Apr 6, 2014; Denver, CO, USA; Arizona Diamondbacks left fielderMark Trumbo
(15) runs the bases after hitting a home run during the fifth inning against the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field. Mandatory Credit: Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports
It only seemed natural when slugger Mark Trumbo was acquired by the Diamondbacks this winter that he would bat behind one of the best hitters in the National League Paul Goldschmidt to form one of the best one to tandems in baseball. It would be the Dbacks version of Miguel Cabrera and Prince Fielder the bash brothers if you will. In today’s game, power from the right handed side of the plate is rare and declining quickly. The Dbacks have two of four best right handed hitters in the game with the other being Cabrera and Angels slugger Albert Pujols.
It makes perfect sense to hit them behind each other so why is Trumbo batting fifth behind Martin Prado instead when the whole idea was to get a slugger to protect Goldschmidt? Well part of it has to do with Prado’s hot spring, he was the Dbacks best hitter and so Dbacks Manager Kirk Gibson wanted to give him a chance to hit in the cleanup spot. Gibson talked about the batting order with arizonasports.com during the Giants series: “We’ll just see how it evolves,” manager Kirk Gibson said. “The season starts. You start a certain way and then you adjust. I’m just going to try to learn the personnel. We’re going to try to figure out what the most productive lineup can be. It could end up that way (with the two hitting back-to-back), but right now my plans are to try to have others on base in front of them.”
What Gibson is doing makes sense and you cant fault him right now because the offense is clicking and the bash brothers are leading the way. Goldschmidt’s 26 game hitting streak just ended, and Mark Trumbo is one of the best hitters in the N.L after the first week of the season, leading the league in home runs and RBI’s. Plus it doesn’t really matter whether Trumbo hits fourth or fifth in the lineup, the numbers dont change; thirty-three home runs and 97 RBI batting fourth compared to 32 home runs and 96 RBI batting fifth. The only difference is his batting average. When he bats fifth he hits 25 points better at a .262 clip compared with .237 in the cleanup role. Whatever the reasoning, Trumbo is doing just fine in the fifth spot and he should remain there so long as the Dbacks offense keeps clicking.