Batting Arizona Diamondbacks third baseman Jake Lamb lower in the order could get his bat going
Jake Lamb’s second-half struggles seemingly have no end in sight — but manager Torey Lovullo continues to bat him third in the order.
The third spot in a baseball team’s lineup should be reserved for one of, if not the best overall hitter. It is a premium spot given to a guy who consistently moves the first two batters into scoring position or drives them in.
In the first half, Lamb was that guy. In 315 at-bats, the Diamondbacks third baseman hit 20 home runs and finished tied with Paul Goldschmidt for the team lead in RBI with 67. Only Nolan Arenado of the Colorado Rockies, Marcell Ozuna of the Miami Marlins and Joey Votto of the Cincinnati had more RBI before the all-star break.
Unfortunately, Lamb’s numbers have nosedived in the second-half, and he is showing no signs of breaking out. The 26-year-old Seattle, Washington native is hitting .200 (35-for-175) with a grand total of seven home runs and 32 RBI.
Lamb could only manage a sacrifice fly on Tuesday, and the need to move the 2017 all star was confirmed in the first inning. After David Peralta led off the game with a single, Chris Iannetta popped up. With Lamb at the plate, Rockies starter Jon Gray tried to pick off Peralta and the throw sailed, and the “Freight Train” ended up at third with one out.
Taking an early lead is imperative against any team, especially when you’re facing the Rockies potent lineup. But Lamb struck out and Paul Goldschmidt flied out to strand the runner.
He has been doing that a lot lately. After hitting .225 with 16 RBI in August, Lamb entered Wednesday’s game with just six hits in 37 at-bats in September (.189) and does not have a home run.
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With those kind of numbers, Lamb cannot hit third. If anything, Ketel Marte can bat second, Goldschmidt can hit third, Martinez would bat cleanup and Chris Iannetta can hit fifth. Daniel Descalso, who is hitting .292 with six RBI in September and is better than .330 in his last 12 games, could hit sixth.
Regardless, the Diamondbacks need to score more runs and hit better with RISP than they have on this homestand.
Moving Lamb down in the order could give him more confidence in low pressure situations. Before the game Wednesday, Lovullo explained his decision to bat A.J. Pollock seventh for the first time this season.
Goldschmidt, hitting ahead of Martinez, needs to get going too. The D-backs’ first baseman was stuck in a 2-for-17 skid since coming off the D.L. entering Wednesday, but singled between the shortstop and third baseman in the first inning.
Hopefully, an RBI single up the middle off Rockies starter German Marquez for RBI No. 100 on the season get’s Lamb’s bat going.
- Before Wednesday’s game, Lovullo said Chris Owings is “trending in a very positive direction.” The D-backs’ manager said Owings can take ground balls and get the feel for his grip back with a bat.
- Owings could return from the 60-day disabled list in time for the final series in Kansas City against the Royals. He could get at-bats in upcoming instructional league games.
- Lovullo also said Mathis is moving in the right direction but did not provide many details.
- The Diamondbacks announced their 2018 schedule Tuesday. You can check it out here. Inter- league opponents will come from the A.L. West and Opening Day is set for March 29.
- The D-backs Instructional League roster was announced Tuesday as well. To see the roster click here. (It is LOADED!) For more on the Instructional League you can click here.
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