Dodgers @ Rockies Sept. 17, 2014: Darwin Barney, Leadoff Hitter

Dodgers
Rockies
12:10 p.m.
Denver, Co.
2B
Barney
CF
Blackmon
CF
Puig
SS
Rutledge
1B
Gonzalez
1B
Morneau
RF
Kemp
RF
Cuddyer
3B
Uribe
LF
Dickerson
LF
Crawford
C
Rosario
C
Federowicz
3B
Ynoa
SS
Rojas
2B
LeMahieu
P
Frias (R)
P
De La Rosa (L)

I think I forgot that Darwin Barney existed.

Maybe that’s because the Dodgers have 37 (!) active players and it’s hard to keep track of who is actually still around, but it’s also because he’s had just three plate appearances this month. He hasn’t started since August 31, and had started only three times before that, one of which ended for him after six innings. Today, he’s finally back in the lineup, playing second and leading off.

I don’t particularly mind that he’s playing, because it is a day game after a night game, and pairing Barney with Miguel Rojas at shortstop makes for the best possible middle infield defense, something which will be welcome considering that Carlos Frias, in Coors Field, making his second career major league start” seems like a situation that needs to be backed up with as much defense as possible. It’s just that hitting him leadoff, since he’s a truly atrocious offensive player, seems like a problem.

Then again, Rojas is even worse at the plate and he’s in the lineup. Tim Federowicz has shown no indication that he can hit, and he’s in the lineup. Despite lefty Jorge De La Rosa pitching for Colorado, Carl Crawford is playing instead of Scott Van Slyke. (Maybe that should be “Adrian Gonzalez is playing instead of Van Slyke,” because Gonzalez has had an inexplicably awful season against lefty pitching.) The point is, there’s a lot of opportunity for offensive futility today, putting a lot of pressure on Yasiel Puig, Matt Kemp and Juan Uribe. Maybe Don Mattingly didn’t want to combine all of those trouble spots in the bottom of the lineup. Maybe, right? Or maybe Barney is hitting first because Dee Gordon hits first, and that’s the spot he’s taking. Maybe it’s that.

About 30 minutes after this one gets started, Madison Bumgarner faces the Diamondbacks and rookie Andrew Chafin. Can’t say that’s a matchup I like a lot, is it? The Dodgers currently have 93.5% odds to win the division, per FanGraphs. It’s that 6.5% that worries me.

ThrowsRelieverSat 10/15Sun 10/16Mon 10/17Tue 10/18Wed 10/19Thur 10/20Fri 10/21
LAvilan--OFF-2421OFF
RBaez34-OFF-2727OFF
RBlanton28-OFF13-19OFF
LDayton3-OFF16-12OFF
RFields--OFF-910OFF
RJansen-18OFF21--OFF
RStripling10-OFF-2018OFF
LWood--OFF-32-OFF

About Mike Petriello

Mike Petriello
Mike writes about lots of baseball in lots of places, and right now that place is MLB.com.