Latest article from AJC beat writer DOB about why Heyward will bat 6th:
“That’s the reason – I think he is a run-producer,” he said. “And I think it will give McLouth an opportunity to see some pitches, so he can get going. It’s a good spot for him.
“I think it works better. Because if you don’t put McLouth second, where do you put him? Sixth? Seventh? And I think, though we don’t have a prototypical leadoff guy, the way the club responded last year to Prado’s move to first, why not? He does OK up there.
“I think it works for all parties. First of all, for the team — it’s a better lineup. Then for McLouth, for Heyward.”
I simply disagree with this. I'm sure this has been posted before, but it is an article from BtB about lineup optimization. It is an entire waste of Heyward's elite ability to get on base to put him 6th in the order. It just doesn't make sense to me. Even in McLouth's best season he OBP'd nearly .070 points less than Jason, and he's going to be batting second? Fredi went to the SABR convention, but it looks like he didn't take much away from it. Batting Heyward 2nd turns the lineup over more. McLouth is going to be getting more at-bats than Heyward, which is ludicrous even with the Spring that Nate is having.
If the logic is McLouth "seeing pitches" in front of Chipper then what kind of pitches will Heyward be "seeing" in front of Alex Gonzalez and his sub-.300 OBP? Batting him in front of a guy with a tendency to get himself out might cut into Heyward's "run producing" that Fredi thinks will be aided by batting him 6th.
He asks the question "If you don't put McLouth second then where do you put him?" Gee, I dunno... like pretty much anywhere else that isn't 1-5? You could bat him 6th on days that Mac is 4th and Uggla is 5th. You could bat him 8th on days that Mac is 5th and Uggla is 4th. You can bat him 8th every day. Just because a guy has a little bit of speed doesn't mean he should be batting 2nd.
Jason Heyward will likely be among the top 3 hitters on the team (and possibly could be the best hitter on the team this season). I think hitting him 6th is flat out wrong. Let's start the discussion: does it make sense to bat Heyward 6th?