Matt: Question re Impact of Slavens

How will DVH deal with the logjam of Slavens forcing his way into the lineup with his outstanding hitting? Is Goodheart a better hitter yet? Since Goodheart’s shoulder problem is still a weakness from a throwing perspective, will he stay at DH and Slavens go to the field? The only sub-average hitter on the starting squad is Nesbit, but he may be the best defensive 3B in the country (elite fielder). What gives?

I’ve had the same thought this weekend. My first instinct is to say you will rarely see Goodheart, Slavens and Smith in the lineup at the same time, but I don’t know for sure. Maybe all three get into the lineup against a right-handed pitcher if the analytics suggest a predominant left-handed lineup.

I think Smith can play third base and Slavens can play right field. Wallace also plays third, so there are some options to mix and match the roster if there is desire to play a lot of different lineups. I think Goodheart will probably get some opportunities to play in the field this year.

Nesbit’s glove will probably keep him in the lineup more often than not, unless his bat becomes a liability. That hasn’t been the case with him in his career. He has gone through a few stretches where he has been a reliable hitter, especially with runners on base.

None of this is an issue until Goodheart gets healthy from whatever is ailing him. Having good players on the bench is a good problem to have, and obviously creates for a lot of pinch hit, pinch run and defensive substitution options when a game is tight or a player is injured or not performing well.