Does McFarland start moving in to the daily 1B in place of Spanburger?
Does Shaddy play mainly DH? That would put Williams at 2B and Biggers at SS, So does that put Wilson (who hasn’t hit well so far) at 3rd?
What about an outfield of Cole, Arledge, and Fletcher? That would put Bonfield at DH. You would hope that Bonfield starts hitting more consistently and that both Shaddy and Bonfield could both be everyday players, but if both DH, then you can’t do that.
Today, that would be a nice hitting lineup except (for now) 3rd base Wilson. Is there a better hitting 3rd base who can play error free defense?
I think Jared Gates will be the third baseman once he is healthy again. That’s probably going to be around the third week of the SEC season.
My guess is you’ll continue to see McFarland and Spanberger rotate at first base based upon the pitching matchup. Shaddy makes sense at DH, but he’s a fourth-year player and a team captain, so he’s going to get a chance to play through his issues in the field for a while.
We’ve seen several times from Van Horn that he puts a premium on playing good defense later in the season, but will experiment with the lineup for the first several weeks. My hunch is there are going to be three freshmen - Fletcher, McFarland and Williams - playing almost every game by the end of the year.
I’d get McFarland in the lineup as much as possible. He’s a stud. Of the freshmen, the best two appear to be Fletcher and McFarland. Both were blue-chip prospects and look every bit as good as advertised. Of course, Spanberger was highly advertised. He just hasn’t been able to handle the off-speed pitch. He’s getting every chance to show what he does in batting practice. Just hasn’t been able to hit off speed against live pitching.
There was a thought that they might platoon Spanberger and McFarland, but McFarland produced against righthanded pitching yesterday. If he can do that, I wouldn’t take him out of the lineup.
This has the makings of a solid hitting club. There are definitely more options. Having a catcher who can hit and a shortstop who can hit changes everything for the better. Koch is the real deal. Apparently, so is Biggers.