Pittsburgh Pirates manager John Russell has decided to bat the pitcher 8th in their lineup and put a combination of Ronny Cedeno and Bobby Crosby in the 9th spot.
The objective is to get more base runners on in front of the teams better hitters. In this case Cedeno or Crosby would be batting in front of Akinori Iwamura and Andrew McCutchen. Those in the mainstream media are not necessarily fond of the idea. They often dismiss it and claim it as an act of desperation. They claim the “second leadoff man” idea does not work. They are wrong in their assessment. According to Tom Tango’s “The Book” you can put the pitcher in the 8th spot and gain a couple runs over the course of the season. This one move won’t make the Pirates division contenders, but it does help. The point of the move is to optimize the lineup the best you can and this move does that.
Considering all the information that is out there, I’m surprised more teams don’t do this. A couple runs over the course of a season is not a lot, but it is something. Unfortunately, the Pirates probably won’t win enough for the move to be accepted, but I think more teams should be doing what the Pirates are doing.