Guillen plans to bat Reyes third next season

Guillen plans to bat Reyes third next season

Guillen plans to bat Reyes third next season
MIAMI -- Because of his speed, and ability to create havoc on the bases, Jose Reyes has long been considered a prototypical leadoff batter.

But baseball is a game of adjustments, and Marlins manager Ozzie Guillen believes the four-time All-Star shortstop can be more effective batting third.

"I don't think he's a true leadoff hitter," Guillen said. "Even though he's been leading off all of his life. He wasn't walking much. His on-base percentage is not that great. It's good. I don't mind him hitting second or third."

Actually, Reyes has been anchored in the third spot since Hanley Ramirez was traded to the Dodgers on July 25.

Reyes opened the season batting first, and he appeared in 95 games at that spot, batting .274 with a .339 on-base percentage.

Since moving into the No. 3 spot, he's hitting .290 with a .345 on-base percentage.

When the switch to third was made, Guillen made it clear that he didn't want Reyes to change his game. From either spot, he's continued to steal bases.

In 95 games, he stole 23 bases from leadoff, and he's had 12 steals in 46 games batting third.

Guillen said he plans on batting Reyes and Giancarlo Stanton third and fourth, respectively, next year.

The hope is for Emilio Bonifacio to bat first.

"I expect Bonifacio to be our leadoff hitter next year," Guillen said. "We'll find out who is going to be our second hitter, and then the rest."