Is 2nd Base Mike Fontenot’s Job To Lose?

Posted on 16 March 2009 by Lou


Mike Fontenot is inching closer and closer to the starting 2nd base job.  In 11 spring games, Fontenot has batted .371 with 2 home runs and 8 RBI’s.  With the newly acquired Aaron Miles still dealing with throwing issues with his right shoulder, Fontenot has really made a strong case for winning the job outright.

Manager Lou Pinella originally envisioned Miles and Fontenot getting about 350-400 at-bats each, with starting shortstop Ryan Theriot getting around 500 at-bats.  Theriot amassed a career-high 580 at-bats in 2008, and Pinella felt like Theriot struggled a little bit down the stretch despite the fact that he still hit .307 on the year.  Pinella envisions Miles filling in for Theriot more often to limit his total at-bats, while giving Fontenot more playing time at 2nd base and even 3rd base every once in a while to spell Aramis Ramirez.

Pinella also likes Fontenot’s pop in the middle of the lineup.  “For a little guy, he drives the ball well.”  Fontenot hit 9 home runs in 119 games last year and has been driving the ball this spring training as well.  Pinella sees Fontenot batting in the 6-hole a lot, with Kosuke Fukodome batting 2nd and Milton Bradley batting clean-up against right-handed pitchers.  Will this revamped lineup work – we’ll have to wait and see.

Fontenot is a solid player with a great work ethic.  He always seems to come up big when the game is on the line, so let’s hope he can continue to be productive on a more regular basis in 2009.


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