Ventura shuffles White Sox lineupContinue reading.
Ventura could bat Garcia second in White Sox lineup
GLENDALE, Ariz. – Manager Robin Ventura isn’t ruling out the possibility of batting Avisail Garcia second in the White Sox lineup.
Garcia, who batted third and homered to center in the intrasquad game Tuesday and fits the more traditional profile of a middle of the order hitter, would be one of the bigger No. 2 hitters in baseball at 6-4, 240 pounds.
There is statistical and sabermetric data supporting the No. 2 hole is the best spot for a team’s top hitter, that the No. 2 hitter bats in situations nearly as important as the No. 3 but more often. Garcia hasn’t proven to be that yet, but he’s not the old-school, hit-behind-the-runner type who bunts, makes contact and slaps the ball around, either.
“He could very easily [bat third] and there’s really an opportunity for him even if we want to bat him second,’’ Ventura said. “He has that kind of approach at the plate. He does have some speed that you can utilize there. There are some ideas of throwing him in there. It is interesting. There’s a lot of interesting stuff when you get to sit around and write out lineups.
“When you look at it, you like what you see when you see it in there. It might happen.’’
The intrasquad lineup: Adam Eaton, Alexei Ramirez, Garcia, Adam Dunn, Jose Abreu, Dayan Viciedo, Matt Davidson, Tyler Flowers, Gordon Beckham.
“It was just thrown together,’’ Ventura said. “That was just to split everybody up, see how it went, kind of make it even, maybe a little jabbing go on, so that’s how that was split up. When we start, there will be ideas of mixing and matching we would like to see. I would say in the next few days, we’ll be taking runs at what a lineup would look like.”
The first Cactus League game is Friday against the Dodgers.
Told that metrics numbers-crunchers might advocate Garcia in the 2-hole, Ventura said: “I don’t know how they feel about it. We’ll definitely go over stuff like that. That kind of information is good to have, but it’s how your team reacts to it and what the feeling is when you see a lineup. There is that school of thought. That’s not what brought it up. It was more bouncing stuff around about balancing out your lineup and seeing how it would look. That’s one of them that came out.”
Garcia, acquired in the trade for Jake Peavy last summer, batted .304 with five homers and 21 RBI over 42 games for the Sox last season. Garcia hit some eye-popping tape measure home runs during batting practice last season, and Paul Konerko described him last week as “a monster” who looks capable of hitting 40 homers.