A lot was made last year about how Derrek Lee was not the right man for the job because he hits into too many double plays. People have already said they want to see a change in that spot this year and have brought up Alfonso Soriano, Milton Bradley, and Aramis Ramirez as possible replacements in that spot.
The fact remains, Lee grounded into 27 double plays last year, more than 2006 and 2007 combined. I can’t explain how that happened, but what I know is that before last year, he had never hit into more than 15 over the last 9 out of 10 seasons he’s played in. You might argue that perhaps those teams were not very good and as a result, he didn’t have enough runners on base, but I would point out that some of those have been playoff teams and one was a World Series winning team.
I don’t know what the answer is for who to hit third. In the end, I’m not sure that it make that big of a difference if you hit Lee or Ramirez or Soriano or Bradley there. Is the offense really going to be that different either way? I really don’t think so. Maybe I’m wrong on that and you have a huge reason why you’re right. I’d love to hear it, but as for me, I’m fine with Lee hitting in the three hole again in 2009.