Stab #1 at the 2011 White Sox batting order…

It’s still early, but with more than a few big pieces of the puzzle put (back) in place…it’s time to at least venture a guess at where they might all fit together for an Ozzie Guillen lineup card…Here’s what I might be inclined to do if I were he:

  1. Juan Pierre-LF…love the speed at the top, and with a “bounce-back” year in BA, this could be a huge season for “Slappy”…I’m fine with the .270, as long as I get my 70 steals, and his ability to move runners around, and create havoc for opposing pitchers/catchers, that could bode very well for a less focused and hurried delivery (and more mistakes/fastballs to hit) for Mr.Rios hitting next (who is coming off his best season in several to build on)……

  2. Alex Rios-CF…question mark here, but for me, the only reason we had Rios hitting third last season, is because we lacked pop in the middle of the order, now that we have another “bopper”, Rios can focus on base hitting, and the homers will hopefully come more naturally…again, I love his speed and versatility.  Picture both he and Pierre on base ahead of the RBI guys?!!  Potentially potent run producing from the 1st inning…

  3. Adam Dunn-DH…Sure his numbers suggest cleanup, but I’d much rather they have to pitch around Dunn to get to Paulie than vice versa.  Dunn WILL strikeout a ton, and maybe he makes PK lead off too many 2nd innings, but I think Dunn needs protection from PK, rather than the other way.  Imagine Dunn seeing more fastballs this way, than pitchers nibbling on the edges pitching around PK to get to a Dunn K or DP ball…I could be wrong here.

  4. Paul Konerko-1B…see above for reasoning.  At this stage of his career, I see PK as our most complete hitter (BA, HR/RBI capability)…so if we come up empty 1-3, it is not the worst thing ever to see PK leading off an inning.  His approach, especially at The Cell, makes me want him in the heart of the order, and after last year (we’ll see if it was a “fluke”) how can you NOT have him in your proverbial “cat bird seat” of run scoring opportunities?  May they be plentiful…

  5. Carlos Quentin-RF…a solid spot for CQ.  A dangerous/run-producing threat in every at bat, not a #3 (unless he is going to revert back to 2008 form which I will gladly accept), and too good to slip to #6 when he’s right.  If Ozzie uses a “little guy” in the 2-hole, I see CQ penciling in at #6, we’ll see.  I still expect Carlos to put up 30 and near 100 this season if healthy…

  6. AJ Pierzynski-C…Ozzie loves hit lefty/righty mix, and I don’t mind it.  AJP is still a solid hitter despite his SLOW start last season.  He was at one time, our hottest hitter for about a month, so with the addition of Dunn, hopefully he can return to being a very solid hitter (flirt with .300) again?  That sure would help things in terms of scoring runs…and what he can do to move runners around with the hit & run/bunting/smart situational hitting/giving up at bats for the team is likely his biggest value to this lineup…

  7. Alexei Ramirez-SS…could be our biggest “sleeper” threat in the bunch.  It would not be a stretch to see this guy blossom this year into a 25/80 guy, even in the #7 spot…although a capable #2 hitter, I prefer him swinging at will, and not trying to think too much.  See ball, swing hard, hit ball hard…please, and thank you. 

  8. Gordon Beckham-2B…another candidate for the #2 hole, but again, with the addition of Dunn, it is a luxury for us to be able to go Rios there, and have a very capable hitter such as Gordon as low as #8…not as much pressure to set the table, and again (like Alexei) capable of very solid run-producing numbers, while not being asked to do too much could be the key to his return to (near) Rookie of the Year form…IF he does, this will be a very dangerous lineup to face…

  9. Brent Morel/Omar Vizquel-3B…I love this possibility.  Even is Morel doesn’t hit much more than .200, we SHOULD have the horses to pull this team offensively, allowing us to get younger with Morel, whose real value could/should be with his glove.  Vizquel being allowed to serve as mentor, and not everyday player< will keep him fresh and available to spell all 3 IF positions while hopefully doing his offensive “thing” just as he did for us last season…only this time as a catayst from the botom up, and not the top down…would love to have Alexei, and/or Beckham, and/or Morel/Vizquel already on base (with decent speed/baserunning ability possessed by all) when the lineup turns over again for “Slappy”…then Rios and the Big Donkey looming?  Good things (I hope)…

Your thoughts and comments are always welcomed!

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Filed under Baseball, Chicago, Chicago White Sox, Fan, Major League Baseball, White Sox, WhiteSoxLifer

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