Milwaukee Brewers manager Ken Macha recently said he plans to bat Rickie Weeks and J.J. Hardy at the top of the lineup this year, and in light of the persistent hand-wringing over the top of the Cubs order, I thought it appropriate to comment briefly.
Weeks, to be certain, is an understandable option at the top of the order given his career .352 OBP. But that single statistic belies how uncomfortably bad he was last year. He hit just .234, and barely managed an OPS over .700.
Hardy, for his part, eeks out a .329 career OBP, and grounded into an above-average 18 double plays last year. Does that really sound like a guy you want batting second?
And do they, combined, really sound like the two guys you want getting the most at bats on a team with guys like Prince Fielder and Ryan Braun? Yes, yes, I know no one is actually going to bat either of those guys in the top two spots. But still. Something to ponder.