if mclouth continues to prove he shouldn't be leading off, what do yall think about batting him second and platooning Diaz and Cabrera in the leadoff spot?
Cabrera bats around 300 when he leads off an inning -- .309 against righties (.035 improvement over his average) with a .373 obp (vs. RHP)
Diaz has batted .415 leading off against LHP (.440 obp) and almost 50 points better (.300) against rhp (.417 obp)
So I am not suggesting a strict platoon between lefties and righties, in fact, batting diaz leadoff seems the way to get the most out of him against rhp. And for that matter, batting Cabrera leadoff seems like the best way to get the most out of him as well. So however much they platoon, it's a great place for both of them to bat.
Also, besides Mclouth (and heyward who is unlkely to start the season at the top of the order) they are the two best base runners on the team. Not only does this make them the next top candidates to lead off, but also, they may be the only players--besides heyward --that wouldn't be a clog in mclouth's base paths.
It should also be mentioned that Diaz-->Mclouth--> Chipper goes R-L-S; and Cabrera--> Mclouth--Chipper is S-L-S
We want Mclouth's speed at the top of the order, but we don't want to cripple him by batting him leadoff (if this continues to seem the case). It also seems a good idea to go ahead and take advantage of the fact that batting these guys leadoff gets the most out of them. They are also our best candidates as runners.
I know there is an argument that you want your leadoff hitter to be consistent, but this strategy is oriented to get MORE CONSISTENT production out of the leadoff spot than Mclouth or Diaz can offer on their own--not to mention the fact that its considerably MORE production as a whole.