I’ll preface this entry by saying I like Mike Scioscia. He is clearly one of the best managers in baseball and he has probably forgotten more about the game than I will ever know. Now since that is fully disclaimed we can begin.
In life we all have our strengths and weaknesses. For me: music, writing , sports and keg stands have always come easy. Whereas Organic Chemistry, Pre - calculus and cow milking (don’t ask) have been more of a struggle.
Enter your boy Mike Scioscia.
While Scioscia generally excels at game management, role defining, and maintaining an even temperament – constructing a proper lineup and insisting on playing Jeff Mathis have long been a challenge for the Halo skipper.
When Terry Smith hinted earlier this week that Scioscia would be tweaking the batting order – we suggested a lineup that would put the Angels most productive players in the first four positions. Not exactly rocket science.
So what happened on Wednesday night was eye opening and shocking. In baseball the #4 spot in the batting order is universally preferred to be a slugger- someone capable of changing the game with one swing of the bat. So when Scioscia filled out his lineup card and put Bobby Abreu in the cleanup hole there was cause for concern.
On a night where predictably the Angels were going to need offense ( they lost 11-4) with the struggling Joel Pineiro on the mound opposing Scott Baker. Scioscia’s decision to put Abreu in the cleanup spot and sit Howie Kendrick were strange at best. At this stage of his career Bobby Abreu belongs no where near the #4 spot in the batting order. His .354 slugging percentage is good for 10th on the club and is worse than guys like , Peter Bourjos, Erick Aybar, and Hank Conger ( now in Triple A). These are all guys who would never even be considered to bat 4th in the lineup.
Moreover Abreu’s only redeeming asset left is his ability to walk (67), making him an ideal candidate to hold down the #2 spot in the lineup and set the table for people who can actually still drive the ball. Trumbo, Kendrick, Wells and Hunter.
Joel Pineiro who was again awful on the mound was the main culprit for the Halos loss last night but Mike Scioscia put the Halos behind the 8 ball before a pitch was even thrown.
Abreus line for the night: 0-4 , 1 strike out, 2 pop ups and 3 men left on base.
Some “cleanup” hitter.