Roenicke Considers Batting Pitcher Eighth
It wouldn’t be the first time a Milwaukee Brewers manager batted the pitcher eighth in the batting order.
Ned Yost did it in 2008 with catcher Jason Kendall in an attempt to avoid an annoying tendency to hit into double plays.
Ken Macha experimented with Alcides Escobar in the nine hole in part to take some pressure off the young shortstop.
There’s also the hope that by putting a player other than the pitcher at the bottom of the order, he’ll get on base more frequently in front of the top-of-the-order players who more likely have a higher on-base percentage and meat-of-the-order players who are the best at driving in runs.
Tom Haudricourt reports new Brewers manager Ron Roenicke is considering doing it as well:
Roenicke did confirm that Weeks will remain the leadoff hitter but said he’s open to experimenting with the pitcher hitting eighth to try to get more runners on base for Weeks. The starting pitchers can hit pretty well, though, so that might not happen. Roenicke said he’s just thinking about it.
The Brewers rotation might actually be the best hitting group of pitchers in the majors.
Yovani Gallardo earned his first Silver Slugger Award in 2010.
Chris Narveson posted an impressive .327/.365/.347 line in 59 plate appearances last season.
Randy Wolf held his own with a line of .247/.253/.299 in a career-high 83 plate appearances in 2010.
And Zack Greinke and Shaun Marcum are looking forward to getting a chance to hit on a regular basis as making the move over from the American League.
One of the candidates to bat ninth could be light-hitting center fielder Carlos Gomez who’s generally been a disappointment on offense since coming to Milwaukee. Gomez had an on-base percentage below .300 last season at .298.
Whether all these factors add up to get Roenicke to reconsider will be a story to follow as spring training progresses.