Re: The Great Split Divide
posted at 2/3/2013 6:23 PM EST
I agree with that, but also it's not just as simple as changing a number. For example, if you're batting 7th it's pretty likely the guys on base when you're up aren't trying to steal bases which might be distracting e.g. throws over to first. And if you bat 2nd you might be pitched differently e.g. more fastballs if the leadoff guy is trying to steal. In the NL or interleague games if you're batting 8th there's a black hole up next which adds a bit of pressure if there's 2 out and men on. And so on. These guys aren't robots, and, further, a lot are creatures of habit and some even superstitious. A big part of a manager's job is to get them comfortable so they can perform their best.
Well said Sonics. Also, when you change spots in the line up, you may strengthen one spot, but in doing so it weakens another. They talk about the line up being a continuous loop. After the first inning, the lead off guy usually isn't the lead off guy anymore. Any benefit that you might get from moving a guy with good splits up to the #2 hole becomes negligible due to other counter effects.
While the leadoff hitter may not lead off an inning after the 1st, you still want your OBP guys up right in front of your big sluggers throughout the rest of the game.
Let's take the example of moving Victorino up from 9th to 2nd vs LHPs and Pedey from 2nd to 4th, Naps from 4th to 5th and everyone else pretty much the same, except for the platoon positions of C and LF.
You might weaken the 9 slot, but improve the 2 slot immensely while giving SV many more PAs as the differential between the 2 and 9 slot vs LH'd starters might be 30-45 more PAs over a season. Very significant
vs RHPs OBP '11-12 SLG11-12 Career OPS
1) L Ellsbury .365/ .521/ .803
2) R Pedey .345/ .443/ .821
3) L Ortiz .405/ .572/ .972
4) R Napoli .387/ .569/ .845
5) S Nava .390/ .414/ .768
6) R Midd .312/ .486/ .798
7) S Salty .301/ .481/ .774
8) L Drew .328/ .386/ .784
9) R Victorino .319/ .410/ .730
1) As you can see, we are much worse vs RHPs than LHPs. Any line-up adjustment that helps can make a big difference in these games.
2) One could argue moving Nava to the 1 or 2 slot if he can keep up his .390 OBP-- 2nd best on the team over the last 2 years!
3) This line-up is a perfect L-R-L set up with the switch hitters helping.
1) L Ellsbury .338/ .436/ .762
2) R Victorino .410/ .587/ .881
3) L Ortiz .404/ .584/ .824
4) R Pedroia .424/ .510/ .853
5) R Napoli .316/ .563/ .911
6) L Gomes .411/ .530/ .894
7) R Midd .350/ .556/ .906
8) R D Ross .320/ .362/ .784
9) L Drew .278/ .335/ .699
1) Wow! The 2-7 hitters have all had SLG%s higher than .500 over the last 2 years! We should kill lefties this year.
2) One could argue that leaving Pedey 2nd and putting Victorino 4th or 5th vs LHPs makes more sense, but I like his speed more than Pedey's.
3) The 2 year numbers argue to move Ellsbury down and Gomes up, but Ellsbury has been pretty good vs LHPs upo to 2011.
4) My guess is Naps' OBP vs LHPs the last 2 years is a fluke.
5) No 2 lefties in a row, so LOOGY Go Home!
I could go with this vs LHPs after watching 2013 trends:
1) L Gomes
2) R Pedey
3) L Papi
4) R Napoli
5) S Victorino
6) R Midd
7) L Ells
8) R Ross
9) L Drew/Ciriaco
(Again, a perfect L-R set up without even trying to do it.)