In the P-I today, Betancourt is being looked at to hit second. Strange. Let's put a free-swinging, low-OBP, light hitting guy right up at the top of the order. But, it gets better:
Willie Bloomquist, who batted second Wednesday night against Kansas City in Surprise, Ariz., might be the man -- if he winds up as the starting second baseman.
The fact that Bloomquist is even being considered for either of those spots (batting second and playing second) is alarming. I think Willie Ballgame is a good guy to have come off the bench with his defensive versatility and good baserunning skills. But, take a look at his numbers while batting 2nd from last year. (You have to scroll down a bit, but in 118 ABs he hit .264/.280/.364 with 20 strikeouts and 3 walks. By the way, who knew Willie went to ASU?) I had forgotten how often Hargrove had put Bloomquist in the 2 hole. That's where he had the bulk of his ABs last year. Now, take a look at Reed's numbers. Hitting second he was .226/.310/.310 with 23 strikeouts and 19 walks in 155 ABs. Not very good, but that OBP and walk rate is more of what you'd like to see out of your #2 hitter. (Interestingly enough, Reed seemed to have the most success hitting 6th last year.) Plus, Reed is a lefty, is younger, and is basically a better hitter. 2005 was his first full year in the bigs, so I think it's fair to say he should improve.
The Betancourt idea is odd, but the Bloomquist idea makes even less sense. Is Lopez really that lazy? Is Hargrove really that obsessed with Willie? I'm not a Bloomquist hater, but come on.