If the first Orioles lineup of the year is any indication, things are going to get weird. After several late spring training games in which Chris Davis was the leadoff hitter, Opening Day has arrived and the once-and-hopefully-future slugger is still sitting there in the top spot. This experiment is really happening.
During spring training, you could shrug, because after all, that was just to make sure that Davis got some more at-bats in games that didn’t count to make up for the time that he missed due to his forearm problem.
Now, he’s the first Oriole who will bat all year! Will Davis walk up there and attempt to bunt against the shift right away, as he seems to claim he might try every year, including this year, but up until now has seldom actually done? I have no idea. Things are getting weird right away.
Here’s the Opening Day starting nine behind Dylan Bundy:
- Chris Davis - 1B
- Manny Machado - SS
- Jonathan Schoop - 2B
- Adam Jones - CF
- Trey Mancini - LF
- Tim Beckham - 3B
- Pedro Alvarez - DH
- Craig Gentry - RF
- Caleb Joseph - C
The Orioles don’t really have a prototypical leadoff hitter, either in the old-school “fast guy” sense or in the new-school “guy who gets on base” sense, so whoever they put up top, it’s going to seem a little weird. I find Davis the weirdest of the other possible options like Mancini or Beckham, but I am just a blogger who knows even less than Jon Snow.
What do you think of this lineup? After all the fuss over Colby Rasmus in spring training, I’m also surprised to see Gentry as the Opening Day right fielder, especially against righty pitcher Jake Odorizzi, though perhaps Buck Showalter wants the least-bad outfield defense alignment he can get on Opening Day. That makes some kind of sense, at least.