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Pitchers will stay in nine-hole for Rox

Pitchers will stay in nine-hole for Rox

ST. LOUIS -- The Cardinals started Monday's abbreviated opener with pitcher Adam Wainwright batting eighth, and are taking the same approach Tuesday with Kyle Lohse eighth. The Brewers are using their pitcher eighth, and the Diamondbacks are looking at pitcher Micah Owings higher than ninth.

As for the Rockies, manager Clint Hurdle said he thought about it, but that's about it.

Last year, the Rockies often led off with Willy Taveras and had Kazuo Matsui hit second. Of the idea of hitting one of them ninth, Hurdle said the Rockies "kicked it around some last year, and he was open to experimenting with it had Matsui not signed with the Astros over the winter.

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"Was there some value to it?" Hurdle said. "I think it all depends on what you're looking for. You can make numbers go which way you want them to go."

He didn't sound like he was going to be swayed just because it has been used by other managers, like the Cardinals' Tony La Russa, who did it in the late 1990s in hopes of getting No. 3 hitter Mark McGwire more RBI opportunities.

"Tony's got a lot of reasons for doing it," Hurdle said. "If you think it adds value to your particular team, I think it's something that should be considered. I don't see it fitting for us.

"I think everybody tries to be creative. Everybody tries to find ways to get more people on base for the meat of the order. This is the obvious way he's trying to make that happen for his ballclub."

Thomas Harding is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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