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 Post subject: Batting order
PostPosted: Fri Dec 27, 2013 2:14 pm 
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This was touched on in another thread, but was not the main topic, so here is my line-up after Polanco comes up (with rationale):

RF- Polanco/Tabata- Polanco will start when he comes up...he isn't coming up to sit or platoon. Aforementioned plate discipline, k/BB ratio make him a better choice than Marte
C- Martin- bat control, good bunter
CF-Cutch- No explanation needed.
3B- Alvarez- turn him loose, let him there even if he struggles. Maybe flip-flop against tough lefties.
1B- Sanchez/Lambo- I don't like it...it's not enough protection for Pedro, but it is what it is.
LF-Marte I like the idea of spreading the speed through the line-up at 1, 3 and 6 spots.
2B- Walker This will give Marte better pitches to hit, plus decent ability to hit and run with Marte.
SS-Mercer
P

If Marte made more contact, I would bat him behind Pedro, but right now that would be a lot of swings and misses in a row.


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 Post subject: Re: Batting order
PostPosted: Fri Dec 27, 2013 3:54 pm 
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If we're operating under the assumption that 'dro will not struggle in the clean up spot then...

GP
Sky
Cutch
'dro
Martin
1B*
Marte
Jordy

*I don't like putting an 'unproven' or platoon quantity there, but batting Marte at 6 seems too unconventional.

If 'dro continues to excel primarily as a five hole hitter, then you slide Sky to clean-up, and hope Marte improves his contact rate in the two spot.

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 Post subject: Re: Batting order
PostPosted: Fri Dec 27, 2013 5:02 pm 
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We're going to be working with some players with really drastic platoon splits (Mercer, Walker, Gaby, Pedro) so I'll go with 2 different lineups depending on handedness.

Against righties:

Polanco
Cutch
Pedro
Walker
1B
Martin
Mercer
Marte

I think if Marte is 7th you might as well just bat him 8th so he gets the NL 8-hole OBP boost and only has 1 black hole behind him before the lineup turns over.

Against lefties:

Marte
Cutch
Mercer
Gaby
Polanco
Martin
Pedro
Walker

Ideally you platoon one or both of Walker/Pedro because that 6, 7, 8 is pretty brutal against lefties. Marte was fabulous against lefthanders which is why I'd let him lead off against them. Polanco is reportedly solid against them but Marte was really exceptional with a .466 OBP.

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 Post subject: Re: Batting order
PostPosted: Fri Dec 27, 2013 6:18 pm 
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That would be pretty ballsy for Hurdle to bat Cutch 2nd and Mercer 3rd. I understand the rationale, but how many managers do that sort of thing day-in and day-out?


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 Post subject: Re: Batting order
PostPosted: Fri Dec 27, 2013 7:31 pm 
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I'm with Val-- Cutch, the MVP, bats 3-- start there and work around our stud.
Marte needs to be down (until plate discipline improves) in the order and Pedro needs to be 4th.

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 Post subject: Re: Batting order
PostPosted: Fri Dec 27, 2013 9:34 pm 
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val wrote:
I understand the rationale, but how many managers do that sort of thing day-in and day-out?


None, but Joe Maddon (perhaps the lone archetype for a progressive-minded manager) has done somewhat similar atypical things like batting Carlos Pena lead-off.

FWIW I'm fully in favor of McCutchen hitting second and I do think that will be a trend that will come to greater fruition in the near future.


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 Post subject: Re: Batting order
PostPosted: Sat Dec 28, 2013 5:55 pm 
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The Rays also appeared to be grooming Myers for the #2 spot last year. He's their next Longoria, I suspect. Heck of a player.

The Twins dabbled with it last year. The Cards also batted Beltran 2nd from time to time, although based on his philosophies I'm thinking Matheny just backed into that one as opposed to making a conscious decision to put his best hitter there. Leyland got some publicity for batting Miggy 2nd there, too.

The main appeal to it is it gets your best hitter 18 extra AB's and bunches your best hitters together behind your best on-base man. Basically you put your best on-base man up top, then just go in descending order behind him in terms of wRC+.

Overall, though, the lineup isn't projected to add more than one win or so, on paper, compared to a poorly constructed lineup. So I'm not sure the overall benefit would be enough to overcome the "this is the way we've always done it so this is how you do it" mentality of a lot of the managers today.

Still, I'd like to see them try it out. It's a cheap way to add a win, which is pretty damn important for a team that can't just give away assets to add a win. At least this soon into the development.

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 Post subject: Re: Batting order
PostPosted: Sun Dec 29, 2013 1:39 pm 
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While I see some merit in more ABs for Cutch, I don't think that over-rides the bunting or hitting to the opposite field concept that we'd give up, cuz we surely don't want our best hitter giving himself up to move a guy-- do we? Remember that even he only hits safely one in three time to the plate, so getting that lead off guy to second becomes a problem.
I'm a change type of person but not this one.

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 Post subject: Re: Batting order
PostPosted: Sun Dec 29, 2013 3:39 pm 
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Batting Cutch second makes a world of sense... Which is why it won't happen.

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 Post subject: Re: Batting order
PostPosted: Sun Dec 29, 2013 7:59 pm 
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NSMaster56 wrote:
Batting Cutch second makes a world of sense... Which is why it won't happen.

I think that's got nothing to do with him not batting 2nd.

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2011 Will Be Our Year -- well make that 2012 (just saying) So it looks like 2013 now - how long must this go on!
THIS IS IT-- NO MORE STREAK!!! *** Finally*** Time to win it in 2014


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 Post subject: Re: Batting order
PostPosted: Sun Dec 29, 2013 11:56 pm 
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Substitute2 wrote:
While I see some merit in more ABs for Cutch, I don't think that over-rides the bunting or hitting to the opposite field concept that we'd give up, cuz we surely don't want our best hitter giving himself up to move a guy-- do we? Remember that even he only hits safely one in three time to the plate, so getting that lead off guy to second becomes a problem.


Not everyone is actually a proponent of the sac bunt, especially from players at the top of the order. So to us, that is a win-win, get McCutchen more ABs and eliminate the need for the sac bunt.


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 Post subject: Re: Batting order
PostPosted: Mon Dec 30, 2013 11:32 am 
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If the goal is to bunt a guy to second and hope Cutch hits him in, why not just leave him on first and let Cutch go to work with more outs to play with? Maybe he'll double him in. Or you've got guys on the corners with no outs.

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 Post subject: Re: Batting order
PostPosted: Mon Dec 30, 2013 1:01 pm 
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To me, it would be great to be able to bat Cutch 2nd, but we are loaded with 1,2,6,7,and 8 place hitters, and have a shortage of 3,4,5 hitters. We'd be taking one of the two middle of the lineup bats we have and putting him 2nd.


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 Post subject: Re: Batting order
PostPosted: Mon Dec 30, 2013 2:24 pm 
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doug frobel wrote:
To me, it would be great to be able to bat Cutch 2nd, but we are loaded with 1,2,6,7,and 8 place hitters, and have a shortage of 3,4,5 hitters. We'd be taking one of the two middle of the lineup bats we have and putting him 2nd.


I think at this point you just have to accept that it's essentially a line-up void of traditional role archetypes and move on from there, including experimenting with atypical ways to tinker with it. It's built around an elite hitter, afterward you have an elite power hitter with a terrible OBP and a bunch of league average hitters (and the one with the best plate discipline is a platoon guy). Even with Marte, who looks like a stereotypical lead-off hitter in paper due to the speed and SB capabilities, has a terrible K rate and the only way he draws a BB is getting hit by a pitch.

That being said, I see no problem with what SA presented ... it's a line-up with players with extreme splits so build your line-up around the platoon advantage, whatever it is that game. Mercer and Gaby would absolutely fit well in a 3-4 spot against LHP, and subsequently you would obviously want Alvarez and Walker getting the fewest ABs, etc.


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 Post subject: Re: Batting order
PostPosted: Mon Dec 30, 2013 9:27 pm 
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Shirley you jest! That's a great idea -- let's just move Alverez to 9 so he gets even fewer ABs or better yet let's do what we did last year and put him on the bench. Hell we don't even want his 35+ homers this year.

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2011 Will Be Our Year -- well make that 2012 (just saying) So it looks like 2013 now - how long must this go on!
THIS IS IT-- NO MORE STREAK!!! *** Finally*** Time to win it in 2014


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 Post subject: Re: Batting order
PostPosted: Mon Dec 30, 2013 9:51 pm 
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Substitute2 wrote:
Shirley you jest! That's a great idea -- let's just move Alverez to 9 so he gets even fewer ABs or better yet let's do what we did last year and put him on the bench. Hell we don't even want his 35+ homers this year.


Did you even bother reading the context of the post? I said move him down in the order against LHP. Do you know how many of those 36 HRs last year were against LHP? Three (3). And he had an overall OPS of .537 against lefties, in other words, worse than Clint Barmes. I didn't say bat him 9th, I said move him down in the order so that more ABs go to players like Mercer, Gaby and Marte, all of whom hit LHP very well as opposed to terribly.


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 Post subject: Re: Batting order
PostPosted: Wed Jan 01, 2014 6:45 pm 
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Two lineups for 2014- pre-Polanco and post-Polanco:

Pre-Polanco
Marte
Walker
McCutchen
Alvarez
1B, maybe Ike Davis
Lambo
Martin
Mercer

Too many lefties in a row will leave us short on the bench in 9th inning and beyond.

Post-Polanco
Polanco
Walker
McCuthcen
Alvarez
Marte
1B
Martin
Mercer


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 Post subject: Re: Batting order
PostPosted: Fri Jan 03, 2014 1:27 am 
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Hurdle and McCutchen are talking in the locker room.

Hurdle: " Hey Mr MVP, Where do you want to Hit?

MVP: "3rd"

Hurdle: " Ok, I'll tell the rest of those clowns"


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 Post subject: Re: Batting order
PostPosted: Fri Jan 03, 2014 6:06 am 
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Baseball's been wrong for a hundred years. Mantle shoulda hit 2nd, Ted Williams- 2nd. Yeah it's just stupid not moving Cutch to the 2 slot. Hell. we know better.

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2011 Will Be Our Year -- well make that 2012 (just saying) So it looks like 2013 now - how long must this go on!
THIS IS IT-- NO MORE STREAK!!! *** Finally*** Time to win it in 2014


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 Post subject: Re: Batting order
PostPosted: Fri Jan 03, 2014 1:31 pm 
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Substitute2 wrote:
Baseball's been wrong for a hundred years. Mantle shoulda hit 2nd, Ted Williams- 2nd. Yeah it's just stupid not moving Cutch to the 2 slot. Hell. we know better.


You don't have to agree, but don't act like the strategy isn't sound just because it breaks baseball tradition. It's a pretty elementary concept: batting your best hitter second so that they garner more ABs. And historical statistics show that the no. 2 hitter sees about as many opportunities with RISP that the no. 3 does (the best, most comprehensive study I've seen of this is the chapter dedicated to batting order in Tom Tango's definitive book "Playing the Percentages in Baseball").

By the way, I forgot to mention that in addition to the examples above of the Rays and Cardinals experimenting with it last year, that the Tigers actually batted Miguel Cabrera second in the ALCS last year. Yes, that line-up card being filled out by 68-year old Jim Leyland, having a back-to-back MVP hitting second in a crucial playoff game. Considering those three organizations have collectively had 11 postseason appearances the past 5 years, perhaps it should warrant a little more thought rather than being brushed off as dumb and unrealistic.


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