Macha might hit pitcher eighth


We’re planning to roll out story tomorrow morning about Ken Macha readying for his second season at the helm of the Brewers, in which he admits that he may have gotten off on the wrong foot with some of his hitters last spring. While that story is in the works, I thought I would pass along a couple of tidbits this afternoon. 
If he put together a lineup today, Macha said it would look like this: 
1. Rickie Weeks, 2B 
2. Casey McGehee, 3B
3. Ryan Braun, LF 
4. Prince Fielder, 1B 
5. Corey Hart, RF 
6. Gregg Zaun, C 
7. Carlos Gomez, CF 
8. Pitcher 
9. Alcides Escobar, SS  
That’s all subject to change over the next six weeks, of course, especially the idea of batting the pitcher in the eight-hole. The Brewers have tried that alignment a number of times over the past two seasons with varying results, and Macha remains intrigued by either Gomez or Escobar in the nine-spot. The idea is to get another man on base in front of the Brewers’ fabulous three-four hitters. 
“We’ll have to see,” Macha said. “I tried Escobar there last year, and the key is you’ve got to get on base. If you get somebody who gets on at a .360 [on-base percentage] rate, then it has some advantages. It may be something to look at a bit further.”  
As for the starting rotation, Macha said that all six primary competitors for the rotation — Dave Bush, Doug Davis, Yovani Gallardo, Manny Parra, Jeff Suppan and Randy Wolf — would be on an even playing field. Barring injury, though, it seems extremely likely that Gallardo, Wolf and Davis will lead the group into the season.  
Macha wasn’t ready to officially name Gallardo his Opening Day starter, but it comes as no surprise that he’s the leading competitor.  
“It would be nice to put it out there for him this year,” Macha said.  
Macha also ticked off some of his priorities for camp. Look for those in my story tomorrow. 
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I get the reasoning behind hitting the pitcher 8th, it makes sense on paper, but as far as the Brewers are concerned I haven’t seen the results to justify it. I hope I’m proven wrong but I just don’t see this having a major impact. One reason the Brewers really struggled last year was the constant changes in the lineup. This idea, to me, just seems like it’s going to be more lineup movement and players will not be able to fall into their comfort zone.

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