Well, we've almost made it to the dawn of a brand new big league baseball season. Right now could be the most excruciating time of the year for me personally, however. This three week lull in-between the free agent frenzy and the start of Spring Training is taxing on a writer, in the sense that once your team is done making moves there is little else to write about until pitchers and catchers report.
On that front I can tell you that some of the Royals pitchers and catchers have made plans to report early (I'm talking earlier than the usual early) to Spring Training again this year (they did this last season too). Zack Greinke told me that he and a few of his teammates would begin reporting on Feb. 2, to get some early work out of the way so that they can dial it up on Feb. 14 (the mandated day for pitchers and catchers to report).
So I have been really bored lately and decided, "Hey, let's do a mock up of the Royals Opening Day lineup." Yes, I actually said that to myself aloud. Anyways, I understand that guessing who will take the field in two months is pretty unpredictable because so many things can happen before the start of the year -- injuries, trades, etc. But hey, this is my blog and I can do what I want, right? Maybe not, but here goes anyways!!
Tug's projected Opening Day lineup:
1. Coco Crisp, CF
2. David DeJesus, LF
3. Jose Guillen, RF
4. Mike Jacobs, DH
5. Alex Gordon, 3B
6. Billy Butler, 1B
7. Mark Teahen, 2B
8. Mike Aviles, SS
9. Miguel Olivo, C
**** I'm going all out here and saying that Mark Teahen sticks as the club's starting second baseman. I hit Butler in front of him to break up three lefty's in a row. Billy is my starting first baseman, because well, a slimmed down Billy Butler is a better fielding first sacker than Mike Jacobs (who would probably have better offensive numbers if he's not spending as much time still trying to learn how to play first base).
Crisp is my leadoff man because he obviously is going to steal more bases than DeJesus, and will likely be on base just as often. This should allow the team to score some runs with DD being the gap-shooter he is. God willing, Guillen should hit much better in this lineup because he's got DeJesus and Jacobs surrounding him for protection. I know that's still a far cry from the Papi-Manny days, but still. I like the balance of lefty-righties in this set. Make a post if you have a different variation to what I have and explain your reasons.