A funny thing has happened the last two nights for the Durham Bulls. Desmond Jennings has been dropped from the leadoff spot to the 7-hole. Teams don’t do that with top prospects, even if they are struggling. Jennings is hitting .245/.343/.319 (.320 wOBA). Certainly not great, but not the worst offensive showing either.
But what if Jennings is being prepped for a promotion to the big leagues? Some players do need an adjustment period when they are no longer guaranteed a first-inning at bat.
So humor us for a second and let’s say Jennings is going to be promoted some time in the near-future. Why seventh?
Follow us around the diamond: Trade Jason Bartlett while other teams still think 2009 wasn’t a fluke. Make Reid Brignac the most-days shortstop. Move Ben Zobrist back to second base and into the leadoff spot. Voila! Right field and the seven-spot are wide open for Mr. Jennings. Now all of the sudden the lineup versus righties looks like this…
- Ben Zobrist, 2B
- Carl Crawford, LF
- Evan Longoria, 3B
- Carlos Pena, 1B
- John Jaso, C
- BJ Upton, CF
- Desmond Jennings, RF
- Hank Blalock, DH
- Reid Brignac, SS
This lineup is just as good offensively (if not better) and clearly better defensively. On top of that, the Rays net a couple of solid prospects and possibly another left-handed reliever for Durham.
The only question that remains is: When?