Let’s play a new game I’m calling Guess the Lineup. With all of Tony La Russa’s options lately, the lineup card has the potential to be drastically different from game to game. So, let’s see if we can’t guess the lineup he’ll play before it’s submitted. Here’s mine…
1. David Eckstein SS
2. Rick Ankiel CF
3. Albert Pujols 1B
4. Juan Encarnacion RF
5. Ryan Ludwick LF
6. Scott Rolen 3B
7. Yadier Molina C
8. Kip Wells P
9. Brendan Ryan 2B
Tonight’s starter is a lefty (Capuano) who has been struggling, so expect La Russa to maximize his right-handed bats. However, So Taguchi isn’t exactly stellar against Capuano (6 for 30), so expect the hot-hitting Ankiel to be in the lineup in Edmonds’ place (1 for 9). Ludwick’s right-handed slugging ways of late could earn him the spot in left field tonight (Ankiel or Ludwick could play center or left…it’s a toss up, but I go with Ank in center). Juan Encarnacion will take the clean-up spot and play right field, dodgy knee or not…the man with the hurt feelings is hitting .350 against Capuano (7 for 20) with 2 home runs and 3 doubles. Finally, Brendan Ryan seems like a good bet at second. Aaron Miles is not exactly great against this lefty (.235 lifetime) and Ryan has been swinging the bat well in limited time with the club. Plus, Miles’ switch-hitting makes him more valuable off the bench.
So…that’s my guess…what’s yours?
UPDATE! So much for statistics…good thing La Russa is managing this team instead of me. Edmonds has a three hit night and Encarnacion doesn’t even play.
(My thanks to http://www.baseball-reference.com/ for the stats!)