Would a batting order switch help?

My brother thinks DVH needs to shuffle the batting order to give more protection to Spanberger. He suggests Biggers who of late is getting more extra base hits than Bonfield (or so my brother thinks; I haven’t looked up play by plays to confirm or deny).

My thought is that Spanberger hits lefty and you need a righty behind him. Biggers is a lefty, Bonfield hits right. But maybe I’m missing something. Comments?

Bonfield is going to stay behind Spanberger. Van Horn was asked about it yesterday and said something to the extent of, “That’s the guy I want behind Chad.”

My biggest worry for the coming games (as it has been for several months) is getting the timely hit. We have been very hot or pretty cold. Not every game, of course.

But my big question has been: Who do you trust to come to the plate in a tight situation and deliver a timely hit?

I know DVH has said Bonfield is his guy for that. I might have gone with Shaddy the first month of the season. Maybe Biggers right now. Or pinch hit Evan Lee.

We are so close to being a really complete team. Hopefully, someone will stand and deliver when needed.

Speaking of being close, as an aside, if Knight and Stephan were in the same situation but played at LSU, Vandy, or Florida, do you think they would be back next year or would they go pro? I’m not implying anything negative about Arkansas. Just noting that it seems guys turn down the majors for another year at a couple of SEC rival schools quite often.

I think most, not all, of those guys that came back were not really going to effect their draft position one way or the other and they were not high enough so that turning down the money was that big of a deal.

DVH has been shuffling the lineup plenty the last few weeks. Biggers is higher in the order, as is Shaddy. Fletcher’s been moved to the 4-hole and Koch (whose got to be wearing down after catching so many games) is down to the 7 hole. Arledge, who no one could get out early in the season, is in the 9 hole and Cole, who couldn’t buy his way on base the first month of the season, is doing well in the lead off spot. The only constants have been Spanberger and Bonfield at 2 and 3.

I wouldn’t move either one. Bonfield hits for average and some power and is good at fighting off good pitches. If we can get the leadoff hitter on, Spanberger is well protected with Bonfield behind him.

Speaking of Bonfield, he got drafted and could have gone pro last year, but chose to stay, so it happens at Arkansas just like at other schools. It’s really all about draft position and the chance to improve your stock for the next year. Knight and Stephan don’t have much room to move up in the draft by staying, based on what we hear from scouts, so it seems unlikely either would be back. If you’re a mid-round pick and think you can move up with another year in college (and can afford to stay in school since baseball scholarships are all partials and not full rides) it’s easier to stay. Being at LSU vs. Arkansas I would think has little to do with it.

Generally I agree with you. The one thing that might counter that is that LSU’s roster is chockful of Louisiana kids, more so than ours is full of Arkansas kids. The in-state kids would be a little more likely to have grown up dreaming of playing at the Box (or Baum) and want to extend that a little longer. The out of state kids, and I know this is a generality with all kinds of exceptions, may not have quite the emotional attachment and be a little more likely to jump when the pros wave money at them.

I think that’s a big part of it. He doesn’t want them to go lefty heavy late in games and have a run of leftys to attack.

I also think he’s probably hesitant to put too much on Biggers. Jax is a baller but he has been hitting at the bottom of the order all year.

Put him in the 3 hole and there’s a risk he will try to do too much and try to be something he’s not.

Dave has always liked having a leadoff type guy in the nine hole. It gives the top of the order a chance to come to the plate with a runner on base. That has happened a lot with Biggers lately, so I don’t think you’ll see him move out of that slot.