It’s a consistent theme around the major leagues: Lineup turnover is unavoidable due to injuries, promotion, and trades.
The most common lineup card of Arizona Diamondbacks manager Kirk Gibson was posted just nine times (Roberts leading off, Johnson second, then Justin Upton, Stephen Drew, Chris Young, Miguel Montero, Juan Miranda seventh and Gerardo Parra eighth). The second most popular line-up occurred just six times.
By the end of the season, the most common grouping of players in the heart of the lineup was Justin Upton third, Miguel Montero fourth, Paul Goldschmidt fifth, and Chris Young batting sixth.
There's absolutely nothing wrong with this formation, but I would prefer an order that grouped similar players.
Pairing Upton and Young together would have value, because the club could then have two speedy runners on base at the same time. With the grouping above, you have two base-cloggers in between Arizona's swiftest runners, which would just create roadblocks.
I’d rather have the option to create havoc on the base paths. I would therefore suggest the modest change of batting Chris Young fourth, and bringing Montero and Goldschmidt down one position each.
With the addition of decent runners with respectable on-base numbers in the No. 1 and 2 holes, you then have a stretch of four hitters who can move around the bases with ease.
Speaking of the No. 1 spot, the leadoff role was not properly filled in 2011, with the likes of Willie Bloomquist and Ryan Roberts seeing significant time there.
Neither player is well-suited for the spot; both are really part-time players.
With the current available players on the roster, Gerardo Parra could be installed in the No. 1 spot. He has the best mix of speed, walk rate and on-base percentage, leading Roberts, Hill, and Drew).
Ideally, though, the club should be on the lookout for a true leadoff hitter during the MLB winter meetings.