

  10. I love Joe Maddon.

    Comment by chuckb — May 23, 2012 @ 12:25 pm

  11. Ruined by the fact that Jolbert Cabrera batted 2nd and Bronson Arroyo was the starting pitcher.

    Comment by chuckb — May 23, 2012 @ 12:25 pm

  12. James Loney would actually make a pretty decent leadoff hitter. If only he was a middle infielder.

    Comment by Eno Sarris — May 23, 2012 @ 12:27 pm

  13. Maybe not, but it would depend on the specifics. In this case, getting a high-OBP hitter atop the lineup doesn’t seem to be too crazy. Just a little crazy, given his slugging.

    Comment by Eno Sarris — May 23, 2012 @ 12:28 pm

  14. Sometimes I wonder if the Rays front office and coaching staff have meetings where they storyboard ideas that will get FanGraphs and similar sites to write about them.

    Comment by reillocity — May 23, 2012 @ 12:37 pm

  15. Danny Ozark did this with Mike Schmidt 34 years ago for much the same reason Maddon gave for Pena.

    http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/gl.cgi?id=schmimi01&t=b&year=1978&share=2.02#881-886-sum:batting_gamelogs

    Comment by Keith Karcher — May 23, 2012 @ 12:44 pm

  16. of course not, theyre not sabr guys

    Comment by Sleight of Hand Pro — May 23, 2012 @ 1:30 pm

  17. aside from his hair, im a fan as well

    Comment by Sleight of Hand Pro — May 23, 2012 @ 1:31 pm

  18. Gerald Perry led off occasionally, but that was actually for the opposite reason: he was a first baseman with some speed but very little power.

    Comment by Alex Remington — May 23, 2012 @ 2:08 pm

  19. I also really like the idea from the point of view of the opposing pitcher. Pitchers are used to opening the game against speedy, on-base guys, trying to pound the zone, avoid letting him reach. It seems like a real change to start off facing a serious power threat, a guy who’s unlikely to offer at anything off the plate (at least historically), but who can make you pay if you leave the pitch over the heart of the plate.

    If nothing else, getting the opposing pitcher’s adrenaline pumping sooner may pay off later in the game.

    Comment by Jon L. — May 23, 2012 @ 2:40 pm

  20. Eno,

    Carlos Pena really is not a high OBP guy, unless 35% is high these days. I know he walks a lot, but not enough to overcome hitting .220.

    Comment by Jason H — May 23, 2012 @ 3:08 pm

  21. The American League average OBP in the leadoff spot is .322 this year.

    Comment by Eno Sarris — May 23, 2012 @ 3:17 pm

  22. “The American League average OBP in the leadoff spot is .322 this year.”

    Wow, that is absolutely dreadful! Do you have leadoff OBP by team handy? I’d be curious to see who the offending teams are. …that said, the Rays aren’t an average team. They are competing for a playoff spot.

    Comment by Jason H — May 23, 2012 @ 3:25 pm

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