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On May 4th, Manager Chip Hale did a rather interesting thing to his lineup. The Dbacks were coming off being swept by the Los Angeles Dodgers and had been shutout in 2 of the 3 games. So what did the skip do? He slotted Mark Trumbo to hit second in the lineup, in front of Paul Goldschmidt.
The game was rained out of course and the next night’s game was as well. So, after the sitting on the idea for a couple of days, the Dbacks did commit to this lineup. That afternoon they throttled Colorado 13-7. In the 9 games the Dbacks have played since May 4th, Trumbo has started in 6 and they have all been in the 2 hole in the lineup. In those 6 games, the Dbacks are 4-2.
Six games is such a small sample size to judge if this experiment has been a success or not. What isn’t difficult to state is that some of the early returns have been pleasantly surprising. The first given would be that Trumbo would be receiving a heavier diet of fastballs. Why is that you say? Because the only thing worse than facing off against Goldy is facing off against Goldy with a runner on 1st that just walked. So here are Trumbo’s numbers at the #2 position.
May 12, 2015; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Arizona Diamondbacks outfielder Mark Trumbo (right) is congratulated by teammates Nick Ahmed (center) and pitcher Rubby De La Rosa after hitting a three run home run in the fourth inning against the Washington Nationals at Chase Field. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
- Trumbo: 7-for-24 (.292), 8 R, 4 HR, 8 RBI
What a pleasant sight to see that those fastballs are turning into souvenirs, isn’t it? Now, how is it affecting Goldy? He did lose his powerful protection behind him, but did gain more potential runners on base. Let’s not forget how reliable Ender Inciarte has been to start the season. Truth be told, America’s First Baseman, hasn’t experienced any negative downfalls from this move. Here’s Goldy’s numbers in the 6 games with Trumbo in front of him.
May 13, 2015; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Arizona Diamondbacks first baseman Paul Goldschmidt (44) hits an RBI double in the third inning against the Washington Nationals at Chase Field. Mandatory Credit: Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports
- Goldschmidt: 7-for-23 (.304), 7 R, 2 HR, 4 RBI
Goldy, the model of consistency for years to come. The biggest concern was that Goldy would increase his walk totals because the Dbacks didn’t have an imposing or traditional cleanup hitter. In the 6 games, A.J. Pollock and David Peralta have each served as the cleanup hitter. Although it is a small sample size, the production from this part of the lineup has been the most surprising. Are you ready for this?
May 8, 2015; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Arizona Diamondbacks outfielder David Peralta rounds the bases after hitting a home run against the San Diego Padres at Chase Field. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
- Cleanup Hitter: 13-for-25 (.520), 8 R, 1 HR, 4 RBI
Those numbers don’t even count Pollock’s two homers because he wasn’t the cleanup hitter in those games. The “lack of protection” for Goldy is a flawed argument. With all of the Dbacks best hitters on the same page, expect Chip Hale to continue trotting a lineup that features Trumbo hitting 2nd.