Far be it from me to tell a manager how to fill out his lineup card. Although I am a pretty decent coach of my eight year old son’s Little League team (“stop drawing on the dirt!”), I am hardly qualified to fill out a Major League squad’s lineup card night in and night out. However, I do have one small request for Kirk Gibson as his Arizona Diamondbacks get ready to play the second game of a three game set with the New York Yankees tonight in the Bronx. In fact, I am already thinking ahead to tomorrow which means that I should expect a call from some club’s Single A affiliate any day now. Anyway, here is what I ask of Gibby:
Please sit Miguel Montero the next two days.
When I mean sit, I don’t mean take his bat out of the lineup. Playing at Yankee Stadium can allow him to be the designated hitter as the D’backs get set to face C.C. Sabathia and Phil Hughes. DH’ing can give him a little mini break before the Snakes head back to National League and (more importantly) divisional play as after this series, their next 19 games come against NL West opponents. I understand the team loses a little punch when Wil Nieves is behind the plate, especially now with Aaron Hill out for up to six weeks. However, Gibson needs to preserve Miggy and get him rest whenever possible. He has already appeared in every game this season after playing in over 140 the past two years. Plus, there was the added games of the World Baseball Classic which are obviously not your standard Spring Training affairs. Considering Sabathia is on the mound tonight, I would seriously think about sitting Miggy the entire game unless there are extra innings or a big hit is needed late and the D’backs are trailing.
While every game counts in the standings, interleague contests are the ones where you can play a little bit differently. The D’backs are not chasing the Yanks or vice versa for a playoff spot. The team needs Miguel Montero at catcher to help them beat the San Francisco Giants in September not the New York Yankees in April. When I see the lineup announced for tonight, I hope Gibby does the right thing.
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