Corey Dickerson the Pirates’ latest new leadoff hitter
For the Pirates’ 90 th game Monday, manager Clint Hurdle put a 10 th different player atop their lineup this season.
At least it wasn’t one entirely new to the role.
Corey Dickerson had started 87 previous major-league games in the No. 1 spot of the batting order before Hurdle turned to him for the series opener against the Washington Nationals.
“It’s about changing the view, changing the timing,” Hurdle said. “Giving something an opportunity to work.”
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Hurdle has tried quite a bit over the seven-week swoon the Pirates have been on (15-31 since May 17) – even using slugging 245-pound first baseman Josh Bell at leadoff for three games over the past week.
Of all lineup spots, the 10 men who have led off for the Pirates trail only the 11 who have occupied the No. 7 spot. Josh Harrison was there Monday; he’s led off this season more than anyone (39 games).
“Right now I want Jay-Hay down (in the order)…,” Hurdle said. “We hope to find some stability through it all. (Dickerson) is another guy I wanted to look at it and see what it provided.
“We’re looking for ways to squeeze more offense out of the offense we have had, because I don’t think we have fired on all cylinders offensively – and sometimes the personnel alignment can spark it. So we will see what this one brings.”
Gregory Polanco is now the only everyday player who has not hit leadoff for the Pirates this season; third base is the only position that hasn’t been in the leadoff spot of a Pirates’ lineup.
The Pirates have a winning record when just two of the nine prior men who have hit lead off for them: they’re 15-11 with Adam Frazier and 3-1 with Max Moroff batting first.
Dickerson has a .267 average and .317 on-base percentage out of the No. 1 spot in the order over his career – numbers that aren’t particularly inspiring and ones that lag behind his overall career statistics.
Still, Dickerson said he embraces it – and he’d made his openness to batting leadoff clear to Hurdle.
“I have done it in the past, had success at it and I enjoyed it,” Dickerson said. “I enjoy the routine-wise, knowing when I was going to hit and when to get ready.
“(Also), that’s more times I can get up to the plate and try to help the team. That’s my whole thing: more opportunities to try to help the team as many times as I can.”