I applaud Ned Yost for shaking up the batting order by inserting Alex Gordon into the leadoff spot (hopefully he keeps him there but it wouldn't surprise me if Chris Getz is back atop the lineup tonight). It was outside the box thinking and it reminded me of how the California Angels would bat Brian Downing leadoff. Downing wasn't your typical 1980's leadoff hitter, in that he wasn't very fast, but he had some pop and he excelled at the one thing a leadoff hitter should do best, getting on base. So while I admire Yost for pulling the trigger on that move, I'd actually like to see him shake things up further, by moving Cabrera down in the lineup.
Cabrera, thanks to a career high .449 slugging percentage, has been perfectly acceptable this year. In fact, he's been much better than I ever thought he would, but his .305 OBP in the #2 spot is hurting the offense. I won't get into the debate on whether Mitch Maier or Gregor Blanco were actually better CF options this year because what's done is done. Blanco is gone and Maier most likely soon will be, besides we all know that Cabrera is just keeping CF warm for Lorenzo Cain anyway.
The stat that jump out at me is this, in 39 games he's reached base via a hit or walk just 9 times in the first inning, his line of .189/.231/.189 pretty much means he's an automatic out. Someone like Wilson Betemit and his .386 OBP would play much better in front of the 3-4-5 hitters. Plus, he may have got the fly ball that would've won last nights game.
Here's the lineup I would like to see on a daily basis:
Danny Duffy was wild last night in his major league debut but I seen enough in just 4 innings to make this prediction: the team record for strikeouts in a season by a LHP will fall next year. That record has stood since their inaugural season of 1969 when Bill Butler struck out 156. Since then only five other southpaws have struck out at even 140.