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Fine Dining Despite Setting the Table with Plastic Cutlery

I love Ellbury and I can't wait for he and Pedroia to become the dominant top of the order in the major leagues. Too bad that day is not today.

The Sox have struggled mightily at the top of the order. The leadoff spot is batting .238, with a .306 OBP and .310 slugging. Ouch. That is worse than their 9th spot hitters. It is worse in each of these categories than every other team in the A.L. except Oakland (with the exception of the Twins having a worse OBP). Ellsbury has had 399 at bats leading off, with a .307 OBP. Pedroia has had 72, with a .256 OBP. Lugo only 15 at bats. Drew only 29 (.172 BA, but 10 walks).

What's so odd about this is that the Sox are still second in the league in runs and leading the A.L. in OBP as a team. You wouldn't think that a team getting so little production from the leadoff spot, along with significant injuries to Papi and Lowell, a second half plung by J.D. Drew and the excommunication of Mad Manny would still score runs like that.

I started writing this post, after seeing those leadoff stats, thinking that the Sox should move Pedy to the top of the order. Pedroia had a .393 OPB leading off last year. Yet, with the production of Pedroia in the #2 hole this year, Ellsbury's speed (and his obvious future leading off), and the injuries which have shortened the Sox line up, I think the current top of the batting order is the best we can do right now.

The other options would be move Pedroia up and insert Jacoby, Youk, Kotsay or Lowrie at #2, or move Kotsay/Drew to leadoff again. Tito wouldn't want lefties like Jacoby or Kotsay/Drew batting in front of the lefty Papi. And with Lowell out, Youk is indispensible to the middle of the line up, as Lowrie is to a lesser extent at the bottom.

So, now that I've taken you on this meandering "logic" trip, I will drop you off at the same place we started: Jacoby should remain at the top of the order and we can all marvel at the fact that the Sox score runs with such an anemic leadoff spot.

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