PHILADELPHIA -- Adam Eaton has shown the qualities to be a good fit in the two-hole in D-backs manager Kirk Gibson's lineup this year. While Martin Prado has also filled the spot, the key to Eaton's success has been his ability to set the table for the rest of the lineup, and in particular Paul Goldschmidt.
Eaton, who has led off 17 times and was hitting in the two-hole for the seventh time this season in Friday's game, hit just .240 in his previous six games, but that only tells part of the story.
"He's the kind of guy that scraps," Gibson said. "He'll pull a ball in the hole, very good bunter. I try to get guys in the lineups that are disruptive ahead of the three, four and five guys. That's why I put him in that spot."
As always, the biggest factor is the lineup as a whole, and not just the spot Eaton takes up.
"It depends on who else is in our lineup," said Gibson, who had Prado hitting in the cleanup spot on Friday. "It does protect him in the lineup. He's swinging fine off of lefties, but [opponents may] burn a lefty with [Goldschmidt] behind him. Same with [Cliff Pennington ] down there [at seven], most people will throw a lefty against him, but he's better from his left side, and they'll burn a lefty for one guy."
Michael Radano is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.Less