Mike Scioscia Is Leaning Towards Wrong Choice For Lead Off Role
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 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:
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.