A new and improved Michael Bourn will likely bat second. Here's the projected lineup, if the season started today, instead of three weeks from now:
Footer says that, at this point, Quintero looks like the C1.
So what has changed to move Bourn from, say, 8th, to 2nd? Bourn is bunting more and striking out less, and Cooper feels the 26-year-old outfielder could settle in nicely as the team's No. 2 hitter.
The pressure isn't much lighter for a No. 2 hitter, but Bourn's rapid progression this spring suggests that he may be ready for the task. He works on bunting every day with hitting coach Sean Berry, who usually monitors around 100 bunts per session.
Well that's all well and good. At first I was kind of upset about this, as it's early, and colder today. Then I got to thinking, bunting and striking out less improves two things: bat-on-ball accuracy and plate discipline.
I'm okay with this line-up. I would prefer to see Pence and Tejada switch places. And I would prefer that Evan Longoria play third, but what are you gonna do?