Two things appear to be happening with new Diamondbacks manager Kirk Gibson and his lineup cards the first four games of his tenure.
1. Gibson is getting his bench a lot of playing time, perhaps as part of the evaluation process that will last for the rest of this season.
2. Gibson might be trying to showcase players the team might be looking to trade. The surefire untouchables are Chris Young, Justin Upton and Miguel Montero, I would think.
Gibson is digging Young as the leadoff hitter, and that move paid fast dividends on Friday when Young went 3-for-5 with five RBI. Back in the fifth spot Sunday, Young went 1-for-4 and left five runners on base.
"We want energy up there," Gibson said Saturday about Young. "He sets the table."
There appear to have been more team meetings and talks, but it remains to be seen if those translate into more wins. But D-backs fans are seeing more backups get starts. It seems Gibson is putting them in hoping for results and letting them take their lumps when they struggle. At least he hasn't yanked a guy in the middle of an inning - except a pitcher.
Friday it was Tony Abreu (SS). Saturday, Abreu (SS), Chris Snyder (C), Cole Gillespie (LF). Augie Ojeda (2B) and Rusty Ryal (1B) started, and Abreu and Ryal combined for five errors. Sunday, Stephen Drew was back in after missing a couple of games and Monday, Gillespie was back in left field to face the Cubs in the series opener.
The only constants have been Young, Upton and Mark Reynolds in the first four games. And I think this goes beyond basing the lineup on pitching matchups.