I just finished up my notebook for tommorow. The lead is on the lineup. My best guess (provided Jay Bruce doesn't win the center field job):
That's based on some things Dusty Baker said:
On who hits leadoff when Norris Hopper or Ryan Freel doesn't start: ďI hope one or other would be in the game,Ē Baker said. ďThatís my hope. I donít know many teams that have three (leadoff guys).Ē
On the lineup in general: ďIt probably wonít be a whole lot different than last year. Without Josh Hamilton, it will be different.Ē
On who hits second: ďItís probably equally important who the second hitterís going to be. Thatís a big, big spot. Itís a smart spot, a contact spot, a move-the-ball-around spot, an unselfish spot. Itís probably one of the more spots in the lineup. It depends whoís playing, you donít want it to be a power guy. Gonzalez, Keppinger, Hatteberg. Youíd like a little more speed.Ē
On Brandon Phillips hitting clean up: ďBrandon will probably hit third someday. But, right now, I need to him break up Junior and Dunn."
over in the ORG, you've got guys lining up on the Bridge ready to jump off at the prospect of having Gonzo/Keppinger in the 2 hole.
Personally I LOVE Votto in the #2, I think he's ideal - this of course after learning that Votto actually swiped 20 bags or so in the minors a few times, so actually has some speed.
Insert Keppinger against lefties at 1B, and I can live with the top 2.
However, I'm still not happy with Batting Dunn 5th - probably never will. This darn insistence on "splitting up the lefties" is getting REAL OLD, and having an out-machine like BP in the middle of those guys makes no sense to me. I think the biggest issue to this is Jr - as no way would his ego allow him to move down in the lineup. Hopefully he's gone in 2009 and Jay Bruce is in - of course we probably have to split him and Dunn up too (assuming he's even here), so maybe it's just the same situation.