Mike Scioscia Is Leaning Towards Wrong Choice For Lead Off Role

(Photo Credit: Ocregister.com)

As we noted in yesterdays links Mike Scioscia appears to be leaning toward Maicer Izturis being his everyday lead off hitter  followed by Bobby Abreu hitting second. We’ve outlined before how leading off Izturis and hitting Abreu second will make the Angels lineup much more shallow and less potent but like any good point this is worth re-stating.

Mike Scioscia has forgotten more about baseball than most of us will ever know but I still contend that with Abreu in the two hole and Izturis leading off the Angels lineup is weakened.  One major issue with Izturis batting first is that Maicer  has yet to prove he can succeed in the lead off role. Lets take a look at the situational hitting stats and the potential lineups with Izturis batting lead off vs. the more ideal scenario where Izturis hits second.

 A quick glance at the situational hitting stats show that historically Maicer Izturis  is better suited for the two  hole where his number’s are much more impressive. 

  •  Izturis career batting 1st: .253/.326/.364
  •  Izturis career batting 2nd: .293/.351/.429

With Izturis hitting second Erick Aybar would then lead off which makes the lineup much deeper. I’m not sure what makes Scioscia or anyone else think Maicer will be a good lead off hitter? Aybar hitting seventh which is probably where he will  hit  if Izturis leads off really diminishes his value and makes the lineup fall off a cliff after the sixth spot.

Lets look at both potential lineup scenarios.

Lineup 1

Izturis
Abreu
Hunter
Morales
Wells
Kendrick
Aybar
Mathis /Conger
Bourjos

vs.

Lineup 2

Aybar
Izturis
Wells
Morales
Hunter
Abreu
Kendrick
Mathis/Conger
Bourjos

Lineup 2 is much deeper and potent. Bobby Abreu is now an ideal sixth spot hitter. He’s good with men on base and if he has a bounce back year in OBP he can help set the table for the lower third of the order. Lineup 2 gives the club the best chance to win. Aybar wasn’t awful in his lead off role last year and some improvement should be expected on his line from 2010 in 95 games leading off:

  • .279/.336/.370

Simply put that’s better than Maicer Izturis  has been.

Who do you think should lead off for the Halos? Feel Free To Vote Here noting that Johnny Damon (signed with the Rays)  and Scott Podsednik  ( not likely to sign with the Angels)  are no longer options.

Topics: Maicer Izturis, Mike Scioscia

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  • http://monkeywithahalo.com The Monkey

    So you’d rather bury the guy with the best on-base skills, Abreu, sixth in the order so the bottom third of the order can drive him in? Do we really need to be setting the table for Jeff “Mendoza Line” Mathis? Really?

  • Kalup Alexander

    Abreu’s on base skills regressed a lot last year. If he can rebound in 2011 I’d move him to the # 3 spot and push the trio of Hunter Morales and Wells (in some order) behind him through the 6th spot. The point of Abreu hitting 6th is not only to set the table for the lower third ( of which I’m praying Conger not Mathis will be a part of everyday) but also to deepen the presence of power bats in the lineup with the loss of Napoli.