Terry Francona has changed his mind on the lineup once again:
Renteria will likely bat second versus left-handers. We like this idea more than the previous alignment. It does create the likelihood that teams will bring in lefties to face the first four batters in the order, with Manny Ramirez often being intentionally walked. But when that happens, Francona can always pull Nixon in favor of Jay Payton. With an extra plate appearance every other game, Nixon's value would increase by a buck or two if he could stay in the second spot all season long. (Rotoworld)
I like this move because Trot Nixon absolutely kills right handed pitchers, while Edgar Renteria doesn't quite do the same job as Nixon does against them. And Nixon's on-base percentage against righties is amazing, so he'll fit well right in the two-hole.
Here are Nixon's and Renteria's numbers over the past three seasons against lefties and righties:
AB H HR RBI BA OBP Nixon vs Lefties 227 50 6 25 .220 .293 vs Righties 895 268 52 179 .299 .385 Renteria vs Lefties 371 129 12 66 .348 .436 vs Righties 1,346 399 22 189 .296 .340
And remember that Nixon was hurt the majority of last season, so his number of at-bats are a lot smaller than Renteria's who had atleast 149 games each of the last three seasons.
All in all, this is a great move by Tito. As long as he doesn't keep juggling the lineup around, we should be set in a very good position to start the season.