Why would Springer bat second?
Jul 9, 2014; Arlington, TX, USA; Houston Astros center fielder George Springer (4) bats during the game against the Texas Rangers at Globe Life Park in Arlington. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports
Instead of focusing on the order and who is in the lineup, we will focus on why Springer should bat second. This spring, George Springer has shown patience at the plate so far, striking out and walking four times each. He offers something that Valbuena and Lowrie do not in the two-hole: speed. With Altuve and Springer on first and second, how much attention will the pitcher be paying to the hitter?
Inserting Springer in the two-hole and Valbuena in the three-hole will also break up the right-handed sluggers. Even though Hinch says he really does not care about match-ups in spring training, he will care during the regular season. It will also break up the string of members of Astros generation K, the Astros players who have a high likelihood to swing and miss a lot. Inserting a left-handed bat between the righties could change the look from opposing pitchers.