Miami Marlins RTD 3/28: Ozuna, Ichiro,
Morning Marlin Maniacs. Once a week, the staff here at Marlin Maniac sits down to pull some questions out of a hat that concern everyone’s favorite baseball team. The answers? While those get pulled from somewhere else, we list them below for your enjoyment
Avid readers are fully encouraged to submit questions they’d like to see the staff discuss via Twitter, Facebook, or in the comments. They are also encouraged to come up with a better title than Miami Marlins RTD. But until that day of deliverance, let’s get to the Round Table Discussion.
So Marcell Ozuna has spent some time hitting in the No. 2 hole this spring. Thoughts on the move?
Sean Millerick: My liking the move has less to do with Marcell Ozuna being an excellent fit for the position, and more with the fact that I envision Christian Yelich developing into a Joe Mauer type hitter- monster average, minimal power. But a guy you want batting 3rd all the same. I think Ozuna needs lineup protection more than Stanton does honestly, so sticking the young center fielder between two .300 hitters could be just the ticket to getting him back to that 2014 version.
Thomas Ghebrezgi: It’s spring training, so that’s where you want to get guys taking at bats all over the lineup, see how they perform. I don’t think Ozuna is an ideal number 2 hitter, because he doesn’t draw many walks and doesn’t offer a ton of speed at the top of the order. I like him batting fourth-sixth, where he can drive in more runs. I’ve heard Mattingly likes Yelich as a 3 hitter though, so maybe he’s looking around for a good number 2.
Eddie Noy: It’s a good idea, a better idea would be Stanton, but the Don’s head might explode. Still, assuming Dee Gordon leads off and Yelich bats third, that sets up a matchup nightmare for opposing managers with a L/R/L/R/L/R sequence through the first six hitters. This is also of course assuming that Ozuna bounces back to the 2014 variety – and in the list of assumptions that need to happen for the Fish to compete this year, this is one of the more plausible. The only real downside is that Stanton is batting fourth, why take away 40-70 PAs from arguably the best slugger in the game?
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Max Phillips: Not a fan. Lineup construction has been a growing debate amongst the baseball community and there has seemingly been a consensus that the 2 and 4 hole hitters should be your highest OBP and OPS hitters. Ozuna- 10th last year on the marlins in both categories. Now, I think a lot of us believe in Ozuna and a rebound season, but to rely on him finding his form early is a gamble. Regardless, Mattingly should use his two best hitters in the 2 and 4 slots and those are Yelich and Stanton by a landslide. Statistically a best lineup would project: Gordon, Yelich, Prado, Stanton, Bour, Ozuna, Hechavarria, Realmuto.
Eric Quiñones: I’m not a fan of Ozuna hitting in the 2 hole. The second batter of the team needs to be able to move runners over to the next base consistently, and a key to doing that is being able to hit the ball to the opposite field. One of his biggest weaknesses as a hitter is being able to hit the ball to the opposite field. He also strikes out a lot which is not something that you want your second batter to do much of. I prefer to see Ozuna bat 6th or 7th in the lineup. The perfect second batter for the Fish is Christian Yelich, because he is a guy who hits for high average, and is a line drive hitter that hits the ball to all parts of the field. He’s the best option to hit 2nd for the Marlins.
Next: Early Spring Star?