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Randy Winn Is Not the Best Hitter on the Team

Randy Winn has been the #3 hitter in 39 games this season. Winn is one of the worst hitters in the National League this year. Randy Winn has been the #3 hitter in 39 games this season. Randy Winn is hitting in the spot normally reserved for a team’s best hitter. Even if you use traditional stats like AVG, HR, and RBI, there isn’t a way to justify him hitting that high. He hasn’t had a home run since April 25th. He isn’t hitting for average, and he’s never had an above-average walk rate. But he’s hitting third, and he’s been put there more often lately.

The Giants are still in a playoff race, kinda sorta, so maybe I should focus on the good things. Hey, they won last night. If you're cool with that, you don't have to read the rest. I'll put the jumpy thing right here.

But this is fascinating me. On some teams, Winn would have lost his job already. A 35-year-old player doesn’t need a good reason to get worse; it just happens.

Nope. He keeps his job.

Fine. On some teams, he would be pushed by younger outfielders. Say, one with a career on-base percentage above the league average, or one who spent the season embarrassing AAA pitching. The younger outfielders would get the occasional start in his stead, and until Winn produced, the younger outfielders would get more and more time.

Nah. Winn’s a fixture in the lineup, even as his production has stayed consistently awful in every month. He started 19 of 20 in April, 28 of 29 in May, 24 of 27 in June, 25 of 27 in July, 22 of 28 in August, and eight of 13 in September. He’s been slowly losing about a start each week in the past two months. No need to make any rash decisions, but at least it’s a start.

Fine. At any point, I suppose, this 35-year-old hitter could suddenly find his stroke and contribute to the offense. But to hit him third, to hit him in the spot reserved for the best hitter on the team, to hit him where Barry Bonds spent his Giants career…

Winn hitting anywhere other than third isn’t going to fix the Giants’ offense. It’s kind of a problem that he’s playing at all, but that’s not quite what this post is about. I just want one explanation, no matter how wrong it is. I want "well, he has good bat control, and he can move runners along," though that would be more applicable to a post about Winn hitting second. I want to know what possible justification there can be to use Winn as the #3 hitter rather than any other player on the roster not named Edgar Renteria or Eli Whiteside.

I want bad logic. I have a cold, I'm tired, and I'm irritable. Just give me a stupid reason – any reason – for Winn hitting #3, and I’ll slink back into my cave.

Comment starter: Why?