FanPost

Opening day lineup

From today's Chronicle:

"Twice in the past three days -- both times Thomas has played -- Macha has used what looks like a good bet for Opening Night (Swisher and Payton in, Johnson out), though he would not confirm that."

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/chronicle/archive/2006/03/29/SPGTRHVPTQ1.DTL

This makes no sense to me.  If this is Macha's approach it's going to be a frustrating season.  It's a rote L-R move that isn't supported by past performance.  Last season's OPS versus lefties:

Johnson .799
Payton  .738
Swisher .635

I could buy an argument for starting Swisher over Payton to give a young guy a chance to demonstrate that he's improved his approach from the right side.  But it would be absurd to sit Johnson just because he's left-handed.  He has a chance to be a 25 HR/100 RBI guy with a nice OBP, but they seem intent on not handing him an everyday job.

If they really want the best lineup against a lefty, they should go with Kielty, Kotsay, and Bradley in the OF, Johnson at 1B and Thomas as DH.  But I'm OK with either Swisher or Payton in LF - just don't sit Johnson!

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