Polanco to bat cleanup?
JUPITER, Fla. — Don’t expect a prototypical cleanup hitter on the Marlins.
Manager Mike Redmond is seriously considering using Placido Polanco in the fourth spot to bat behind Giancarlo Stanton, slated to hit third.
In Polanco, the Marlins are sacrificing classic power for contact.
“It’s one of those things where we’re going to have a lot of different guys hitting in probably a lot of different spots,” Redmond said. “I like Polanco hitting there. He gives you a veteran bat, a guy who puts the ball in play. He can hit behind runners, he can hit and run. He handles the bat well. He might be a nice fit behind Stanton.”
For most of Spring Training, Polanco has batted second, where he has by far had the most experience.
Polanco has appeared in just fourth spot in the lineup in nine games in his career, and he has seven at-bats in the spot.
The veteran also has 103 career home runs in 1,809 games.
What he offers is a good situational presence if teams are looking to pitch around Stanton.
“If they’re going to pitch around him, at least we know we’ve got a guy who can put the ball in play, and he can drive in runs,” Redmond said. “Sure, it’s not going to be via a home run. It’s going to be a professional at-bat, and a guy who can keep the line moving.”
Donovan Solano is the leading candidate to bat second. So the top four batters are shaping up to be Juan Pierre, Solano, Stanton and Polanco.
— Joe Frisaro