Bernardo Fallas tweeted this morning that Brad Mills will consider Hunter Pence for the #2 spot in the lineup.
Let's examine. In the #2 spot in 2009, Pence was .238/.238/.238 in 21 plate appearances.
Should this happen, it will push Matsui and Feliz further down in the order. We know a few things for sure about the lineup: Bourn will leadoff, Berkman will hit 3rd (if he's even in the lineup), Lee will hit 4th, Manzella will likely hit 8th.
If we're looking at it from the "Who will hit 5th" perspective, that leaves two candidates: Kaz Matsui and Pedro Feliz, because I don't think Towles/Castro will hit 5th to begin the season.
We'll start with Matsui. In 2009 Matsui got 200 plate appearances with runners on. His line? .288/.348/.442, 28K:17BB. Compare that to .230/.276/.313 with the bases empty.
In 2009, Feliz got 275 PAs with runners on. How did he do? .325/.366/.482, compared to .221/.263/.314 with the bases empty.
Now, Feliz didn't hit 5th in 2009, and only got 7 PAs in the #5 spot in 2008. Likewise, Matsui didn't hit 5th in 2009, and has three career plate appearances as #5.
So if Pence hits second, which would stack up baserunners for the Big Boys, I could see the lineup as follows:
What say you?