Last night the great Len Kasper said the following of Starlin Castro:
His skill set as an offensive player, I think, is tricky. He doesn't see enough pitches to hit first. His on-base percentage is too low ... Right now, he's 22 years old, so I don't want this to come off as a huge knock on him: I think he's a 7 hitter in a really good lineup ... I think if you put him in a quote 'ideal' lineup ... he'd be a really good 7 hitter.
After the jump, a manager's ideal lineup ...
#1 Spark plug. Fast guy. Should be really fast at running. This guy steals a lot of bases, on account of he's so fast.
#2 Bat handler. Needs to be able to handle the bat, because by my estimation, we're going to hit and run 10,000 times this season.
#3 Best hitter. Not only has to be the best hitter on the team, but must be strong enough to shoulder the psychological burden of hitting in the three hole, which, don't fool yourself, is enormous.
#4 Stud. This guy's your stud. He should hit 40 home runs every single year. You definitely want this guy in the middle of your lineup, as opposed to the bottom, because believe you me, you don't want a guy who can generate this much power on the bottom. That's a disaster waiting to happen.
#5 Old stud. This guy's role is he used to be your big stud, but now he's older. Knows all the best restaurants in road cities.
#6 Second-best. Some managers believe this is the spot for your team's second-best hitter. I'd tell you why, but you probably wouldn't get it. It's pretty sophisticated, actually.
#7 Selfless. This is where the second-best #2 hitter bats. This guy will have to bunt and sacrifice himself constantly for the good of the team. It's a thankless job, except for the part where we all make a big show of high-fiving him when he gets back to the dugout, and the broadcasters go on and on about how important grounding out to the left side is to winning ballgames.
#8 Catcher. 'Nuff said.
#9 Pitcher. Some managers, the show-offy type who like to wear their hair long like a girl, bat the pitcher eighth. Let me tell you something: That's bush. That is bush league, mister.