Yasiel Puig to bat leadoff in Dodgers' opening day lineup
Don Mattingly's lineup against the D-backs in Australia includes a pretty interesting choice at the top: Yasiel Puig.
The Dodgers will of course open the 2014 regular season against on Saturday against the Diamondbacks in Australia. In advance of that NL West clash down under, Dodgers manager Don Mattingly has released his opening day lineup. Pay special attention to the top spot ...
Yep, Yasiel Puig will be batting leadoff. While it seems like a bit of an unusual deployment, Puig batted first 28 times for the Dodgers last season and hit .333/.409/.618 while doing so (.319/.391/.534).
It might seem that Puig's power is wasted in the lead-off spot, but he showed strong on-base chops last season and a more disciplined approach at the plate as the season wore on. As well, there's something to the idea of getting your best hitters as many plate appearances as possible.
If there's a problem with the above alignment, it's that Justin Turner, a sub-par hitter, is in the two-hole. That's the spot for the one of your best hitters; the slap-hitting number two man should be relegated to the past.