December 12, 2018

Cora Announces Change To Batting Order For 2019

Red Sox manager Alex Cora said yesterday that in 2019 Andrew Benintendi will be at the top of the lineup and Mookie Betts will bat second.
[W]e're going to maximize Mookie in a different spot. ... Talked to him, it makes sense. ... I put it this way to Mookie. And I know Beni's OK with it. But if you play 162 games, you're going to come up 162 at-bats with nobody on. And last year, what I wanted from him in the leadoff spot we accomplished. It's a different season and we have to make adjustments ... It's not that we did it wrong last year. It worked for us.
While Betts had the highest OPS (1.083) and batting average (.346) of any leadoff hitter last year, 23 of his 32 home runs came with the bases empty.

Benintendi had a .366 on-base percentage, third-best on the team behind Betts and J.D. Martinez. He was second on the team in walks.

In 2018, Betts actually hit a bit better with the bases empty (.358/.435/.653/1.088) than with men on (.319/.444/.613/1.056). As the first batter of the game, Betts hit .286/.351/.504/.855.

In his career, Betts has batted in every lineup spot except #5.

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