At his blog for the New York Post, Kevin Kernan explains why batting David Wright second -- as he did to start today's exhibition game -- makes a whole lot of sense.
Batting Wright second would create so many scoring opportunities, just like the first inning today here at Tradition Field. If Reyes gets on, with his speed he can steal second so you don't need the two-hitter to give himself up that much. Then Wright can hack away.Wright batting second is a much better idea than Lo Duca batting second. Wright has plenty of pop, but he isn't really a power hitter and would probably be better served as a table-setter. Lo Duca makes plenty of contact, but he has no power and never walks. As Kernan points out, Jose Reyes doesn't need anybody's help getting from first to second, and it makes zero sense to send Lo Duca up there to give himself up either via bunt or right-side groundout.
Reyes lined out in the first, Wright then doubled to right; another good sign, hitting the ball the other way and Carlos Beltran bombed a triple off the centerfield wall, scoring Wright. Delgado scored on Carlos Delgado's sacrifice fly to left. Lo Duca could slide into the six hole behind Moises Alou. Alou, if healthy, is a solid No. 5 hitter. By batting Wright second you also have, what I call, the turnover effect. When the lineup turns over later in the game and if there are men on base, Reyes and Wright give you RBI power right at the top.
Let Wright tote his high-three-hundreds on-base percentage into the two-hole so that the big bats -- Carloses Beltran and Delgado, and Moises Alou -- have ducks on the pond to drive in. As Manny Acta will tell you, a team will score more runs with a man on first and no outs than with a man on second and one out.
I like Lo Duca quite a bit, but the odds of him hitting .318 and reaching base 35% of the time as he did last year are extremely long indeed.