FanPost

In Buddy's shoes

Today, I will be Buddy Bell. I will fill out a lineup card and describe my game strategy as if I were the manager of the Kansas City Royals.

The Rangers have Kameron Loe on the bump today. Loe's last name is suitable for himself because he is a groundball specialist who keeps the ball low. Loe cannot strike hitters out, his strikeout rate has been one of the lowest in baseball over the past few years, so I should feel free to put some of my more strikeout-prone hitters in the lineup. Now, Loe is a righty so I already know how my lineup will begin:
CF David DeJesus
2B Esteban German
3B Alex Gordon
DH Billy Butler
1B Ross Gload (2-3, RBI)
RF Mark Teahen

There is the start of my lineup. I feel good about facing a subpar righty groundball pitcher, because my two young studs, Gordon and Butler, have a distinct advantage against a groundball pitcher. Gordy is a good lowball hitter, and he has more success when he avoids strikeouts. The same thing can be said for Teahen and to a lesser extent, Ross Gload. Despite his sloth like speed, Butler can fair well against a sinkerball pitcher too, because Butler is a line drive hitter who hits hard ground balls. Expect Billy to get at least one "seeing-eye" base hit today. German has yet to play in this series against his former team, and his speed is an asset against the Loe's groundballs. The final decisions in my lineup are in LF, C, and SS. Do I start Emil or Reggie? Ideally, I would start Gathright in this situation, it's perfect for Joey. But Joey is in Nebraska, so he isn't an option. Both Emil and Reggie have faced Loe in the past, but neither have done anything noteworthy. Emil is 0-1 with a walk and RBI. Reggie is 1-2 with an RBI. I'm going to take Reggie because he hasn't played in two days, he is being showcased for scouts, and his biggest downside is that he strikes out too much, but that shouldn't be a problem against the hittable Loe. At the catching position, I will have to make an unpopular decision. John Buck went 4-6 in the first two games of the series, he is the only Royal with an extra base hit in his career of Loe (a double), but I am not starting Buck. Buck is primarily a flyball hitter, he's worthless if he hits the ball on the ground, and that's what he will probably do against Loe. I'm gonna start Jason LaRue and try to get him going. Since we don't have a day off tomorrow, Buck will need a day of rest, and that's what he's gonna get today. At shortstop, I will take Tony Pena Jr in the eight spot. TPJ is swinging a hot bat and playing great defense, there's no need to insert Jason Smith into the lineup. Mark Grudzielanek will be waiting in the wings to pinch hit late in the game. Ideally, I can use him to leadoff an inning if LaRue or TPJ are up, or if Gload has to face a lefty. Today is a big day for Alex Gordon. Gordy is hitting better of late, and he has a great matchup against Loe. If he collects a few hits today, I might be able to leave him in the three spot as his confidence continues to grow.

Giving me the following lineup today against Kameron Loe:

  1. CF David DeJesus
  2. 2B Esteban German
  3. 3B Alex Gordon
  4. DH Billy Butler
  5. 1B Ross Gload
  6. RF Mark Teahen
  7. LF Reggie Sanders
  8. SS Tony Pena Jr.
  9. C Jason LaRue
Managing the pitching staff should be an adventure today. Leo Nunez is on the hill throwing the pill, and we are limiting his pitch count to 85-90 pitches. We can't expect more than five innings out of Leo today, so the pen should be ready early. I've put the best defense I could out on the field to help him out, which means Billy Butler will not be wearing a glove today as long as Leo is on the mound.

Let's take a look at the bullpen:
RHP- Peralta, Riske, Greinke, Soria, Dotel
LHP- Bale, Gobble

I'm really in a pinch with Leo starting, we don't have an off day until August 6th, so I need to handle the bullpen with care. John Bale and Joel Peralta were forced to throw 55 and 49 pitches, respectively, last week when Elarton was shelled. Both should be available today. If Nunez has to leave early in a close game, I will turn to Joel Peralta to throw a couple of inning in the middle of the game. If Nunez leaves and we are down 5 or 6 runs, I will use Bale in a low pressure situation. As far as the end of the bullpen is concerned, Joakim Soria is my first priority to pitch. Greinke, Dotel, and Riske all threw yesterday, so Soria is my first option in the seventh or eighth inning. Greinke and Riske should still be available, they haven't throw many pitches in the past two days. Gobble will be used as a LOOGY. Octavio Dotel will enter the game in a save situation, despite throwing 27 pitches yesterday he is good to go.

Now, let's go win a ballgame.

This FanPost was written by a member of the Royals Review community. It does not necessarily reflect the views of the editors and writers of this site.

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