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Dan Uggla in the five hole

Some have suggested that Dan Uggla's recent success should be attributed to him moving down in the order .

Smartest lineup move the Marlins made this year? Switching second baseman Dan Uggla from second in the batting order to a place where he can worry less about getting on base and swing away.

After he moved out of the second spot May 2 - he currently is batting fifth - Uggla hit .439 with eight home runs and 17 RBI in his next 12 games.

Uggla leads the first-place Marlins in batting average (.316), home runs (13) and RBI (31) as they begin a three-game series with his former club, the Arizona Diamondbacks, tonight at Dolphin Stadium.

He also leads in strikeouts (44), less than ideal for the No. 2 spot, with its greater emphasis on setting the table rather than clearing it.

"Up until this year, I wouldn't have believed it made any difference," Uggla's father, John, said from home in Columbia, Tenn. "He's always hit second. He gets more at-bats that way. Last year they dropped him down for a few games and he didn't do that well. But now, wow. The whole thing is kind of amazing to me his power numbers are so good."

Dan Uggla himself isn't sold on the that idea batting order matters that much - he points out he still hit 31 homers last year.



"I don't know if it's the lineup change, but he's been swinging it pretty good," manager Fredi Gonzales said.

Maybe the lineup change is the reason....but then again, it could be a coincidence.

In April of 2006, Danny hit .253/.319/.410.  Then in May he hit, .356/.402/.508.

In April of 2007, Danny hit .219/.294/.429.  When May rolled around he hit, .307/.391/.614.

In April of 2008, Danny hit, 255/.333/.480.  So far this May he is hitting, .429/.507/1.036.

Historically, Danny's best month at the plate is May.  And maybe what we are witnessing this year has little to do with dropping him in the lineup but more to do with the time of year.  Now, there is something to be said for having more runners on base during the time he is hot.

But Danny didn't start hitting because he was moved down in the order, he started hitting because it is May.  The way he always does.  Danny is just a little slow out of the blocks at the start of the season and gets hot in the second month.