Mar 29, 2010, 2:32 PM EST
Pirates manager John Russell revealed today that he plans to bat the pitcher eighth in the lineup for most games this season, with shortstop Ronny Cedeno or his backup Bobby Crosby hitting ninth.
Some lineup simulations have shown that the pitcher batting eighth rather than ninth can indeed lead to more runs, as having a position player in the last spot gives the top of the batting order more runners to drive in.
The down side is that by hitting eighth the pitcher will come to the plate more often and closer to the lineup’s most potent threats, potentially halting more rallies in progress.
Russell follows in the footsteps of Tony La Russa and Ned Yost, both of whom batted the pitcher eighth frequently in recent years.
In this case the goal is to create more RBI chances for Andrew McCutchen, which is also why Russell announced that he’ll hit second in the lineup this season after exclusively leading off as a rookie last year. Akinori Iwamura will replace him atop the lineup.
- Report: Talks between the Mets and Curtis Granderson have “intensified” 28
- Yankees agree to seven-year, $153M contract with free agent outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury 152
- Marlins sign free agent catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia to three-year, $21 million contract 42
- Carlos Beltran likely to land with the Royals? 16
- Rockies trade Dexter Fowler to Astros for Jordan Lyles 24
- Yankees agree to seven-year, $153M contract with free agent outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury (152)
- My imaginary Hall of Fame ballot (90)
- When will the Yankees regret the Jacoby Ellsbury contract? (83)
- Yankees’ Jacoby Ellsbury signing to pay big dividends… for now (74)
- Robinson Cano says he never asked for $300 million (69)