Re: A Realistic Look at 2011: Part II
posted at 4/13/2011 3:34 PM EDT
In Response to Re: A Realistic Look at 2011: Part II
[QUOTE]Boomer, if Crawford batted second and Ellsbury lead-off, it would create lefty-lefty situation. To take advantage of the speed tandem between the two, someone would have to hit ninth. This way, Pedroia would remain in his comfortable number two situation. I guess the question is whose ego would be less bruised. I beg to differ with you, but I just cannot imagine Crawford EVER being a number three hitter. I hope I'm wrong, but I just don't see it. I was impresseed with the way Gonzales fared against lefty pitching. Not only because he hit well, but also because he didn't bail out and looked comfortable against them. I can say the same thing about Ellsbury....not Drew.
Posted by ampoule[/QUOTE]
An interesting stat is that Carl Crawford had 62 extra base hits last year, compared to Adrian Gonzalez's 64 in 2010 and Youk's 64 in 2009 ( factoring Youk for 2010 would not be useful due to the injury ). Crawford has decent pop when you factor in his triples ( 30 doubles, 13 triples, 19 HR ) and he is a much better base runner than Youk or Gonzalez. If he is on base in front of Youk, Gonzalez and Ortiz those guys are probably going to have some holes in the infield to hit though plus see more fastballs. Youk and Gonzalez can hit and run well. It has some merit. Maybe not ideal but it does extend the lineup with 3 solid OBP guys who are good base runners ( Ellsbury, Pedroia and Crawford ) with the 3 big guns right behind them ( Youk, Gonzalez, Ortiz ). One through 6 this team has a tremendous lineup.
I'm not thrilled with 7-9 but that can be enhanced through platoons and with a little luck maybe that group can put up decent numbers also.
Call me crazy but this lineup needs to win some small ball games also. Who cares if we win 10 - 5 games if we can't squeeze some 3-2 wins also. We need both. To do that we will need much better pitching than we are getting now and Crawford probably needs to hit near the top of the lineup. If we get good pitching this team and lineup could manufacture a lot of wins.
Adrian Gonzalez actually is a great situational hitter, as he showed many times in San Diego. A local friend once told me "If Adrian doesn't hit we do not win" and I think that was right on. ( I live in San Diego county ). He generates wins with all of his hitting ability. This guy is a professional hitter. I think he is the key this year. We need a 140 RBI season out of him. He is in the right slot for that now. Adrian is the top 5 hitter this team needs to incite fear in other teams, our current Manny Ramirez. Different styles but similar impact.
So why not hit Adrian 3rd? I have no problem with that. I'd like to hit him 1st, 2nd and 3rd! A strong case could be made for that and I bet that might even soon emerge but if you run the Bill James type numbers, it makes more sense to to me to get the maximum numbers of guys on base before Adrian comes up considering all factors. Let's say the game leads off and 38% of batters get on from that first 5 batters ( for example .36 + .38 + .38 + .40 ). There is a pretty good chance that more than one guy gets on out of that first 4 batters and that Adrian is going to get up quite a bit in that first inning. Adrian is then positioned well to drive them in. And Ortiz is also. This should be a big year for Youk, Adrian and Ortiz in terms of RBI with this lineup.
This lineup could be made up many ways and at some point people will be moved around if they are not hitting. To me, the current lineup is kind of optimized for both small ball and big inning potential. I have no problem with it overall. But we better start getting much better pitching!