The San Francisco Giants' two biggest surprises of 2010 so far have been Barry Zito's resurgence, and Nate Schierholtz emergence.
While Zito is finally enjoying some good press in his fourth year in San Francisco, Schierholtz is hitting .381 from the eighth slot in the lineup.
With respect to Giants' Manager, Bruce Bochy's reluctance to "mess with success," by shaking up his lineup, the numbers say he'd be foolish not to.
Schierholtz has 24 hits; 10 for extra bases, including eight doubles (which ties Pablo Sandoval for most on the team).
Sandoval is the team leader in extra base hits with 12, followed by Aubrey Huff, with 11.
Schierholtz ranks third on the team despite having only 63 AB's (Sandoval, 110 AB's; Huff, 97 AB's). His OBP of .458, leads the team. Benjie Molina is second at .400.
Despite the high OBP, Schierholtz has scored only 13 times. This can be attributed to batting in front of the pitcher, who will sacrifice if less than two outs, or make the third out (85 percent of the time), stranding the runner.
If those aren't strong enough arguments to bat Schierholtz in the lead-off spot, here's one more:
Nate Schierholtz could win the batting title this year. Hitting eighth he may have a difficult time getting enough AB's to qualify.
So what do you say, Skipper? On Tuesday night let's hear Renel say: "Batting first, in Right Field, No. 12, Nate Schierholtz!"