Skip to main content
  1. AXS Entertainment
  2. Sports
  3. MLB

A consistent line-up is needed

See also

Recent remarks from Diamondbacks' manager Kirk Gibson appear uneasy.

In last Thursday's media session at Salt River, Gibson was asked if he decided on a batting order or, at least, gave some serious thought. He somewhat brushed aside several related questions and only committed Paul Goldschmidt to his usual number three spot and the starting pitcher hitting ninth.

Otherwise, there're was no commitment and Gibson even appeared annoyed through the continuing dialogue.

"I remember when I was with Oakland and when we played contenders, their lineups did not change, " said reliever Brad Ziegler. "In one game with Detroit, I think (Miguel) Cabrera was out one day and (manager Jim Leyland) just put his replacement in the three spot. No one changed in the batting order because, I think, everyone knew their roles."

Last season, Gibson used 136 different lineups in the Diamondbacks' 162 games and there was a lack of cohesion and rhythm. With a constant shuffle of the batting order, the attempt to gain unity was compromised.

After Eric Chavez delivered a walk-off single to beat the Rays at Chase Field in early August, he told reporters that the pennant race is about to heat. With his experience previously with the Oakland and the Yankees, Chavez said Gibson should run the eight best hitters out there every day and with a consistent line-up.

At that point, he argued, Gibson needed to create a sense of continuity and define the roles and aptitudes of his players. That was never done, and the Diamondbacks finished with a mediocre 81-81 mark, a .500 season for the second year in a row.

One argument which can be advanced for a strong, consistent line-up in the ability to bunch wins. For 2013, the Diamondbacks longest winning streak was five games, and that was accomplished twice. The first time was May 6 to May 10 and also from July 3 to July 7.

To compete a high level, the D-backs needs to reel off winning streaks of eight to 10 games and a 15 out of 20, or a similar number.

For that to happen, two things must occur.

First, the starters need to pick up a collective 10 wins or more and Gibson needs to run eight guys out every one in a consistent batting order.

Because Gibson gives no commitment, at this point, speculation abounds.

One theory had Gerardo Parra leading off against right-handed pitching and hitting seventh against lefties. That would reverse batting order slots with A. J. Pollock, who would lead-off against lefties and hit seventh against righties.

Then again, how does Gibson position players like Aaron Hill, Martin Prado and Miguel Montero into a structured lineup.

If Gibson is as consistent in 2014 as he was during previous seasons managing the Diamondbacks, this team may have difficulty finding the form and cohesion needed to make a strong run at the National League West Division title.


Today's top buzz...

  • Coachella
    The set times you need to know have been announced for Coachella
    Festival Buzz
  • Lamar Odom
    The New York Knicks are giving Lamar Odom another shot in the NBA
    NBA Buzz
  • Porsha Williams
    See why 'Real Housewives of Atlanta' star Porsha Williams posed for this mug shot
    TV News
  • NHL tickets
    If you're looking to catch an NHL playoff game in NYC, don't expect to do so on a budget
    NHL Buzz
  • Transcendence
    Review: ‘Transcendence’ fascinates, but does it rise above the field?
    Movies Buzz
  • Kobe Bryant
    Kobe Bryant has agreed to cooperate with an all-access documentary about his life
    Sports Buzz

User login

Log in
Sign in with your email and password. Or reset your password.
Write for us
Interested in becoming an Examiner and sharing your experience and passion? We're always looking for quality writers. Find out more about and apply today!