If you already have the Maple Street Press Braves Annual 2011, produced by Talking Chop, then you can quickly turn to the interview I did with Fredi Gonzalez and learn a little bit more about his thoughts on lineup construction. Here is one of the quotes from that interview pertaining to Fredi's vision of the lineup. The interview was conducted a few weeks before Spring Training began:
Fredi Gonzalez: "Before it's all said and done, Jason's a kid who is going to be a middle of the order run producer. In my head, we got to start tomorrow, I'm putting him in the six-hole, and put [Nate] McLouth in the two-hole, and you let Freddie Freeman hit eighth and just get his feet wet. But again, that may just be a couple of days, and tomorrow we'll flip it around a little bit."
It seems like there's a lot of panic about Nate McLouth hitting second around the Braves Choposphere today. Know that this is something Fredi will be doing a lot this Spring. We'll have to see how McLouth responds to it, but it seems like Fredi it fairly set on at least running that lineup out there some this season.
When Nate is going good, then he can get on base at about the same rate that Martin Prado can. Of course, Jason Heyward gets on base better than the either of those two guys -- a skill set which begs to be put in the number-2 hole in the lineup. This may not be ideal, but Heyward's going to produce wherever you put him, and maybe putting this kind of faith in McLouth will be rewarded with him producing at an All-Star pace. For a while at least it's worth seeing if that can happen. Sticking McLouth down in the lineup may not get him going, and I'd rather have a McLouth that is producing in the 2-hole than a McLouth who is not producing in the 8-hole.
Not ideal, I know, but then we have to find some place for this guy to play. (Maybe it will end up being that he plays with Kawakami in Mississippi.)