Considering hitting Bonifacio ninth?

Tony La Russa has been doing it. Now, Fredi Gonzalez is considering it.

The Marlins manager said on Friday that he may opt to bat the Marlins pitcher in the eighth spot, and slot Emilio Bonifacio ninth.

With the Marlins playing on the road in Interleague action the next six games, they will be using the designated hitter. So that scenario doesn’t come into play. Bonifacio on Friday at Toronto was hitting ninth.

It will be interesting to see where Bonifacio is batting when the team returns to Land Shark Stadium on July 19 against the Yankees. At that point, the pitcher will again hit.

“You can say I’d consider it,” Gonzalez said of batting Bonifacio ninth, and the pitcher eighth.

It may come down to who is on the mound. Gonzalez said may do it with Josh Johnson, a decent hitting pitcher. Johnson already has a three-run home run to dead center field at Land Shark Stadium.

The last time a Marlins pitcher batted anywhere but ninth was in 2005. At the end of that season, manager Jack McKeon regularly slotted Dontrelle Willis eighth. Once, Willis hit as high as seventh.

La Russa in St. Louis has regularly hit the pitcher eighth because he feels as the game moves on, it increases the chances of more runners being on base when Albert Pujols steps to the plate.

Gonzalez’s reasoning has more to do with the makeup of their lineup than beefing up the order for, say, Hanley Ramirez, who hits third.

If he slides Bonifacio out of the second spot, Gonzalez must consider who to replace him. One choice could be Dan Uggla, who flourished hitting second in 2006 and 2007 when he batted between Ramirez and Miguel Cabrera. Uggla on Friday was hitting sixth.

John Baker also could hit there, setting up two straight left-handed hitters when Chris Coghlan leads off.

Bonifacio is young and the Marlins want to have him protected in the lineup.

Bonifacio has hit mostly leadoff all season, and the past two weeks he’s been hitting mostly second.

From the leadoff spot, Bonifacio has 211 at-bats, and his batting average is .246, with a .288 on-base percentage. He’s appeared in 10 games hitting second, and his numbers from there are .250 with a .333 on-base.

Why not just bat Bonifacio eighth and keep the pitcher ninth?

That could be an option. But the Marlins are hopeful the 23-year-old speedster will emerge into a quality hitter. They don’t want to frustrate him by having him see less pitches with the pitcher behind him. And batting ahead of the pitcher presents a challenge to any eighth batter.

Cody Ross could be most impacted by such a move since he hits seventh. But Ross also has batted eighth, and he has some more big league seasoning to make the necessary adjustments.

In the second spot, Bonifacio has the luxury of Ramirez behind him, and in theory he should see better pitches to hit. If he hit ninth, the top of the order would follow. So it may create a situation where the switch-hitting speedster can serve basically as a leadoff batter at the bottom of the order.

– Joe Frisaro

12 Comments

Second best place for him, The best place is New Orleans.
Bring up Gaby Sanchez.

Bonifacio doesn’t belong on the 40 man roster let alone in the line up!!! That guy is horrible!!!

Oh, and I love how you wrote “They don’t want to frustrate him by having him see less pitches with the pitcher behind him.” lol how about the Marlins stop frustrating the fans, and release that clown already.

NOBODY HERE LIKES HIM!

He is the worst player to EVER wear a Marlins uniform… He sucks!

Lol the correct grammar is “fewer pitches”

If they want to keep him in the lineup, the only place he belongs is in the nine spot.

Ironman77: You hit the nail right on its head. They can send the good boy Boni-FRAUD-cio to any place for further development. Who knows, maybe one day he’ll be ready to comeback for a second try. Righ now, however, the kid is just a bump in the Marlins road to success. They have designated hitter in the American League. Can we introduce the designater runner in the National Leage? Then, we may have a place for Boni. Meanwhile, lets the kid play in New Orleans. Or Jacksonville. Or Jupiter.

I had this arguement with Josh Friedman on 790the ticket the other day when I said that they could easily put Cantu at 3rd, and Helms at 1st or vice versa, and platoon Gload in there at 1st, and we would be a more improved team then we are now with Boni-fraud-cio at 3rd! He said that this wouldn’t happen because the Marlins think Cantu is better at 1st, and my reply is if you think Cantu is below average then put Helms at 3rd either way right now Emilio is the WORST DEFENSIVE 3b is all of baseball!
No matter who you throw out there they will not be worse then Emilio believe me! How can this front office keep throwing this punching judy out there? I mean how many more Errors & strike outs does he have to pile up before they send him down? Emilio is a terrible ball player period.

It’s time to send him where his skills set belongs in AA… He is not a major leaguer.

This whole problem with Bonifacio stems from Fredi Gonzalez’s decision in late spring training to release Dallas McPherson (who hit 42 homers last year in triple A) and to start Bonifacio at third; he hasn’t sent him down yet because he’s trying to defend his decision. Fredi Gonzalez is the worst manager in baseball, period. He thought it was a good move to get rid of Dallas McPherson with one week left in spring training and start Bonifacio at third for “his defense;” BONIFACIO LEADS THE MAJORS IN ERRORS AT THIRD BASE. He wanted to use his speed to jump start the lineup; HIS OBP IS .294. He belongs in the minors, but since McPherson is gone, we need a 3B, so how about starting Wes Helms? Or, if he’s too valuable on the bench, put Coghlan back at his natural position, 3B, where he played throughout college, put Hermida back in left field where he’s not so much of a liability, and get someone out in right field that can play ball (call up Maybin and give him another shot, give Carroll more starts, Ross Gload, who’s shown he can hit, etc.). I swear, I’ve never seen a manager who is less capable of lighting a fire underneath his players than Fredi Gonzalez is. The guy is ok with errors, he’s ok with untimely hitting, he’s ok with pitchers blowing leads, and he’s ok with mediocrity. If management doesn’t fire him soon, I have nothing left to believe but that all they want in a manager is a puppet who won’t do anything drastic in order to keep the young players from exerting themselves before the new stadium opens. I’m sick of Fredi Gonzalez, the only coach in professional sports who is ok with losing.

wasgood ?

If the front office wants to see fans fill the stadium for games, David Samson, Larry Beinfest need to show the fans they are serious about winning. Overhaul the whole coaching staff NOW and right the ship BEFORE it is too late. Start with the manager and hitting coach. Changes need to be made now. OR even if you build it they WON’T come.

FOR SEVERAL WEEKS I H AVE BLOGGED THE FACT THAT BONAFACIO IS NOT A ML’ER..HE CANT DRAG A BUNT NOR CAN HE DROP DOWN 3B LINE….FINALLY , LAST NIGHT TOMMY HUTTON SAID DURING FRI OR SATS GAME THAT HE NEEDS TO LEARN HOW TO BUNT PLAYER TYPE THAT BONI IS ,HE SHOULD ALREADY KNOW HOW TO..HE SHOULD BE ABLETO HIT 300 ON BUNTING ABILITY ALONE…AGAIN IF CANTU IS NOT WELL WHJERE IS THE TEAM DR. ON HIS MED PROBLEMS..LISTEN….PS DOES ANY BODY IN THE FRNT OFFICE READ THESE BLOGS OR IS BEINFEST NOT INTERESTED

FOR SEVERAL WEEKS I H AVE BLOGGED THE FACT THAT BONAFACIO IS NOT A ML’ER..HE CANT DRAG A BUNT NOR CAN HE DROP DOWN 3B LINE….FINALLY , LAST NIGHT TOMMY HUTTON SAID DURING FRI OR SATS GAME THAT HE NEEDS TO LEARN HOW TO BUNT PLAYER TYPE THAT BONI IS ,HE SHOULD ALREADY KNOW HOW TO..HE SHOULD BE ABLETO HIT 300 ON BUNTING ABILITY ALONE…AGAIN IF CANTU IS NOT WELL WHJERE IS THE TEAM DR. ON HIS MED PROBLEMS..LISTEN….PS DOES ANY BODY IN THE FRNT OFFICE READ THESE BLOGS OR IS BEINFEST NOT INTERESTED

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