Following last night’s game a frustrated Jim Leyland suggested that he “might shake up the lineup a little bit” for Sunday’s game. He did just that with Sheffield getting the day off and Miguel Cabrera assuming the third spot in the order. But more changes are a-coming starting on Monday. Changes so drastic that Leyland suggested they might be termed drastic.
Now in Jason Beck’s blog he indicated that there wouldn’t be changes in personnel, meaning that Jacque Jones will continue to flail away at the bottom of the order. But aside from that, what could these dramatic changes be?
Shuffling Sheffield, Ordonez, Cabrera, and Guillen would probably be noteworthy, but hardly dramatic. With Pudge Rodriguez and Jones hardly distinguishing themselves at the bottom of the order, it’s not like they would be deserving of a more prominent role. That would probably be more shocking than dramatic. And I have to believe that Placido Polanco is firmly entrenched in the 2-spot.
That leaves me with this thought for the dramatic move. Gary Sheffield to lead-off and Curtis Granderson to the middle of the order. That would certainly count as dramatic, and there would be some logic behind it as well.
Sheffield’s power is lacking. Whether it is age, or injury, or slump he has not been able to drive in runs. But, he hasn’t been totally unproductive with a .340 OBP. He sees a lot of pitches, and when he gets on he’s a smart baserunner. And if you’re wondering if Sheffield has ever hit leadoff before, well he has but only in 10 games. Plus it takes Sheffield out of the 3 hole without significantly disrespecting him.
Meanwhile Curtis Granderson established himself as an extra base machine. The quad-20 trick aside, Granderson gets on base and he does it with power. Plus depending on the sequencing the lefty-righty match-ups in the middle of the order could make things more difficult on opposing managers.
So that’s the move I’m looking for. It would qualify as dramatic and it makes sense. Of course Leyland’s lineups don’t necessarily make sense so maybe Timo Perez will be your new clean-up hitter.