Is this a good idea? Well, only if the Marlins are planning to play Alfredo Amezaga everyday at center.
Fredi Gonzalez adapted his lineup to suit his current situation – which is losing Josh Willingham to the 15 day DL (retroactive to Sunday) and nursing along a banged up Mike Jacobs who is having problems with an irritable finger. (Jacobs received cortisone treatment on the finger and is cleared to play, returning last night to the lineup.)
So what did the lineup look like? Amezaga lead off followed by Jeremy Hermida, Hanley Ramirez, Mike Jacobs, Dan Uggla, Luis Gonzalez, Jorge Cantu and then the pitcher spot.
The Marlins put 6 runs on the board last night, so it seems it shook things up. Four of those runs, however, came from one man – Dan Uggla – who crushed 2 pitches for home runs last night. But here is what does work also – hitting Hermida second.
Hermida is a patient hitter who can work the count. He is also a dynamic enough hitter to be able to do what a #2 needs to do – adapt. He can work the count and get on base if he needs to or he can drive in a run if the lead off hitter gets on. As a lefty, you could also squeeze a runner with a bunt or possibly put a hit and run on as he will be coming out of the left-handed box which can by more time. More importantly, Hermida looked comfortable in the 2nd slot going 3 for 4 last night. He has the ability to drive in runs and put the ball in play, which means more action at the top of the lineup for the Marlins, too.
Uggla also looked like the same hitter in the 6th spot as he was in the 2nd spot. Which he admitted in a post game interview last night. So, if Uggla is going to have the same hitting approach, why put him back at the #2 spot?
This was also a chance for Hanley to become more of a run producer instead of a table setter. Despite his excellent on-base percentage, Ramirez also has excellent numbers that project to good run production. With the Marlins missing Josh Willingham at the moment and testing Mike Jacobs’ health, they needed some kind of protection in the middle of the order, something they may have lacked in the Dodgers’ series. Although I think Hanley is better suited to hitting first, as he is a potent weapon, we can try (again) to see him at the third spot as long as Willingham is out.
Also, it was interesting to finally see Amezaga lead off. The guy is a scrapper and makes pitchers work. What better person to have lead off than some one like that? The problem is, he is not an everyday player and when he isn’t in the lineup, who will lead off?
For now, it seems Fredi is experimenting. It paid off last night against the Dodgers but Hanley still is showing signs of being in a slump (which doesn’t matter where he hits right now).