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So, exactly how did Alexei Ramirez tick off Robin Ventura?

Apr 6, 2012, 12:28 PM EDT

Alexei Ramirez AP

All spring long the White Sox were auditioning No. 2 hitters. First we heard that it was going to be slow-footed A.J. Pierzynski. However, that no longer worked out because manager Robin Ventura decided he wanted to bat Adam Dunn third, meaning he needed a right-handed hitter batting second to separate a pair of lefties.

So, in steps Brent Morel.

Morel is getting the nod as the White Sox’s No. 2 hitter on Opening Day, even though he hit .245/.287/.366 in 413 at-bats last season. He didn’t exactly earn the role this spring either, as he walked all of once in 66 at-bats and finished with a .299 OBP.

Meanwhile, Alexei Ramirez seems to have been dismissed as an afterthought since day one, even though he appeared in 100 games as a No. 2 hitter last year and hit a solid .294/.351/.424. AL No. 2 hitters as a whole batted .268/.331/.414 last year, so Ramirez was well above average there. Yet Ramirez is batting seventh on Opening Day, right behind a fellow right-handed hitter in Alex Rios who hit .227/.265/.348 last year.

Ramirez isn’t spectacular, but he was the White Sox’s third best hitter last year behind Paul Konerko and the departed Carlos Quentin and he’s a good bet to rank right around there again this year (my projections have him with the team’s third highest OPS behind Konerko and Dunn). It really doesn’t make much sense that he’s hitting seventh to start.

  1. iinformeduthusly - Apr 6, 2012 at 12:36 PM

    I fail to see anything positive about Ventura so far, he seems to play to power-trip games with a media and now this?

    7th for Alexei Rameriez? The most consistent bat the Sox have?

    Not sure what to say other than this looks like a stupid move

    • johnnyb1976 - Apr 6, 2012 at 12:46 PM

      Robin is still concussed from Nolan Ryan beating his head in

  2. dcg13 - Apr 6, 2012 at 12:45 PM

    Because he is a GIDP machine– 19 last year, compared to Morel’s 8.

    • Matthew Pouliot - Apr 6, 2012 at 12:53 PM

      Considering Ventura initially wanted Pierzynski there, I doubt that played into his thinking.

      Also, Alexei had 137 chances to ground into double plays last year, compared to 88 for Morel.

      • dcg13 - Apr 6, 2012 at 1:04 PM

        And if you follow through with the division, Alexei has a GIDP rate of 13.9% compared to Morel’s 9.1%.

        Another possible reason is that the bottom half of the CWS lineup last year was dead weight between a pre-September Morel, Beckham, and Rios. Moving Ramirez down in the lineup (hopefully) breaks up the automatic 3 outs that they had last year in hitters 7-9.

      • Matthew Pouliot - Apr 6, 2012 at 1:14 PM

        Which hardly makes Ramirez a “GIDP machine.” He’s nowhere near Pierzynski territory.

        I’m not subscribing to your dead weight theory. The White Sox don’t need a good hitter at the bottom of their lineup to put between lousy hitters. Their bottom of the lineup is perfectly mediocre. It’s the top that could be the real problem.

      • rooney24 - Apr 6, 2012 at 1:40 PM

        Wait a minute. Is the goal of a lineup to spread your better hitters out, so you get fewer innings with no one on base, or to bunch them together, so you can actually score runs? Last time I checked, you win games by scoring runs, not by avoiding 1-2-3 innings.

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Apr 6, 2012 at 3:13 PM

        Another possible reason is that the bottom half of the CWS lineup last year was dead weight between a pre-September Morel, Beckham, and Rios. Moving Ramirez down in the lineup (hopefully) breaks up the automatic 3 outs that they had last year in hitters 7-9

        So you want to give worse hitters more at bats throughout the season rather than stack your best hitters at the top where they get more at bats?

        got it…

  3. WhenMattStairsIsKing - Apr 6, 2012 at 12:59 PM

    *Trying to work in a pun involving the Ventura Blvd line in Tom Petty’s ‘Free Fallin’*

  4. jlove42 - Apr 6, 2012 at 5:41 PM

    In related news, Brent Morel struck out 4 times and left 3 baserunners on. This was, of course, from the 2nd spot in the lineup, with Dunn and Konerko both following him and having fine outings at the plate. This was a one run loss, so I’m going to say the Ventura’s poor lineup has so far cost the White Sox 1 game this season. Imagine that, a poorly put together lineup that even a casual baseball fan finds strange costs you a major league baseball game.

    Read a book Robin

    • cur68 - Apr 6, 2012 at 10:59 PM

      Can’t. Vision hasn’t fully recovered from that skull cracking Ryan gave him.

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