Joe Maddon is known for his tendency to move hitters around in the lineup. He is not afraid to move hitters up and down the lineup depending on how well they have been performing as of late. With the possible exception of Evan Longoria, hardly anyone in the Rays lineup hits in a set spot in the batting order. Naturally, this can lead to some interesting lineups.
That was certainly the case last night, when the Rays had Luke Scott batting second. Scott hardly seems to be what someone would think of when they imagine the typical second hitter in a lineup – instead of someone with an excellent ability to put the bat on the ball, Luke Scott is known more as a dead pull hitter with the ability to hit for power. In fact, Scott has hit second in the lineup only twelve times in his career, with only three of those as starts, before last night.
Yet, all three of those starts hitting second have been this year. Since being a possibility to be released when Wil Myers was on his way to the Rays, Scott has been on a tear. Since June 13th, Scott has been hitting at a .367/.415/.683 clip, with twelve extra base hits. On a team with several hot hitters of late, Scott has been one of the best.
As unconventional as it may be, Scott’s recent play has made him a solid choice for the second spot in the lineup. He has responded well in that position this year, hitting .385 in his limited plate appearances. Should he continue his hot streak, and continue to perform in that slot in the lineup, Scott could see a lot more time there in the near future.
Luke Scott may not be the prototypical number two hitter. However, he has been, at least in his chances there, a very solid second hitter in the lineup.