In Some Depth: Changing of the Guard

In Some Depth: Changing of the Guard

This article is part of our In Some Depth series.

Once again, we tour the depth charts and batting orders from around the league. There's no theme this week, but there is plenty of discussion about movement from around the field.

Orioles RF
In the mix: Delmon Young, Alejandro De Aza, Travis Snider

Somehow, Delmon Young is the Orioles' regular right fielder. He played all of 26 games in the field in 2014, but there is a good chance he breaks through that number by June given his current pace. He is also playing regularly, which too is something that did not happen last year, and he is on pace for his most at-bats since 2012. Can you blame the Orioles? Even with his power surprisingly lacking to this point, he still presents a better option than Travis Snider or David Lough, and Jimmy Paredes is hogging the DH slot.

Phillies 3B
Starter: Maikel Franco
Next: Cesar Hernandez

The future is here for the Phillies. At least part of the future. The very-hot prospect Maikel Franco replaced the not-so-hot Cody Asche over the weekend, and he should be up for good. With little left to play for in 2015, the Phillies might as well give him regular playing time for the foreseeable future to determine whether he will be part of his 2016. Franco did not walk much during his few weeks at Triple-A Lehigh, but he was also killing it with a .926 OPS in 33 games. Bear in mind there should be a learning curve

Once again, we tour the depth charts and batting orders from around the league. There's no theme this week, but there is plenty of discussion about movement from around the field.

Orioles RF
In the mix: Delmon Young, Alejandro De Aza, Travis Snider

Somehow, Delmon Young is the Orioles' regular right fielder. He played all of 26 games in the field in 2014, but there is a good chance he breaks through that number by June given his current pace. He is also playing regularly, which too is something that did not happen last year, and he is on pace for his most at-bats since 2012. Can you blame the Orioles? Even with his power surprisingly lacking to this point, he still presents a better option than Travis Snider or David Lough, and Jimmy Paredes is hogging the DH slot.

Phillies 3B
Starter: Maikel Franco
Next: Cesar Hernandez

The future is here for the Phillies. At least part of the future. The very-hot prospect Maikel Franco replaced the not-so-hot Cody Asche over the weekend, and he should be up for good. With little left to play for in 2015, the Phillies might as well give him regular playing time for the foreseeable future to determine whether he will be part of his 2016. Franco did not walk much during his few weeks at Triple-A Lehigh, but he was also killing it with a .926 OPS in 33 games. Bear in mind there should be a learning curve in his age-22 season, and he struggled a bit when promoted to Triple-A last year.

Brewers 2B
In the mix: Elian Herrera, Hector Gomez
In the minors: Scooter Gennett

The Brewers decided to give the slumping Scooter Gennett a reprieve over the weekend by sending him to Triple-A. Gennett's average never went above .225 this season, and he was 4-for-May before the demotion. Remember, the Brewers' Triple-A affiliate is in Colorado Springs now, so do not get too excited if he starts putting up promotion-worthy stats in the near future. There is no evident reason to explain why he lost his mojo from the past two seasons, but he was striking out a ton and it seems as though he was pulling the ball more this year. Elian Herrera and Hector Gomez should platoon at second while Gennett tries to right the ship in Colorado. Herrera's power makes him the slightly more interseting option of the two, but he is also a man who had 330 career at-bats at the MLB level entering his age-30 season.

Orioles 2B
In the mix: Steve Pearce, Reynaldo Navarro, Ryan Flaherty
On the DL: Jonathan Schoop, Everth Cabrera

Jonathan Schoop is set for a re-evaluation with the Orioles this upcoming weekend. If he's not paying attention, they might slap a uniform on him and stick him in the lineup. Surely that's a joke, as the Orioles do not want to rush him back from an PCL/MCL injury, However, the Orioles' play at the keystone has been a joke in School's absence. The trio of Steve Pearce, Reynaldo Navarro, and Ryan Flaherty (plus 13 at-bats from Jimmy Paredes) have combined to slash .215/.282/.376 since Schoop went down. Steve Pearce appears to be the preferred option for now, but Everth Cabrera could conceivably be in the mix when he returns from the disabled list later in the week.

Dodgers 3B
In the mix: Justin Turner, Juan Uribe, Alex Guerrero

The Dodgers have been using a three-headed platoon at third base of Juan Uribe, Justin Turner, and Alex Guerrero for more than a month now, and it does not appear as if that trend will change anytime soon. No player has made consecutive starts at the position since Uribe did May 7-8, and no player has started three times in a row since Uribe did April 27-29. Uribe and Turner appear to be the two primary players here, as Guerrero can shift to left field when it is vacant. Turner has out-hit Uribe to this point (and may be better with his glove if the season metrics are to be believed), but it is hard to see the Dodgers doing anything but staying the course at this point. Guerrero could be a bigger factor later if/when Carl Crawford reclaims a spot in the outfield.

Cubs C
In the mix: David Ross, Miguel Montero

A few weeks ago I wrote about how the Cubs were carrying and using three catchers, which was putting a damper on the value of all of them. Well apparently the frequent use of Welington Castillo was an effective marketing technique, as the Cubs dealt him to Seattle on Tuesday for a relief arm. The Cubs do not plan to recall another backstop, so now they will carry and use just two catchers - Miguel Montero and David Ross. Montero should benefit more playing-time wise from the transaction, as Ross figures to serve primarily as Jon Lester's personal catcher. Kyle Schwarber has been OPS'ing on the right side of 1.00 for Double-A Tennessee, but he should not factor into the major league catching conversation this season.

Twins No. 9
Danny Santana

Danny Santana started the year as the Twins' leadoff man. Then he started the year hitting .203 with no walks while the Twins went 4-1-. Manager Paul Monitor dropped him to 9th, Santana started hitting and the Twins started winning. It's working for now, so I would not expect Santana to move back up for an extended period of time anytime soon.

Mariners No. 2
Brad Miller

Brad Miller was the AL Player of the Week last week? Brad Miller was the AL Player of the week last week. Miller has a 1.643 OPS over his past 24 plate appearances -- a streak that coincides with his elevation to the upper-third of the Mariners' lineup. He even hit first in a 5-0 win over the Red Sox on Monday, but manager Lloyd McClendon said he was unsure if he will stick in that spot, or move back down to two.

Rangers No. 2
Delino DeShields Jr.

Elvis Andrus was never truly suited for the top-third of the lineup, with his OBP skills never that great and his base stealing ability declining. Enter Delino DeShields, Jr., who has a .455 OBP and 7 steals (in 8 attempts) since he replaced a hobbled Leonys Martin on May 5. DeShields has been a regular fixture in the lineup since that date, and he moved from the nine-spot of the lineup to two Sunday.

Braves No. 1
Jace Peterson

Nick Markakis started the year as the Braves' leadoff man, but manager Fredi Gonzalez swapped him out for Jace Peterson against the Marlins over the weekend. Peterson went 4-for-14 with two extra-base hits in those three games, and it looks like he could stick there with Markakis' services needed further down in the lineup due to injury elsewhere on the field.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Ryan Eisner
Ryan has been writing for Rotowire since 2007. He currently writes about baseball and covers the White Sox.
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