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Castro-Barney is new 1-2 punch

The Sports Xchange

Now that right fielder Kosuke Fukudome has been traded to the Cleveland Indians, manager Mike Quade has to rework the top of his batting order.

In Friday night's 9-2 loss to the St. Louis Cardinals, Quade went with shortstop Starlin Castro in the leadoff spot and Darwin Barney batting second.

This isn't a totally new idea. Quade has used the two young players 1-2 at times this year, mostly with success. Castro entered Friday with a .369 batting average and a .398 on-base percentage batting first. Barney was hitting .290 with a .318 OBP batting second.

"To start with, and see," Quade said. "Going over the numbers and trying to figure out what we can do, we'll start with those two kids. It'll be an evolving thing, or maybe not."

Barney had been the eighth hitter of late, but Fukudome's absence created an opening at the top of the order.

Quade has the option of tweaking his order. Infielder Jeff Baker sometimes bats first against left-handed pitchers, and outfielder Reed Johnson has batted first, depending on matchups.

Copyright (C) 2011 The Sports Xchange. All Rights Reserved.


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