Tabata off to a good start batting leadoff
Manager Clint Hurdle sure seemed to get a lot of criticism for deciding to bat Jose Tabata leadoff and dropping Andrew McCutchen down to the three spot in the lineup. But so far, it seems to be working nice out nice for the Bucs who are 3-1 this season.
Hurdle told Rob Biertempfel of the Tribune, It was just something I looked at during the winter to try to find a way to score more runs. That’s all. It’s not trying to do something that’s crazy, but so many people, as soon as I talked about it, I started getting all these responses about, ‘Why would you move (Andrew) McCutchen?’ We were last in runs scored (in 2010). I mean, why not? What have we got to lose?”
Hurdle’s decision to bat Tabata lead off is something he looked into a lot over the winter.
He told Nate Latsch of MLB.com, “One of the comments I kept hearing was from people in our organization and other organizations that you didn’t see from many young kids is the ability to hunt a breaking ball. Not that that makes you a good leadoff hitter, but it just shows discipline. It shows a kid that stays back and reads pitches and takes long looks. He’s not just interested in going up there and firing early. There’s times when you’ll see him ambush — he did it a couple times in Spring Training. First pitch of the game, he will ambush. But I thought the discipline was in a place that we could experiment with it in spring, see what kind of reaction, what kind of results we got from it.”
So far this season, Tabata is batting .429 (four games) with three walks, a stolen base and six runs scored. McCutchen is batting .273 (three games) with one double, two home runs, four RBI, and two runs scored.
“I do like having Andrew’s bat down in the lineup in the third position, Hurdle said. “We’ll see how it continues to play out. Right now, our top three hitters in the lineup have been very good for us. And I believe the other guys will catch on also.”
*Photo credit:Pittsburgh-Post Gazette