Saturday, March 25, 2006


The Astros likely will open the season with Craig Biggio batting in the leadoff spot ahead of Willy Taveras, which is what manager Phil Garner did toward the end of last season and in the playoffs.

Biggio, who batted first in 18 games last year and second in 100 games, has been hitting leadoff for much of spring training. Garner isn't com-
mitted to a lineup, but liked Biggio at the top last season.

"The reason I moved it last year was I felt like Biggio was doing a good job of driving in runs and Willy's natural stroke was to hit it to the right side of the diamond, and I also felt like with Willy's ability to bunt with Biggio on base, it adds a new dimension," Garner said.

Remember when Jimy Williams used to bunt in the 1st inning if our leadoff hitter got on base? It might just start happening again. Biggio just isn't a leadoff hitter anymore. His on-base percentage has dropped the last four years in a row, and he's morphed into more of a power hitter. It would be better to drop him in the lineup and put on-base guys like Ensberg and Berkman closer to the top. A lineup of


is probably the best we could do. Putting two of our four worst hitters at the top two spots sucks.

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