This isn't a big deal to me, but some of you might find it interesting:
"I think we're going to look at it and probably go with it," Russell said this morning, after posting a lineup with starter Paul Maholm batting eighth and shortstop Bobby Crosby -- a late recplacement for a scratched Cedeno, who's battling lower-back tightness -- batting ninth. "We tried it a couple of years ago, trying to get the right guys in the lineup. I think we have that now with Aki and Andrew and Ronny and Andy [LaRoche] hitting in front of the pitcher, a patient-type hitter. it sets us up to be able to score more runs and get a couple of hitters in front of Andrew. With the makeup of our lineup, it only seemed to make a lot more sense to get more guys in scoring position in front of Aki, Andrew and [Garrett]Jones and [Ryan] Doumit. I think we have the personnel to do it."
For what it's worth, I took Pirates hitters' 2010 ZiPS projections and plugged them into Baseball Musings' Lineup Analysis tool along with the 2009 hitting numbers of Charlie Morton, who is probably right around the mean among Pirates pitchers in terms of hitting ability. Every one of the couple dozen best lineups had Morton hitting eighth. Just for kicks, I then replaced Morton's stats with Ross Ohlendorf's, since Ohlendorf is a markedly worse hitter; all the best lineups had Ohlendorf batting eighth, too.
Incidentally, most of these lineups seem to want Iwamura and LaRoche to occupy the first and ninth spots, and not necessarily in that order. If the idea is to get an extra guy on base for the top of the Bucs' order to drive in, then I'm not sure the low-OBP Cedeno is the right guy to put at the bottom of the order.