Earlier this season, the Braves and manager Brian Snitker frankly surprised a lot of us with a lineup that is more in line with the modern analytical approach to lineup construction with batting the pitcher eighth and moving Ender Inciarte who, while a fine baseball player, lacks some of the skillsets that one wants as a leadoff hitter.
The experiment seemed to work as Ender did start to hit better and the offense continued to hum along as one of the best units in baseball. However, Braves manager Brian Snitker was not a fan of the pitcher batting eighth so he decided to make a change.
Snit says he’ll go back to batting the pitcher ninth tomorrow. He never grew comfortable with the pitcher batting eighth.— Mark Bowman (@mlbbowman) May 9, 2018
In fairness to Snitker, the difference in optimization between batting the pitcher 8th and 9th is fairly marginal, so switching the pitcher back to ninth isn’t the biggest of deals.
However, one thing to watch is what the Braves do with Ender Inciarte. One has to wonder if the Braves will bat him eighth (which is what many of us would prefer) or if he switches back fully to the lineups from the very beginning of the season which saw Ender batting leadoff.