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Dunner44
05-06-2005, 10:40 AM
http://www.daytondailynews.com/sports/content/sports/reds/daily/0506mccoy.html

These are not the best of times for the Cincinnati Reds to be playing the Los Angeles Dodgers, but then, these are not the best of times for them to be playing the New Hampshire Fisher Cats.

While they might have a better chance these days against New Hampshire, the Fisher Cats are busy this weekend playing the New Britain Rock Cats.

So, the Dodgers it is, leaders of the National League West.

The Reds enter the weekend series lugging the load of a seven-game losing streak.

Manager Dave Miley was asked by a TV-type after Wednesday's seventh straight loss, "Given what's happened, is anybody on this roster safe?"

Said Miley, "Next question."

What's a manager to do when the pitching, the offense and the defense take a late-April and early-May paid vacation?

Well, Tahiti and Aruba are always nice this time of year. But Miley knows he can't run and he can't hide.

He must fill out the lineup card, then sit in the dugout and push some buttons, hoping one of those buttons isn't a destruct button, which seems to be the button he keeps hitting these days.

Some helpful suggestions from the press box:

Put Ryan Freel, a .300 hitter who finds ways to locate first base and brings enthusiasm and excitement to the field, at second base and bat him leadoff. Forget D'Angelo Jimenez and his Mendoza-line batting average and limited range.

Move third baseman Joe Randa into the No. 2 spot in the batting order to utilize his contact hitting and his ability to hit the opposite way to move runners.

Drop Ken Griffey Jr. from second in the order to his more comfortable third, the spot from which he has hit most of his career.

Wily Mo Pena's leg hurts, which is why he wasn't pinch-hitting for Jimenez in the ninth inning Tuesday with two outs, two on and the Reds down, 4-2. Jimenez flied to left, ending the game.

When Pena is healthy, bat him fourth and put him in right field until Austin Kearns, if and when, finds his way. Until Pena is healthy, bat Kearns fourth. He'll come around.

Drop Sean Casey to fifth. He'll give Pena/Kearns some protection and drive in some runs, if he can solve his dilemma of grounding into 4-6-3 double plays with a man on first.

Bat Adam Dunn sixth, a good spot for RBIs.

Play Felipe Lopez at shortstop until Rich Aurilia locates his bat. If Lopez is the shortstop of the future, now is the time to find out while the team slips toward oblivion.

Use catcher Javier Valentin more than once every five days. He is hitting .263 and is a decent defender. Jason LaRue is hitting .210 with no homers and only six RBIs.

Now we come to the pitching, and uh, well, Miley and pitching coach Don Gullett are on their own on this one.

While they wait for Luke Hudson and Josh Hancock to come off the disabled list, the earned-run averages continue to rise faster than a Phoenix thermometer in August.

Suggestions abound that the club should turn to Ryan Wagner as the closer. While he is the team's most effective bullpenner and probably will be the closer next year when the team doesn't re-sign Danny Graves, Wagner is only 22 and devoid of experience.

Shoving him suddenly into the closer's role might be applying too much pressure too soon. Why risk ruining him at this juncture. Continue to let him develop in the set-up role ... for now.

Trades aren't likely. Teams don't trade good pitching this early in the season. That comes at the July trade deadlines, when teams out of contention begin dumping large salaries.

At the rate it is going, though, it will be the Reds shedding big salaries when late July arrives.

RedsBaron
05-06-2005, 10:48 AM
Batting Dunn, the Reds best hitter, sixth is not a "helpful" suggestion from the press box. It simply demonstrates that some members of the media are clueless. :bang: :bang: :bang: :bang: :bang: :bang: :bang: :bang:

westofyou
05-06-2005, 10:48 AM
Bat Adam Dunn sixth, a good spot for RBIs.

And great place to die on the bases too!!


Play Felipe Lopez at shortstop until Rich Aurilia locates his bat.

May I suggest checking out Pier 39? I think he left his bat (and range Hal, what about his range?) instead of his heart in San Francisco.

flyer85
05-06-2005, 10:49 AM
Hal covers baseball. Doesn't mean he really understands it.

Joseph
05-06-2005, 10:51 AM
Wouldn't now be the ideal time for Wagner to move to closer? The teams so far out that there's nothing to lose, so the pressure is minimal.

MWM
05-06-2005, 10:53 AM
Hal covers baseball. Doesn't mean he really understands it.

I was thinking the same thing. Hard to believe that came from someone who's been around baseball as long as he has.

LincolnparkRed
05-06-2005, 10:55 AM
http://www.daytondailynews.com/sports/content/sports/reds/daily/0506mccoy.html

Put Ryan Freel, a .300 hitter who finds ways to locate first base and brings enthusiasm and excitement to the field, at second base and bat him leadoff. Forget D'Angelo Jimenez and his Mendoza-line batting average and limited range.

Drop Ken Griffey Jr. from second in the order to his more comfortable third, the spot from which he has hit most of his career.


Play Felipe Lopez at shortstop until Rich Aurilia locates his bat. If Lopez is the shortstop of the future, now is the time to find out while the team slips toward oblivion.

Use catcher Javier Valentin more than once every five days. He is hitting .263 and is a decent defender. Jason LaRue is hitting .210 with no homers and only six RBIs.

Suggestions abound that the club should turn to Ryan Wagner as the closer. While he is the team's most effective bullpenner and probably will be the closer next year when the team doesn't re-sign Danny Graves, Wagner is only 22 and devoid of experience.

Shoving him suddenly into the closer's role might be applying too much pressure too soon. Why risk ruining him at this juncture. Continue to let him develop in the set-up role ... for now.



Now insight like this is why I read his column every morning when I get into work. For some reason maybe I'm just spoiled by Hal but the Cubs/Sox writers always seem to complain and never offer anything constructive.

I definitely think he is right about Wagner, find me a closer who was annointed as such before 24 that was half way successful, I can't think of one.

WillPitch4Food
05-06-2005, 10:57 AM
Hal covers baseball. Doesn't mean he really understands it.

I'll take a Hall of Fame writer's opinion over most of ours any day of the week... Hal is a student of the game and a great writer, so I'll defer to his "non-understanding" more often than not... although I didn't agree with Dunn in the 6 spot, the rest of his suggestions are right on point. Give the guy a break...

flyer85
05-06-2005, 10:58 AM
I was thinking the same thing. Hard to believe that came from someone who's been around baseball as long as he has.I traded numerous e-mails with Hal last year and I can honestly say he doesn't get it. Im paraphrasing here, he told me that he really didn't care what the numbers said, you could manipulate the stats to get any answer you wanted. He knew he the good players were by watching the game and didn't care if the numbers told a different story. I can tell you that he plays favorites.

flyer85
05-06-2005, 11:01 AM
I'll take a Hall of Fame writer's He is a HOF writer, not a HOF baseball executive. He is the HOF because of his writing ability and longevity.

WillPitch4Food
05-06-2005, 11:05 AM
He is a HOF writer, not a HOF baseball executive.

I forgot all of us where baseball executives... bottom line is, the guy knows the game... Casey is hitting .301 with 9 RBI, not terrible numbers 27 games in, but if you've watched/listened to every game you know he's killed some big innings with DPs... I tend to agree with him in that respect... the numbers don't tell the story every time... He made one questionable point in the entire post and everyone jumps all over it...

WMR
05-06-2005, 11:07 AM
Just switch his ideas concerning the respective batting position of Randa and Dunn and everything that he said is right on point. Hey I'd rather have Hal managing the team and be 5 for 6 in things that need to be changed than Miley who continues to go O'fer every single game.

flyer85
05-06-2005, 11:10 AM
I forgot all of us where baseball executives... bottom line is, the guy knows the game... Casey is hitting .301 with 9 RBI, not terrible numbers 27 games in, but if you've watched/listened to every game you know he's killed some big innings with DPs... I tend to agree with him in that respect... the numbers don't tell the story every time... He made one questionable point in the entire post and everyone jumps all over it...What's Casey got to do with it, I never brought him up. I think maybe you have another agenda.

The point is this, just because Hal covers the Reds does not mean that he has greater baseball knowledge than anybody else. The fact that he interacts with the players on a daily basis and knows them makes him more susceptible to bias. He readily admitted that he will dismiss the statistical evidence if it conflicts with his preconceived notions or beliefs about things.

WillPitch4Food
05-06-2005, 11:13 AM
What's Casey got to do with it, I never brought him up. I think maybe you have another agenda.

If you followed your own posts on the thread you said Hal doesn't get it becuase he doesn't go with the Stats, he watches the game. My Casey comment spoke exactly to that.. scroll up a bit and read it again... I'm not taking a shot at you, I was just making the opposite side of your argument... I said I didn't agree with the Dunn @ 6 move, but every other point was right on... I just get tired of people jumping all over a knowledgeable guy when 95% of the content he gave was great... he's got more of a clue than the rest of the management in the organization...

NJReds
05-06-2005, 11:16 AM
I agree with many of the posts on this thread...Dunn has to hit higher, not lower in the batting order. I wouldn't have a problem with Freel, Dunn, Jr., Pena/Kearns, Casey, Randa, Lopez, LaRue.

kbrake
05-06-2005, 11:16 AM
I think he was close but I still think
1. Freel
2. Griffey
3. Dunn
4. Pena
5. Casey
6. Randa
7. Lopez
8. LaRue

Is the best line-up for this team, maybe not the best with Griffey hitting second but as long as Miley is in the dugout I think it is the best line-up we could possibly get out of him.

flyer85
05-06-2005, 11:19 AM
but every other point was right onNot hardly, his reasoning for batting Randa 2nd is wrong. There is a good reason to bat Randa second but not the ones that he gave. The reasoning he gave is anecdotal based upon his notions about what a #2 hitter is supposed to do, rather than what the most important skill is for a #2 hitter.

bucknutdet
05-06-2005, 11:23 AM
How about batting Casey 6th and Dunn 5th? Dunn will still drive in a lot of runs there and it would be hard to pitch around him b/c Casey hits for a high avg. Also Dunn hits more doubles than singles so a double play situation isn't as likely. Casey might not like hitting that low, though.

If there has to be change that is. Griffey doesn't really move the ball around the field enough to bat 2nd, but right now he still might be the best option there (same goes for Dunn).

The 2nd place hitter needs to be one who is going to move the leadoff hitter into scoring position (contact hitter who can hit to diff fields)

WillPitch4Food
05-06-2005, 11:25 AM
Not hardly, his reasoning for batting Randa 2nd is wrong. There is a good reason to bat Randa second but not the ones that he gave. The reasoning he gave is anecdotal based upon his notions about what a #2 hitter is supposed to do, rather than what the most important skill is for a #2 hitter.

You don't think Randa has #2 hitter qualities? The number two hitter's job is firstly to get the #1 guy into scoring position, or if he is in scoring position, get him in. Randa has the best bat control of anyone on the team... he drives the ball into the gaps with consistancy, goes the other way frequently and I'm sure can lay down a bunt if necessary. He also has great at bats. He fights off pitches and goes deep into counts better than anyone on the team and usually gets a pitch he can handle after a few foul balls. Finally, he's a good base runner... not real fast, but smart. I've seen 2 Reds in 2 games get picked off after reaching first, one of them Lopez. I don't see anyone else on the team (at this point in the season) that does better than Randa at #2. So, I guess I'm wondering what you think the #2 hitter is supposed to do?

Edit:
Lopez is the only other player on the team I would even consider batting there.

Edit 2:
After re-reading your post, I realize you didn't completely disagree with Randa there, however I still think his reasoning is sound.

flyer85
05-06-2005, 11:26 AM
You don't think Randa has #2 hitter qualities? The number two hitter's job is firstly to get the #1 guy into scoring positionWrong ... the most important job of the #2 is to get on base, everything else pales in comparison.

johngalt
05-06-2005, 11:28 AM
A couple big disagreements...

- Adam Dunn should never hit in the sixth spot. He needs to be higher in the order because he's the team's most productive player. His ability to get on base is wasted down there.

- Griffey shouldn't be hitting second or third. He should be fifth or sixth. He hasn't proven yet that he can be counted on in the third spot.

- Valentin getting more PT? No way. He's not even a serviceable backup. We need to look at bringing up Sardinha.

- And for Wagner, if he is going to be the closer next year, why not go ahead and get him some experience there this year? It does this team no good to run Graves out there if 1) he's not pitching well and 2) he's not going to be here next year.

alexad
05-06-2005, 11:28 AM
Finally someone is trying to make some changes. I love the idea of Jr. being back at the 3 spot. Why he is not there already is a mystery to me. Wags needs one more year. Remember he got all messed up last year. Lets not rush something we do not have to. Besides where would Graves go? NObody is going to trade for him. Graves needs to be saving up his millions of dollars, because noone is going to give him that much money next season.

johngalt
05-06-2005, 11:30 AM
I forgot all of us where baseball executives... bottom line is, the guy knows the game... Casey is hitting .301 with 9 RBI, not terrible numbers 27 games in, but if you've watched/listened to every game you know he's killed some big innings with DPs... I tend to agree with him in that respect... the numbers don't tell the story every time... He made one questionable point in the entire post and everyone jumps all over it...

He made SEVERAL questionable points, not one.

WillPitch4Food
05-06-2005, 11:30 AM
Wrong ... the most important job of the #2 is to get on base, everything else pales in comparison.

Wrong.. the #1 hitter's job is to get on base... #2 is to get the #1 over or in... this can be in the form of hit and run or in sac bunts depending on tje game situation... getting on base for him is important, but not to the degree of the #1 of course. The hit and run accomplishes both, which I think Randa would excel at incredibly. The #3 guy then gets to worry about driving one or both of them in.

bucknutdet
05-06-2005, 11:30 AM
The leadoff hitters most important job is to get on base, the 2nd place hitters job is to advance the leadoff, for the 3rd and 4th to drive him in. After that the lineup is what it is. Unless baseball philosophy has changed on me and I didn't realize it. :)

WMR
05-06-2005, 11:30 AM
With Dunn batting second you are pretty much guaranteeing Freel to get pitches to hit. The opposing team certainly doesn't want to walk Freel b/c, as we all know, Dunn is instant offense.

flyer85
05-06-2005, 11:31 AM
Why he is not there already is a mystery to me. Because he is not the best offensive player on the team. That 3rd spot should be reserved for the best offensive player and you build the rest of the lineup around that.

NJReds
05-06-2005, 11:31 AM
Wags needs one more year. Remember he got all messed up last year. Lets not rush something we do not have to. Besides

He doesn't have to become the full-time closer, but I see no reason not to give him a save opportunity now and then. Particularly if Graves pitched a couple days in a row...then they have a built in excuse for doing it as opposed to a straight demotion of Graves.

alexad
05-06-2005, 11:31 AM
How about batting Casey 6th and Dunn 5th? Dunn will still drive in a lot of runs there and it would be hard to pitch around him b/c Casey hits for a high avg. Also Dunn hits more doubles than singles so a double play situation isn't as likely. Casey might not like hitting that low, though.

If there has to be change that is. Griffey doesn't really move the ball around the field enough to bat 2nd, but right now he still might be the best option there (same goes for Dunn).

The 2nd place hitter needs to be one who is going to move the leadoff hitter into scoring position (contact hitter who can hit to diff fields)

Casey is a true 3 hitter, but Jr. needs to be there with Casey in front of Dunn.

ochre
05-06-2005, 11:32 AM
You don't think Randa has #2 hitter qualities? The number two hitter's job is firstly to get the #1 guy into scoring position, or if he is in scoring position, get him in...
The number 2 hitters job, just like all the other slots in the lineup, is to not make an out.

flyer85
05-06-2005, 11:33 AM
After that the lineup is what it is. Unless baseball philosophy has changed on me and I didn't realize it. :)The defense is always more than willing to accept it if the offense wants to trade bases for outs. Outs are the precious commodity of offense in baseball. Every batters primary objective should be to not make an out.

ochre
05-06-2005, 11:33 AM
batting Dunn 5th will cost him 2-3 Homeruns over the course of a full season. Take away another homer for each additional slot down the lineup.

alexad
05-06-2005, 11:33 AM
Because he is not the best offensive player on the team. That 3rd spot should be reserved for the best offensive player and you build the rest of the lineup around that.

The best person right now would be Pena, but you do not put a strikeout Player in that spot.

Jr. is the best bat to get the job done. Plus he has experience there. IF not Casey needs to be there. He hits like .320 every year with 44 doubles close to 100 RBIs.

flyer85
05-06-2005, 11:33 AM
Casey is a true 3 hitter, but Jr. needs to be there with Casey in front of Dunn.Actually you have it backwards. Would you care to explain your reasoning.

alexad
05-06-2005, 11:35 AM
He doesn't have to become the full-time closer, but I see no reason not to give him a save opportunity now and then. Particularly if Graves pitched a couple days in a row...then they have a built in excuse for doing it as opposed to a straight demotion of Graves.

As the set up man is doing exactly what you said. He will be given chances. He will get 5-10 saves this year, but Graves has to pitch a couple of days in a row. Right now Graves is lucky they do not send him to AAA because with the way this team is playing, we do not need a closer.

ochre
05-06-2005, 11:36 AM
The best person right now would be Pena, but you do not put a strikeout Player in that spot.


Dunn is a better hitter than Pena right now.

flyer85
05-06-2005, 11:36 AM
The best person right now would be Pena, but you do not put a strikeout Player in that spot.Would you rather put the DP machine in that spot?

NJReds
05-06-2005, 11:45 AM
As the set up man is doing exactly what you said. He will be given chances. He will get 5-10 saves this year, but Graves has to pitch a couple of days in a row. Right now Graves is lucky they do not send him to AAA because with the way this team is playing, we do not need a closer.

Unless a team has a Mariano Rivera or Gagne-type "lights out" closer, I'm not so sure that it's necessary to make someone the day-in, day-out closer. Let the manager play matchup...use a LOOGY against a tough lefty. Graves doesn't deserve to be the everyday closer...he's just not good enough.

I'd also like to see our starters go more than six innings when they're pitching well. Milton's a big boy, he can throw 115-120 pitches. No reason to pull him after 6 w/100 pitches. Our bullpen gets run into the ground by July with Captain Hook at the helm. Our quality starts are few and far between...if a guy is throwing well, let him go 7 or 8 innings. (or...gasp...9 innings).

westofyou
05-06-2005, 11:48 AM
The number 2 hitters job, just like all the other slots in the lineup, is to not make an out.

Yep... yet everyone thinks it to hit the ball to the rightside.

Right Mr. Mauch?

flyer85
05-06-2005, 11:49 AM
Yep... yet everyone thinks it to hit the ball to the rightside. Right Mr. Mauch?You just don't know anything about baseball. That #2 guy should just bunt him over.;)

Reds/Flyers Fan
05-06-2005, 11:50 AM
Hal covers baseball. Doesn't mean he really understands it.

Wow...someone offers some constructive ideas and he gets ripped. Hal McCoy is in the Baseball Hall of Fame, which would seemingly indicate that he does, in fact, understand baseball. I don't think any RedZone posters are due for enshrinement in Cooperstown anytime soon.

This team is 10-17...none of McCoy's suggestions seem unrealistic.

flyer85
05-06-2005, 11:53 AM
Hal McCoy is in the Baseball Hall of Fame, which would seemingly indicate that he does, in fact, understand baseball.It indicates he is an outstanding writer and has an understanding of the game. It doesn't mean his opinions supported by mostly anecdotal evidence are correct.

Reds/Flyers Fan
05-06-2005, 11:56 AM
At least he has a baseball pulse and is willing to think a little outside the box, which is more than I can say for the Dan Obrien/Dave Miley duo.

MWM
05-06-2005, 11:57 AM
A couple big disagreements...

- Adam Dunn should never hit in the sixth spot. He needs to be higher in the order because he's the team's most productive player. His ability to get on base is wasted down there.

- Griffey shouldn't be hitting second or third. He should be fifth or sixth. He hasn't proven yet that he can be counted on in the third spot.

- Valentin getting more PT? No way. He's not even a serviceable backup. We need to look at bringing up Sardinha.

- And for Wagner, if he is going to be the closer next year, why not go ahead and get him some experience there this year? It does this team no good to run Graves out there if 1) he's not pitching well and 2) he's not going to be here next year.

I'm in 100% agreement with everything you said there. Nice post.

WillPitch4Food
05-06-2005, 11:58 AM
It indicates he is an outstanding writer and has an understanding of the game. It doesn't mean his opinions supported by mostly anecdotal evidence are correct.

Anecdotal? Moving the runner into scoring posiiton is still the job of the #2 batter. That hasn't changed in ages. If he gets on base, excellent, but if he gets the guy into scoring position and the #3 and #4 guys have shots to drive him in.. even better...

flyer85
05-06-2005, 12:00 PM
Anecdotal? Moving the runner into scoring posiiton is still the job of the #2 batter. That hasn't changed in ages. If he gets on base, excellent, but if he gets the guy into scoring position and the #3 and #4 guys have shots to drive him in.. even better...The job of the #2 hitter is to get on base. Go check out the expected runs matrix and situation run probabilities at BP sometime.

flyer85
05-06-2005, 12:04 PM
Anecdotal? yes, I didn't see any data to support the idea. Just two statements about why Randa would be a good #2 hitter. So assuming that is his most important job is to advance the runner while making an out then he should have supplied data to show that giving up that out to advance a runner increases the probabilty of scoring the run versus other possible outcomes.

deltachi8
05-06-2005, 12:07 PM
I have no probelms with anything on the list except, as noted admirably by others, Dunn hitting 6th. I want my best hitter and best on base guy getting as many at bats as possible and to be followed by people who have the ability to drive him in. Therefore, I hit Dunn 2nd and Randa 6th.

As for Freel, I have not been a fan of him really and I like Jimenez, but the numbers dont lie, start off today with him as the everday 2nd baseman. And really, Jiminez, unless traded (cough, Yankees, cough) becomes teh super utility guy. How? He goes to 2nd when he starts or enters a game and Freel moves to wherever the hole is to fill.

One last thing, if Miley doesn't begin playing FeLo as the everyday SS, now, I may have to drive to CIncinnati and beat sense into him with my souvineer mini replica bat from Johnny Bench's Home PLate circa 1978.

Moonlite Graham
05-06-2005, 12:15 PM
I traded numerous e-mails with Hal last year and I can honestly say he doesn't get it. Im paraphrasing here, he told me that he really didn't care what the numbers said, you could manipulate the stats to get any answer you wanted. He knew he the good players were by watching the game and didn't care if the numbers told a different story. I can tell you that he plays favorites.

Well Ricardo, Im in complete agreement with Hal on this one as he is 100% right.

You can manipulate numbers to say anything you want about a player.

Thats what makes arbitration so contentious, both sides are using the same numbers but getting different results out of them.

True evaluation of a player is by watching the player day in day out.

I couldnt tell you what most players bat, field, or whatever numbers wise, but I think I have a good idea on whos a player and whos not from physical observation.

Fantasy baseball plays into this alot too, cause it has minimized the person/player and boiled it down to cold equations.

I have a friend who is so into numbers and "fantasy" that he couldnt even identify a player by face or uniform, but he knows his numbers inside out and thats how he judges players.

We were having a conversation about a particular pitcher one day and I was talking about a mechanical flaw in his delivery and my friend said, "I dont know about that but hes not very good his WHIP is too high."

I about fell over backwards, thats how he judged the player, by a fabricated fantasy stat that I feel confident not even a manager or executive uses in evaluating players.

Sad really, how evaluating players has now become a contrived mathematical process. Thank you, but I'll stick to relying on my own knowledge and instincts.

flyer85
05-06-2005, 12:16 PM
Sad really, how evaluating players has now become a contrived mathematical process. Thank you, but I'll stick to relying on my own knowledge and instincts.Must be great just to "know more" and trust your instincts. Ever considered they could be wrong? Billy Beane says thank you.

Moonlite Graham
05-06-2005, 12:20 PM
Its a burden sometimes, but I manage. :thumbup:

And if worship at the altar of Billy Beane, you have my sympathy.

johngalt
05-06-2005, 12:22 PM
I'm in 100% agreement with everything you said there. Nice post.

Uh oh.... :)

ochre
05-06-2005, 12:23 PM
I about fell over backwards, thats how he judged the player, by a fabricated fantasy stat that I feel confident not even a manager or executive uses in evaluating players.


True. OPS against is a better indicator.

penantboundreds
05-06-2005, 12:23 PM
Playing Valentin would be a major mistake, he has absolutely no upside, and is a garbage "veteran" that should not be on a major league roster. I say that viewing him as a catcher. LaRue's game-calling expierience(knowledge) is above and behind those measley .50 ba points. LaRue calls a great game behind that plate and is more than above average as a defensive catcher, although he does tend to "stab" instead of "drop and block".

Dunn can be our #2 hitter, but not with Casey as the #3 hitter. Listen to my logic first before you jump this post. Dunn at 2, every game would give us either a strikeout with a guy on(leading to Casey's umpteenth) double play ball, a solo hr, a 2 run hr. The problem is Casey hitting behind him without Dunn moving that runner over would be asking for a dp ball.

flyer85
05-06-2005, 12:25 PM
"your eyes can deceive you, don't trust them".

"In God we trust, all others must have data".

johngalt
05-06-2005, 12:26 PM
You can manipulate numbers to say anything you want about a player.

Manipulating numbers is such an overused and wrongly used phrase.

When someone talks about Dunn's performance and talks about him not making an out 40% of the time (approx.), that's not manipulation. That's the statistical fact. It's not "He gives us good at-bats." It's data that should be used, not disregarded as "number manipulation."

deltachi8
05-06-2005, 12:27 PM
We were having a conversation about a particular pitcher one day and I was talking about a mechanical flaw in his delivery and my friend said, "I dont know about that but hes not very good his WHIP is too high."

I about fell over backwards, thats how he judged the player, by a fabricated fantasy stat that I feel confident not even a manager or executive uses in evaluating players.

Sad really, how evaluating players has now become a contrived mathematical process. Thank you, but I'll stick to relying on my own knowledge and instincts.

Well, some valid points you raise. However, the numbers, when used properly can tell a stroy too. Its one thing to sya a pitcher stinks because his WHIP is 1.85, but why is it 1.85? Is the numebr an indication that something is wrong with his mechanics, velocity, strength? Is age catching up with him?

Numbers allow for the evaluation of several players to identify indicators, values and problem areas where you can focus attention on. Maybee the pitcher does just suck, or maybee, as you picked up there is a problem with mechanics that can be fixed.

The pitching coach may be a moron and cant see the poor mechanics. The GM/evaluator sees a poor WHIP that runs contrary to career trends and sends someone out to take a look at it and find out why.

Maybee I tend to rely on numbers more because my eye is not as sophistcated as yours. One of the best swings I ever saw in my life was Willie Greene, and we know how that turned out.

Just my $0.02

Moonlite Graham
05-06-2005, 12:34 PM
Good points all, there DeltaChi.

Im certainly not claiming to be some savant when it comes to player evaluation, but I guess my point before I went off on a tangent was that numbers in and of themselves can be manipulated to be positive or negative, and it still basically comes down to physical performance or lack thereof on the field.

Numbers can be a tool they cant be the rule. (thats kinda catchy)

Excellent point on Willie Greene, looked like a ballplayer, never turned out.

ochre
05-06-2005, 12:39 PM
Maybee I tend to rely on numbers more because my eye is not as sophistcated as yours. One of the best swings I ever saw in my life was Willie Greene, and we know how that turned out.

Just my $0.02

Willie Greene put up good numbers... :)


SEASON TEAM G AB OBP SLG AVG
1997 Cincinnati Reds 151 495 .354 .459 .253
1998 Cincinnati Reds 111 356 .372 .444 .270

IslandRed
05-06-2005, 12:41 PM
The leadoff hitters most important job is to get on base, the 2nd place hitters job is to advance the leadoff, for the 3rd and 4th to drive him in. After that the lineup is what it is. Unless baseball philosophy has changed on me and I didn't realize it. :)

Actually, it has.

Ricardo mentioned the expected run matrix. Here's what happens when the #2 hitter gives himself up to get the #1 hitter over to second:

1. It slightly increases the chance of scoring one run.
2. It significantly decreases the chance of scoring multiple runs.

We're in an era where the typical game is 6-5, not 2-1. It's the first inning. Why short-circuit a possible big inning for the sake of a single run?

Since everyone tosses out the Cardinals as the team we should be trying to be, let's take a look. They led the NL in runs scored last year and were second the year before. Their #2 hitter is Larry Walker. Is he hitting #2 because of his special ability to move the runner over, or is he hitting #2 because he can tear the cover off the ball? Or, let's look to our happier history. Joe Morgan spent a lot of time hitting #2 behind Rose. He didn't spend his time giving himself up to get Pete over to second. He spent his time terrorizing pitchers, just one more guy in a long line of really tough outs.

Scoring runs is a process, and it's the same process regardless of who leads off the inning. There are occasions late in the game where one-run strategies are the smart play. It's almost never the smart play early in the game.

WillPitch4Food
05-06-2005, 12:56 PM
yes, I didn't see any data to support the idea. Just two statements about why Randa would be a good #2 hitter. So assuming that is his most important job is to advance the runner while making an out then he should have supplied data to show that giving up that out to advance a runner increases the probabilty of scoring the run versus other possible outcomes.

He wasn't doing an in depth analysis, he just thew in a couple of reason why Randa could bat #2... We are a National League team and I don't need a run matrix to tell me we need scoring opportunities with our pitching staff... trying to get #1 and #2 on and hoping that we hit a longball is not a good strategy "hoping" to generate runs... The NL has more than one team that are good at getting guys around the bases from the leadoff spot and we aren't one of them unless Freel and Randa/Lopez are #1 and #2

LincolnparkRed
05-06-2005, 12:57 PM
Actually, it has.

Ricardo mentioned the expected run matrix. Here's what happens when the #2 hitter gives himself up to get the #1 hitter over to second:

1. It slightly increases the chance of scoring one run.
2. It significantly decreases the chance of scoring multiple runs.

We're in an era where the typical game is 6-5, not 2-1. It's the first inning. Why short-circuit a possible big inning for the sake of a single run?

Since everyone tosses out the Cardinals as the team we should be trying to be, let's take a look. They led the NL in runs scored last year and were second the year before. Their #2 hitter is Larry Walker. Is he hitting #2 because of his special ability to move the runner over, or is he hitting #2 because he can tear the cover off the ball? Or, let's look to our happier history. Joe Morgan spent a lot of time hitting #2 behind Rose. He didn't spend his time giving himself up to get Pete over to second. He spent his time terrorizing pitchers, just one more guy in a long line of really tough outs.

Scoring runs is a process, and it's the same process regardless of who leads off the inning. There are occasions late in the game where one-run strategies are the smart play. It's almost never the smart play early in the game.

You also need to remember the Renteria was the #2 for the cardinals last year until they got Walker, there was a big point made last yr about how being moved up in the order was hurting his production as he was going into free agency. He still hit well but his producton went down because he was seeing fewer runners on base when he came up. Walker only came over in July/August from what I recall.

flyer85
05-06-2005, 01:00 PM
He wasn't doing an in depth analysis, he just thew in a couple of reason why Randa could bat #2... We are a National League team and I don't need a run matrix to tell me we need scoring opportunities with our pitching staff... trying to get #1 and #2 on and hoping that we hit a longball is not a good strategy "hoping" to generate runs... The NL has more than one team that are good at getting guys around the bases from the leadoff spot and we aren't one of them unless Freel and Randa/Lopez are #1 and #2

[clara beller voice] "Where's the beef?" [\clara beller voice]

WillPitch4Food
05-06-2005, 01:01 PM
Actually, it has.

Ricardo mentioned the expected run matrix. Here's what happens when the #2 hitter gives himself up to get the #1 hitter over to second:

1. It slightly increases the chance of scoring one run.
2. It significantly decreases the chance of scoring multiple runs.

We're in an era where the typical game is 6-5, not 2-1. It's the first inning. Why short-circuit a possible big inning for the sake of a single run?

Since everyone tosses out the Cardinals as the team we should be trying to be, let's take a look. They led the NL in runs scored last year and were second the year before. Their #2 hitter is Larry Walker. Is he hitting #2 because of his special ability to move the runner over, or is he hitting #2 because he can tear the cover off the ball? Or, let's look to our happier history. Joe Morgan spent a lot of time hitting #2 behind Rose. He didn't spend his time giving himself up to get Pete over to second. He spent his time terrorizing pitchers, just one more guy in a long line of really tough outs.

Scoring runs is a process, and it's the same process regardless of who leads off the inning. There are occasions late in the game where one-run strategies are the smart play. It's almost never the smart play early in the game.

I also stated above that it depends on game situation.. I believe Randa has good power to both alleys and gives you the good at bats to move runners in game situations... He is a good fit because of those well rounded characteristics... someone like Griffey at #2 limits your options later in the game..

westofyou
05-06-2005, 01:02 PM
Sad really, how evaluating players has now become a contrived mathematical process.

Henry Chadwick hails you from the offices of the New York Clipper.

WillPitch4Food
05-06-2005, 01:02 PM
[clara beller voice] "Where's the beef?" [\clara beller voice]

See my above response to IslandRed...

OldRightHander
05-06-2005, 01:04 PM
Sometimes moving a runner over isn't always a stragegy that short circuits a big inning, since it can be done by more than just a bunt if the runner is on second. What ticks me off more times than not is when there will be a runner at second with no outs and a right handed hitter comes up and pulls a grounder to short or third where that same grounder to second would have at least put the runner at third. Fine if you want to try for a base hit rather than bunt the runner over, but you should at least try to hit it to the right side so in the event that it doesn't get through for a hit, you at least moved the runner over. Larkin was good at that. Sometimes he would hit it into right field for a hit and score the runner, and other times he would ground it to second or first and that runner would be at third. How many runs are missed because an out could have been used more productively?

IslandRed
05-06-2005, 01:11 PM
You also need to remember the Renteria was the #2 for the cardinals last year until they got Walker, there was a big point made last yr about how being moved up in the order was hurting his production as he was going into free agency. He still hit well but his producton went down because he was seeing fewer runners on base when he came up. Walker only came over in July/August from what I recall.

True, but Renteria is a good hitter in his own right. I doubt he was going up there in the first inning thinking his PRIMARY job was to get the runner over, which was the philosophy in question. He was up there to hit.

And sure, Walker's "production" went down. That goes with hitting #2 instead of lower in the order. But did it hurt the team to have him hitting there? Heck no.

flyer85
05-06-2005, 01:14 PM
The strange part is Hal doesn't see the games anyway.

WillPitch4Food
05-06-2005, 01:15 PM
True, but Renteria is a good hitter in his own right. I doubt he was going up there in the first inning thinking his PRIMARY job was to get the runner over, which was the philosophy in question. He was up there to hit.

And sure, Walker's "production" went down. That goes with hitting #2 instead of lower in the order. But did it hurt the team to have him hitting there? Heck no.

The philosphy questioned by Ricardo was the job of the #2 guy... early innings or not it depends on the game situation. My argument has been that primarily throught the season, the #2 guy's responsibility is to get the #1 in scoring position... sure you may look for the big inning right off the bat (1st inning, but if it is the bottom of the first and you're down 4 already (as we know we can be), you don't try to get it all back at once, you manufacture runs.

It seems lately we've had managers that play too much small-ball and then some that don't play enough... we have to find middle ground to be successful...

WillPitch4Food
05-06-2005, 01:15 PM
The strange part is Hal doesn't see the games anyway.

hehehehe... :)

IslandRed
05-06-2005, 01:18 PM
Just seems to me that the teams that score the most runs these days are not in the habit of giving away outs. And with our pitching staff, we go into every game figuring it's going to take at least six runs to win. More than most teams, we can't afford to think about runs one at a time.

flyer85
05-06-2005, 01:19 PM
hehehehe... :)not meant to be funny, just a statement of fact. Hal hasn't seen these guys play in at least a couple of years.

WillPitch4Food
05-06-2005, 01:20 PM
not meant to be funny, just a statement of fact. Hal hasn't seen these guys play in at least a couple of years.

That's why he talks to Marty in the booth regularly? Guess he doesn't look down on the field and get a glimpse... He just writes about what he imagines...

flyer85
05-06-2005, 01:21 PM
That's why he talks to Marty in the booth regularly? Guess he doesn't look down on the field and get a glimpse... He just writes about what he imagines...Honestly I don't know exactly how you write about what you cannot see.

WillPitch4Food
05-06-2005, 01:22 PM
Honestly I don't know exactly how you write about what you cannot see.

Psychic or something... even better reason to take his advice...

flyer85
05-06-2005, 01:24 PM
Psychic or something... even better reason to take his advice...It's not a joke. The man is blind(legally, not completely).

ochre
05-06-2005, 01:27 PM
It's not a joke. The man is blind(legally, not completely).
yep. they did a story on it last season. Has to have somebody drive him to the stadium if I remember correctly.

WillPitch4Food
05-06-2005, 01:27 PM
It's not a joke. The man is blind(legally, not completely).

That's fine.. but he hasn't always been... and Marty paints a great picture, so I'm sure he understands the game and what is going on... If you watched baseball for years and years and suddenly lost your sight, you could listen to the game and know what is going on... also, don't you think he has a monitor up in the press area that he can see? My aunt is "legally" blind but she can see if you put something right up to her face...

That last part was an acutal question... I don't know if he does or doesn't..

westofyou
05-06-2005, 01:28 PM
and Marty paints a great picture,

True, I can pretty much visualize his golf game and the guys standing behind him smirking.

WillPitch4Food
05-06-2005, 01:30 PM
True, I can pretty much visualize his golf game and the guys standing behind him smirking.

Yeah, he loves his golf.. not as sure about "Tha Bad Boy" (painting vivid word pictures)... but that's for another thread...

SteelSD
05-06-2005, 02:03 PM
Best #2 Hitters in the past decade:

Jim Edmonds
Carlos Beltran
Alex Rodriguez

Moving Runners over:

Here's the breakdown of the two most polar opposites on the Reds (Dunn and Casey) from 2004. Mr. K versus Mr. Contact:

Productive Outs:

Dunn- 9
Casey- 18

BB with Runners on 1B:

Dunn- 35
Casey- 9

Double Plays:

Dunn- 8
Casey- 16

Now, which hitter actually moves Runners over again?

In 2004, Adam Dunn moved over nearly twice as many Runners with non-Out events as did Sean Casey by using Outs as a weapon. The irony is that both players pretty much negated their "Productive Outs" (an oxymoron) with their GIDP totals. That leaves us with the startling realization that Adam Dunn moved over runners nearly four times as often as did Sean Casey without the benefit of a hit (via the BB). FOUR times as often.

Now, I'm not attempting to compare Casey v. Dunn and their overall ability to hit. Just noting that the results of their skill sets demonstrate that counting on a high-contact "bat handler" to move runners with Outs isn't really the smart play when you have a guy who can move more while creating fewer.

Let's face it, having a Runner on 2B with one down sure isn't as good a situation as having Runners on 1st and 2nd with no one Out. So why should the former scenario be a goal when the latter more preferable option is attainable? Does anyone really disagree that the most preferable scenario is two ducks on the pond with none Out and the heart of your order coming up?

deltachi8
05-06-2005, 02:08 PM
Best #2 Hitters in the past decade:

Jim Edmonds
Carlos Beltran
Alex Rodriguez

Moving Runners over:

Here's the breakdown of the two most polar opposites on the Reds (Dunn and Casey) from 2004. Mr. K versus Mr. Contact:

Productive Outs:

Dunn- 9
Casey- 18

BB with Runners on 1B:

Dunn- 35
Casey- 9

Double Plays:

Dunn- 8
Casey- 16

Now, which hitter actually moves Runners over again?

In 2004, Adam Dunn moved over nearly twice as many Runners with non-Out events as did Sean Casey by using Outs as a weapon. The irony is that both players pretty much negated their "Productive Outs" (an oxymoron) with their GIDP totals. That leaves us with the startling realization that Adam Dunn moved over runners nearly four times as often as did Sean Casey without the benefit of a hit (via the BB). FOUR times as often.

Now, I'm not attempting to compare Casey v. Dunn and their overall ability to hit. Just noting that the results of their skill sets demonstrate that counting on a high-contact "bat handler" to move runners with Outs isn't really the smart play when you have a guy who can move more while creating fewer.

Let's face it, having a Runner on 2B with one down sure isn't as good a situation as having Runners on 1st and 2nd with no one Out. So why should the former scenario be a goal when the latter more preferable option is attainable? Does anyone really disagree that the most preferable scenario is two ducks on the pond with none Out and the heart of your order coming up?

:thumbup:

flyer85
05-06-2005, 02:11 PM
Noble effort Steel but I seriously doubt any minds are going to be changed.

SteelSD
05-06-2005, 02:22 PM
Noble effort Steel but I seriously doubt any minds are going to be changed.

You may be right. But then, I've never heard a viable response as to why a baseball team should strive to put a Runner on 2nd with one Out versus Runners on 1st and 2nd throughout ballgames.

Nor have I yet to figure out why Walks as a weapon to move Runners is so discounted versus groundouts to the right side.

Amazingly enough, over a third of Dunn's Walks last year moved at least one Runner over. Why is it so difficult to understand how valuable those occurrences really are? That's what I really want to know.

WillPitch4Food
05-06-2005, 02:22 PM
Noble effort Steel but I seriously doubt any minds are going to be changed.

Once again, I agree with the stats posted by Steel overall, however you must always take into account game situations which none of you are mentioning... there is a time and place for both scenarios (try to get 1 & 2 on or try to get 2 to move one up) and my argument has been that Randa gives you the most flexibility at that spot until Lopez proves he can handle the bat to the same degree... Randa can get on base just as easily as he can be used for sac flies/bunts in certain game situations. He always has good at bats and can run a pitch count past 5 pitches with consistancy. Nice statistics though Steel, and I can see your point... better than just calling someting anecdotal.

The fact remains that as the lineup stands, the front end is too clogged up and unproductive and we haven't been hitting enough multi-run homers to make a difference. We have however 6-8 close games where in-game management and situational hitting could've made all of the difference...

...let's just rely on the long ball and cross our fingers instead...

WillPitch4Food
05-06-2005, 02:27 PM
You may be right. But then, I've never heard a viable response as to why a baseball team should strive to put a Runner on 2nd with one Out versus Runners on 1st and 2nd throughout ballgames.

Nor have I yet to figure out why Walks as a weapon to move Runners is so discounted versus groundouts to the right side.

Amazingly enough, over a third of Dunn's Walks last year moved at least one Runner over. Why is it so difficult to understand how valuable those occurrences really are? That's what I really want to know.

No one doubts the value of the walk, however walks are something you can't control from your side... a pitcher can walk you or pitch to you, and a guy like Dunn may walk a ton or strike out a ton... you basically put your strategy in the hands of the opposing team at that point.. you increase the likelihood of a walk by sending Dunn to the plate, but you can't guarantee it... good pitchers exploit his weaknesses on the outside pitch...

johngalt
05-06-2005, 02:31 PM
No one doubts the value of the walk, however walks are something you can't control from your side... a pitcher can walk you or pitch to you, and a guy like Dunn may walk a ton or strike out a ton... you basically put your strategy in the hands of the opposing team at that point.. you increase the likelihood of a walk by sending Dunn to the plate, but you can't guarantee it... good pitchers exploit his weaknesses on the outside pitch...

Walks are something you can't control but somehow being able to hit a ball at a player is?

There is more luck involved in "moving a runner over" than there is in trying to draw a walk. If it was luck, then there would be a greater variance in walk rates for people each season....just as there are many times with batting average.

flyer85
05-06-2005, 02:31 PM
good pitchers exploit his weaknesses on the outside pitch...You must be watching a different Dunn. All the pitchers I see try to crowd him inside.

sdwagers
05-06-2005, 02:33 PM
You must be watching a different Dunn. All the pitchers I see try to crowd him inside.

I agree, if'n he can't get those big arms extened, he is a much less of threat when you jam inside.

WillPitch4Food
05-06-2005, 02:37 PM
You must be watching a different Dunn. All the pitchers I see try to crowd him inside.

If you see most of the pitches he looks bad on, they are away and usually offspeed... true he does have trouble with the inside moving fastball, but IMO he looks worse away... at least inside he has a chance to pull the ball out of the park...



Walks are something you can't control but somehow being able to hit a ball at a player is?

There is more luck involved in "moving a runner over" than there is in trying to draw a walk. If it was luck, then there would be a greater variance in walk rates for people each season....just as there are many times with batting average.



I'll take my chances with a guy that gets good ABs, will draw some walks, but also drives the ball with consistancy to the gaps... I don't want the basis of my run production to be whether or not the other team feels they should pitch around me... statistically if you analyze the OBP of the leadoff and second batter, the chances that they will both be on at the same time are not that great... you're probably just as likely to get out and not advance or get into a DP (or fielder's choice with a PO at 2nd)... why not get guys moving and give our leadoff a shot at getting into scoring position? And, if leadoff gets out, Randa still has the stick to get on base by his lonesome...

SteelSD
05-06-2005, 02:43 PM
Once again, I agree with the stats posted by Steel overall, however you must always take into account game situations which none of you are mentioning... there is a time and place for both scenarios (try to get 1 & 2 on or try to get 2 to move one up) and my argument has been that Randa gives you the most flexibility at that spot until Lopez proves he can handle the bat to the same degree... Randa can get on base just as easily as he can be used for sac flies/bunts in certain game situations. He always has good at bats and can run a pitch count past 5 pitches with consistancy. Nice statistics though Steel, and I can see your point... better than just calling someting anecdotal.

Thanks and I appreciate your attempt at reasoning through it and explaining your perspective. That being said, let me give you another statistic or two...

MLB 2004 Productive Out Leaders:

Randy Winn- 39
Mark Loretta- 35

I'm going to stop there for a reason. Adam Dunn, in 2004, moved as many Runners over one base by not making an Out as Mark Loretta did by making them. And Loretta ranked 2nd in all of MLB.

Those are guys hitting in the same kind of situations you're citing, and Dunn was as likely to move a Runner over via a non-contact non-Out event as they were using a non-hit Out event. And Dunn did it without the risk of a Double Play.

Now, if Joe Randa actually was a .400+ OBP hitter, I'd agree with you in placing him in the 2nd slot in the lineup. Unfortunately, what we're seeing in Randa's current BB rate is unfamiliar pitchers overcompensating for a player who started out red hot in the power department. As he continues to cool, the fear level lessens and the BB rate will drop to his usual levels.


The fact remains that as the lineup stands, the front end is too clogged up and unproductive and we haven't been hitting enough multi-run homers to make a difference. We have however 6-8 close games where in-game management and situational hitting could've made all of the difference...

...let's just rely on the long ball and cross our fingers instead...

Actually, the issue with the front end of the lineup has been lack of performance rather than lack of skill. It's been populated by guys who've been masquerading as Out machines. I agree with you on the in-game management thing. But not the situational hitting. The Reds have given up a ton of Outs really stupidly thus far. Their SB rate is abyssmal. They bunt at the wrong time. Miley doesn't pinch hit the right players, etc. etc.

In my eyes, the biggest problem so far considering the underperforming team is that Miley's been trying to play the smallball "situational" game with players ill-suited for it. The team would be best served if he'd simply stop trying to "manufacture" Runs at this point to allow his players a better opportunity to actually generate them.

SteelSD
05-06-2005, 02:52 PM
No one doubts the value of the walk, however walks are something you can't control from your side... a pitcher can walk you or pitch to you, and a guy like Dunn may walk a ton or strike out a ton... you basically put your strategy in the hands of the opposing team at that point.. you increase the likelihood of a walk by sending Dunn to the plate, but you can't guarantee it... good pitchers exploit his weaknesses on the outside pitch...

Actually, excepting Sac Bunts, I can guarantee that Adam Dunn has a better chance of moving a Runner from 1st to 2nd via a Walk than another hit has of moving the same Runner to 2nd via a groundout. And I know this because, in 2004, Adam Dunn DID move more Runners from 1st to 2nd with Walks than any other hitter did via a groundout.

I'd much rather see a extra-base masher at the plate 5 times per game who can move Runners over with non-Out events, avoid Double Plays, and actually score Runners from 1st instead of throwing a hitter up there who hopes to dink a Runner over to 2nd with a grounder to the right side while hoping it won't turn into a Double Play.

WillPitch4Food
05-06-2005, 02:58 PM
Thanks and I appreciate your attempt at reasoning through it and explaining your perspective. That being said, let me give you another statistic or two...

MLB 2004 Productive Out Leaders:

Randy Winn- 39
Mark Loretta- 35

I'm going to stop there for a reason. Adam Dunn, in 2004, moved as many Runners over one base by not making an Out as Mark Loretta did by making them. And Loretta ranked 2nd in all of MLB.

Those are guys hitting in the same kind of situations you're citing, and Dunn was as likely to move a Runner over via a non-contact non-Out event as they were using a non-hit Out event. And Dunn did it without the risk of a Double Play.


I will concede your point about moving a guy over with a non-hit, non-out event... however if Dunn is in the #2 spot, he may or may not walk as much depending on who you stick behind him, and, of his 40+ home runs he's not likely to do as much damage than hitting HRs in the 3 or 4 spot...



Now, if Joe Randa actually was a .400+ OBP hitter, I'd agree with you in placing him in the 2nd slot in the lineup. Unfortunately, what we're seeing in Randa's current BB rate is unfamiliar pitchers overcompensating for a player who started out red hot in the power department. As he continues to cool, the fear level lessens and the BB rate will drop to his usual levels.


Joe Randa doesn't have to have a .400+ OBP hitter to be effective at moving a guy... he has quality at bats almost every time at the plate... also helps run the pitcher's pitch count up early... I don't think his batting will cool off to the level that he becomes ineffective at this...




Actually, the issue with the front end of the lineup has been lack of performance rather than lack of skill. It's been populated by guys who've been masquerading as Out machines. I agree with you on the in-game management thing. But not the situational hitting. The Reds have given up a ton of Outs really stupidly thus far. Their SB rate is abyssmal. They bunt at the wrong time. Miley doesn't pinch hit the right players, etc. etc.


SB rate attributed to lack of playing time for Freel... lack of skill and being clogged go hand in hand since we aren't getting runners out of DP spots, Casey and crew have been running up the DP count...



In my eyes, the biggest problem so far considering the underperforming team is that Miley's been trying to play the smallball "situational" game with players ill-suited for it. The team would be best served if he'd simply stop trying to "manufacture" Runs at this point to allow his players a better opportunity to actually generate them.

Curious about Miley's small-ball decisions... examples? IMO he hasn't been making decisions period... I think we've been doing the opposite of trying to manufacture runs, we've been hoping Dunn and Pena/Kearns will hit a bomb if we happen to avoid hitting into a double play right in front of them.

Miley has either been frozen by indecision recently or simply ignored common sense in favor of 'by-the-book' management... pitching to Lee and Overbay.. letting Jimenez bat from the left side Tuesday, etc... I'm not saying we ALWAYS have to play small-ball, but I do like to have the option in situations that call for it...

WillPitch4Food
05-06-2005, 03:01 PM
Actually, excepting Sac Bunts, I can guarantee that Adam Dunn has a better chance of moving a Runner from 1st to 2nd via a Walk than another hit has of moving the same Runner to 2nd via a groundout. And I know this because, in 2004, Adam Dunn DID move more Runners from 1st to 2nd with Walks than any other hitter did via a groundout.

I'd much rather see a extra-base masher at the plate 5 times per game who can move Runners over with non-Out events, avoid Double Plays, and actually score Runners from 1st instead of throwing a hitter up there who hopes to dink a Runner over to 2nd with a grounder to the right side while hoping it won't turn into a Double Play.

I believe if you look at Randa's ABs compared to Dunn's walks thus far, they would have performed fairly equally in respect to moving runners had they both batted in the 2 hole, however not having Dunn in the 3 or 4 spot reduces his production potential overall IMO... Randa will walk his share too just because pitchers are usually required to take him full or better in the count based on his show ability thus far to protect...

MWM
05-06-2005, 03:01 PM
If the leadoff hitter gets on, in what ways can he be moved to second base?

One - he can be bunted over. That's not the "moving the runners over" attribute many are espousing. That's a managerial decision.

Two - Get a hit or a walk. Once again, that's not a matter of being a "contact hitter", that's a matter of just being a good hitter. In this case, those who make the fewest outs do best.

Three - A ground out fielder's choice. This seems to be the only thing that folks are arguing when they want a "contact hitter" who "moves runners over." How do these guys move runners over? A fly ball isn't moving a runner over. A hit moves the runner over, but that has nothing to do with contact hitter employing some kind of "moving the runner over" skill. That's just a matter of being able to hit. So it all boils down to ground balls. And if you get a guy who is trying to move runners over by hitting a ground ball to the right side, you're just as likely to GISP as you are to move the runner over.

So when all is said and done, wanting a guy hitting second because he's a contact hitter who moves runners over is likely to give you the very guy who's going to kill just as many rallies that he will move runners who over. It just makes no sense to me without even considering statistics.

The best way to get a runner from first to second is to do something that doesn't yield an out. The only way to get the guy over, outside of managerial decisions, is to do something (ground ball) that's just as likely to result in a double play. I must be missing something becuase I know it's always been conventional wisdom that you want your second hitter to move the runner over, but that makes absolutely no sense when you think of the ways to actually accomplish it.

WillPitch4Food
05-06-2005, 03:10 PM
If the leadoff hitter gets on, in what ways can he be moved to second base?

One - he can be bunted over. That's not the "moving the runners over" attribute many are espousing. That's a managerial decision.

Two - Get a hit or a walk. Once again, that's not a matter of being a "contact hitter", that's a matter of just being a good hitter. In this case, those who make the fewest outs do best.

Three - A ground out fielder's choice. This seems to be the only thing that folks are arguing when they want a "contact hitter" who "moves runners over." How do these guys move runners over? A fly ball isn't moving a runner over. A hit moves the runner over, but that has nothing to do with contact hitter employing some kind of "moving the runner over" skill. That's just a matter of being able to hit. So it all boils down to ground balls. And if you get a guy who is trying to move runners over by hitting a ground ball to the right side, you're just as likely to GISP as you are to move the runner over.

So when all is said and done, wanting a guy hitting second because he's a contact hitter who moves runners over is likely to give you the very guy who's going to kill just as many rallies that he will move runners who over. It just makes no sense to me without even considering statistics.

The best way to get a runner from first to second is to do something that doesn't yield an out. The only way to get the guy over, outside of managerial decisions, is to do something (ground ball) that's just as likely to result in a double play. I must be missing something becuase I know it's always been conventional wisdom that you want your second hitter to move the runner over, but that makes absolutely no sense when you think of the ways to actually accomplish it.

This is a great argument and would completely trump mine if we were talking about sticking Aurilia or Jimenez in the 2 spot... the fact that Randa gets great ABs with high pitch counts, drives the ball well to both fields, and can walk makes him the most flexible at this point... much more flexible than Dunn would be there...

Blimpie
05-06-2005, 03:16 PM
The point is this, just because Hal covers the Reds does not mean that he has greater baseball knowledge than anybody else. The fact that he interacts with the players on a daily basis and knows them makes him more susceptible to bias. He readily admitted that he will dismiss the statistical evidence if it conflicts with his preconceived notions or beliefs about things.Ricardo, I have also exchanged quite a few emails with Hal over the years. For the most part, I agree with you.

Hal is fine comfortable with simply being the Reds "folksy" beat writer. He usually leaves the heavy lifting to Lancaster or Fay. My biggest problem with Hal is that he will communicate to somebody (via email) how he is emminently frustrated with Reds upper management; yet, he seems to give them a pass quite often in his columns. I feel that he does this out of gratititude to the oranization for all that they have done in recent years to accomodate his disability.

Does anyone else still miss Tony Jackson?

johngalt
05-06-2005, 03:17 PM
I'll take my chances with a guy that gets good ABs, will draw some walks, but also drives the ball with consistancy to the gaps... I don't want the basis of my run production to be whether or not the other team feels they should pitch around me... statistically if you analyze the OBP of the leadoff and second batter, the chances that they will both be on at the same time are not that great... you're probably just as likely to get out and not advance or get into a DP (or fielder's choice with a PO at 2nd)... why not get guys moving and give our leadoff a shot at getting into scoring position? And, if leadoff gets out, Randa still has the stick to get on base by his lonesome...

It's not about pitching around you. If a hitter goes up there and has a patient approach instead of trying to just hit one to the right side, that puts more pressure on the pitcher and gives the hitter more options. If a pitcher knows that Joe Randa just wants to hit the ball to the right side, then he can approach things differently than if he knows that Joe Randa is going to try and work the count to get either a walk or hit but put the ball to the right side as a last resort. Big difference.

When it comes down to it, scoring runs wins games. You can't score runs if you make three outs. That means outs are critical. Just giving them away by trying to hit a weak grounder to the second baseman when you can accomplish the same thing by other means is just wasting outs AND hitters.

WillPitch4Food
05-06-2005, 03:21 PM
It's not about pitching around you. If a hitter goes up there and has a patient approach instead of trying to just hit one to the right side, that puts more pressure on the pitcher and gives the hitter more options. If a pitcher knows that Joe Randa just wants to hit the ball to the right side, then he can approach things differently than if he knows that Joe Randa is going to try and work the count to get either a walk or hit but put the ball to the right side as a last resort. Big difference.

When it comes down to it, scoring runs wins games. You can't score runs if you make three outs. That means outs are critical. Just giving them away by trying to hit a weak grounder to the second baseman when you can accomplish the same thing by other means is just wasting outs AND hitters.

Where did we get the idea that I wanted Joe Randa trying to hit the ball on the ground to the right side every AB... I said he gets great ABs, has gap power to both fields, has the ability to draw walks, and if needed can do some situational hitting (sac bunting, hit & run)... In no way would I want Randa up there just trying only to hit the ball behind the runner on first... again back to the comment I've made at least 3-4 times... game situations dictate ABs and I believe the #2 hitter needs to have the flexibility to not only get on base but also move attempt to move a runner over if asked to by the manager... I'm not seeing anyone else on the club right now I trust to do that until Lopez proves he's that type of player...

SteelSD
05-06-2005, 03:22 PM
I will concede your point about moving a guy over with a non-hit, non-out event... however if Dunn is in the #2 spot, he may or may not walk as much depending on who you stick behind him, and, of his 40+ home runs he's not likely to do as much damage than hitting HRs in the 3 or 4 spot...

No one you place behind Adam Dunn will protect Adam Dunn. You can put anyone on the Reds roster behind him and opposing teams will want to pitch to that guy more than they want to throw strikes in Adam Dunn's wheelhouse.


Joe Randa doesn't have to have a .400+ OBP hitter to be effective at moving a guy... he has quality at bats almost every time at the plate... also helps run the pitcher's pitch count up early... I don't think his batting will cool off to the level that he becomes ineffective at this...

Your #2 hitter must possess a high OBP to be truly valuable in that lineup slot. Joe Randa doesn't project to have that regardless of his hot start unless we assume that he's completely re-invented himself (and I don't assume that). Without that, we're back to relying on him to move Runners over with Outs, which we've already established as the less preferable option.


SB rate attributed to lack of playing time for Freel... lack of skill and being clogged go hand in hand since we aren't getting runners out of DP spots, Casey and crew have been running up the DP count...

Casey at the plate creates his own DP opportunities. Why? Because he swings at anything he can hit regardless of whether or not he should be swinging at it. Well, that and he's tremendously slow.


Curious about Miley's small-ball decisions... examples? IMO he hasn't been making decisions period... I think we've been doing the opposite of trying to manufacture runs, we've been hoping Dunn and Pena/Kearns will hit a bomb if we happen to avoid hitting into a double play right in front of them.

A Hit-and-Run (or a Run-and-Hit, whatever you'd like to call it) with Ken Griffey Junior at the plate is a great example. First, the shift places the guy who's going to be covering the bag for a LH hitter (the SS) right next to the bag. Second, Griffey's not a low-K guy so you run a real risk of a strike-em-out throw-em-out DP.

Sending Ryan Freel at a rate that would equate to nearly 100 SB attempts over 600 PA. Settle down, Dave.

Hitting Rich Aurilia anywhere but 8th because he's a "proficient bat handler".

In fact, actually PLAYING Rich Aurilia is...eh...I digress...;)

We can talk about other situational inefficiencies as well. Pinch hitting Joe Randa when down by three with one Out and the bases loaded while your power guy (Pena) sits on the bench is a great example. There's little less nauseating than watching Tony Larussa play your team's manager like a fiddle.


Miley has either been frozen by indecision recently or simply ignored common sense in favor of 'by-the-book' management... pitching to Lee and Overbay.. letting Jimenez bat from the left side Tuesday, etc... I'm not saying we ALWAYS have to play small-ball, but I do like to have the option in situations that call for it...

I'm not anti-small ball when the situation calls for it. The difference is that I feel there are very very few situations that actually DO call for it. And when those situations happen, I have little confidence that Dave Miley won't screw it up. He's a "gut" manager who uses small sample size "matchup" stats as long as it backs up what he already thinks and who continually tries to affect the outcome of ballgames. Maybe we're just looking for different things when we watch the game, I dunno. But I honestly wish that Miley would just freeze himself the vast majority of the time.

MWM
05-06-2005, 03:23 PM
This is a great argument and would completely trump mine if we were talking about sticking Aurilia or Jimenez in the 2 spot... the fact that Randa gets great ABs with high pitch counts, drives the ball well to both fields, and can walk makes him the most flexible at this point... much more flexible than Dunn would be there...

Yes, but that's an argument for him being a good hitter. It's completely different than the "contact hitter who moves runners over" argument.

BTW, Randa has never been someone who walks a lot. And he's always been somewhere in the middle on number of pitches seen. So I'm not sure I agree with those assessments. For the record, I wasn't opposed to the Randa signing. I just think he's more of a 7th hitter than he is 2nd.

MWM
05-06-2005, 03:25 PM
It's not about pitching around you. If a hitter goes up there and has a patient approach instead of trying to just hit one to the right side, that puts more pressure on the pitcher and gives the hitter more options. If a pitcher knows that Joe Randa just wants to hit the ball to the right side, then he can approach things differently than if he knows that Joe Randa is going to try and work the count to get either a walk or hit but put the ball to the right side as a last resort. Big difference.

When it comes down to it, scoring runs wins games. You can't score runs if you make three outs. That means outs are critical. Just giving them away by trying to hit a weak grounder to the second baseman when you can accomplish the same thing by other means is just wasting outs AND hitters.

You're making a lot of great points today. Here's to your inevitable future on the big board. :beerme:

WillPitch4Food
05-06-2005, 03:29 PM
Yes, but that's an argument for him being a good hitter. It's completely different than the "contact hitter who moves runners over" argument.

BTW, Randa has never been someone who walks a lot. And he's always been somewhere in the middle on number of pitches seen. So I'm not sure I agree with those assessments. For the record, I wasn't opposed to the Randa signing. I just think he's more of a 7th hitter than he is 2nd.

I'm not sure I made the original "contact hitter" argument... although I agree with your assessment there....

Being a good hitter is exactly what we need at the #2 spot, yet not just a "good" hitter in the sense that one might consider Griffey a "good" hitter at the 2 spot, but also a flexible hitter... I think Randa has show great plate discipline this year regardless of the argument that he's new to the NL... you're either able to protect the plate or you're not and he's proven that he can... (and by the way I'm basing this off of what I'm seeing from Randa so far this year)

I really haven't heard any arguments as to who else should hit #2 except that maybe Dunn could move over more runners with non-out producing walks... I still think Dunn does more for your team at 3 or 4 than 2, so I guess I'm just waiting for another scenario to emerge... believe me, I don't think that Randa is the end-all #2 hitter in MLB, I'm just saying for what we have he fits the bill IMO...

johngalt
05-06-2005, 03:36 PM
Where did we get the idea that I wanted Joe Randa trying to hit the ball on the ground to the right side every AB... I said he gets great ABs, has gap power to both fields, has the ability to draw walks, and if needed can do some situational hitting (sac bunting, hit & run)... In no way would I want Randa up there just trying only to hit the ball behind the runner on first... again back to the comment I've made at least 3-4 times... game situations dictate ABs and I believe the #2 hitter needs to have the flexibility to not only get on base but also move attempt to move a runner over if asked to by the manager... I'm not seeing anyone else on the club right now I trust to do that until Lopez proves he's that type of player...

I'm not saying every at-bat. I'm saying ANY at-bat.

If there's a guy on first with nobody out in the eighth inning of a tie game, I'm guessing that you're looking for Randa to move the guy over. That you would be happy with a ground ball that gets a runner in scoring position. Is that true or no?

For me, I would rather have Randa go up there looking to get a hit or draw a walk and not make an out. That's what I'm looking for, because outs only get you closer to grabbing your gloves.

johngalt
05-06-2005, 03:37 PM
You're making a lot of great points today. Here's to your inevitable future on the big board. :beerme:

It must be a case of the Fridays.

WillPitch4Food
05-06-2005, 03:45 PM
For me, I would rather have Randa go up there looking to get a hit or draw a walk and not make an out. That's what I'm looking for, because outs only get you closer to grabbing your gloves.

I guess we just disagree baseball philosophy-wise there... he's only likely to get on base less than 34% of the time there (career .342 OBP), so in that situation I bunt and move the guy over and let my 3 and 4 batter earn their pay with a guy on 2nd... Griffey isn't going to make that bunt for you, neither will Dunn...

MWM
05-06-2005, 03:53 PM
I guess we just disagree baseball philosophy-wise there... he's only likely to get on base less than 34% of the time there (career .342 OBP), so in that situation I bunt and move the guy over and let my 3 and 4 batter earn their pay with a guy on 2nd... Griffey isn't going to make that bunt for you, neither will Dunn...

So you think he'll actually move a runner to second with that out without hitting into a DP more than 34% of the time?

WillPitch4Food
05-06-2005, 03:58 PM
So you think he'll actually move a runner to second with that out without hitting into a DP more than 34% of the time?

I think more often than not a sac bunt doesn't result in a DP... let's be real about that at least... will the runner get thrown out at second some of the time.. true... but at least Randa can bunt... like I said with Griffey or Dunn (OBP .377 and .383 respectively) not only are you much less than a coin flip to get on base, you have taken away your sac bunt option effectively and still can't guarantee they won't hit into a DP... so I see no improvement there...

johngalt
05-06-2005, 04:01 PM
I guess we just disagree baseball philosophy-wise there... he's only likely to get on base less than 34% of the time there (career .342 OBP), so in that situation I bunt and move the guy over and let my 3 and 4 batter earn their pay with a guy on 2nd... Griffey isn't going to make that bunt for you, neither will Dunn...

But why not just let him hit?

If he hits regularly, he has a 34% chance of not making an out, which moves the runner over. Also, you still have the opportunity for one of your "productive outs" to move a runner over.

If you bunt, you first have to execute a good bunt and then if you do, there's about a 95% chance you make an out while advancing the runner.

IslandRed
05-06-2005, 04:09 PM
Actually... Baseball Prospectus' Nate Silver did an article just a couple of days ago, trying to quantify when one-run strategies did and didn't make sense. He called it the ORVY (One Run Marginal Yield) factor -- the relative importance of one run versus any runs that follow in that half-inning.

The single most valuable ORVY situation is, obviously, tie game, bottom of the ninth. The one run wins the game, so it trumps everything. But next to that, bottom of the eighth in a tie game is the situation where the single run is the most valuable relative to runs that follow. So bunting over the runner and playing for a single run there makes sense. Except that it means Graves comes in and... sorry, wrong discussion.

But again, in only a handful of occasions each year will things work out that neatly (one-run situation, eighth or ninth, leadoff hitter leading off). It's probably not that productive to put a prototypical #2 hitter in the #2 hole unless he's also one of your best hitters anyway.

WillPitch4Food
05-06-2005, 04:10 PM
But why not just let him hit?

If he hits regularly, he has a 34% chance of not making an out, which moves the runner over. Also, you still have the opportunity for one of your "productive outs" to move a runner over.

If you bunt, you first have to execute a good bunt and then if you do, there's about a 95% chance you make an out while advancing the runner.

If a manager made the decision to let the batter swing away, I would not be upset (talking Randa hitting, not Jimenez/Aurilia/Casey), although you automatically bring the DP into play with the other 66% of your "out" plays and can effectively kill the inning...

You don't have to make an outstanding bunt to move the runner over, just one that isn't right at the pitcher (or catcher in the form of a popup)... You're not going to hit a rally killing DP from a bunt perspective maybe 1-2 times in a season if that... in the case that you make a bunt where the runner gets thrown out at second, you've still achieved the result you will achieve 66% of the time swinging away without hitting into a DP... then your 3 and 4 still have a shot with a man on base at least... my entire argument is based on the fact that I prefer the flexibility of choice where I have a good chance at getting a runner into scoring position as opposed to just getting up there to swing away always giving myself a 34% chance of success maximum... your chances of moving a runner into position regardless of whether or not you get an out is better with flexible batter than a batter cut from the Griffey/Dunn mold... and if your 3 & 4 can't get a guy in on second with 2 outs instead of 3 you have other problems...

WillPitch4Food
05-06-2005, 04:16 PM
So bunting over the runner and playing for a single run there makes sense. Except that it means Graves comes in and... sorry, wrong discussion.

Can't argue with that :)...



But again, in only a handful of occasions each year will things work out that neatly (one-run situation, eighth or ninth, leadoff hitter leading off). It's probably not that productive to put a prototypical #2 hitter in the #2 hole unless he's also one of your best hitters anyway.
True, although some managers would prescribe to the theory that if you get down 3 or 4 early, you have time to get runs 1 at a time if necessary. I'm not totally discounting the theory that runs in bunches is valid... our discussion is whether or not Randa is the best #2 on this team... I've stated in my argument that he can give you the situational options in the game you described, but is also a good enough batter to hold his own in non-situational hitting... the fact that he's got good power to both fields would lead me to believe that... Griffey/Dunn don't offer that same flexibility.. if you DO get to that 8th or 9th inning in that situation you've got the cuffs on playing the probability of 34% +/- that they will get the job done...

Great research tho... I can't look up everything I want to... boss lurks close by at all times :)

Caveat Emperor
05-06-2005, 04:59 PM
If a manager made the decision to let the batter swing away, I would not be upset (talking Randa hitting, not Jimenez/Aurilia/Casey), although you automatically bring the DP into play with the other 66% of your "out" plays and can effectively kill the inning...

You don't have to make an outstanding bunt to move the runner over, just one that isn't right at the pitcher (or catcher in the form of a popup)... You're not going to hit a rally killing DP from a bunt perspective maybe 1-2 times in a season if that... in the case that you make a bunt where the runner gets thrown out at second, you've still achieved the result you will achieve 66% of the time swinging away without hitting into a DP... then your 3 and 4 still have a shot with a man on base at least... my entire argument is based on the fact that I prefer the flexibility of choice where I have a good chance at getting a runner into scoring position as opposed to just getting up there to swing away always giving myself a 34% chance of success maximum... your chances of moving a runner into position regardless of whether or not you get an out is better with flexible batter than a batter cut from the Griffey/Dunn mold... and if your 3 & 4 can't get a guy in on second with 2 outs instead of 3 you have other problems...

If the entire goal of your scheme is to at least ensure that the double play ball isn't hit, then why isn't Adam Dunn the perfect #2 hitter for your lineup? Odds are pretty good that he's either going to fly out or strike out if he makes an out, leaving you with the situation you want: a chance for the #3 and #4 hitters to do business with a man on base. That's also to say nothing of his ability to mash one out of the park or talk a walk and push a runner into scoring position that way.

I think people think about these things way too much. The idea of any baseball game is to score more runs than the other guy. If that's the goal, then put your best players at the front of the lineup and force the opposing pitcher to pitch to your best his first inning up. Anecdotally, it always seems like the best pitchers have trouble early (if they have trouble) before settling down. Why wouldn't you want Adam Dunn, Wily Mo Pena, and Ken Griffey Jr up as soon as possible? I'm completely in favor of putting a pitcher's feet immediately to the fire.

WillPitch4Food
05-06-2005, 05:02 PM
If the entire goal of your scheme is to at least ensure that the double play ball isn't hit, then why isn't Adam Dunn the perfect #2 hitter for your lineup? Odds are pretty good that he's either going to fly out or strike out if he makes an out, leaving you with the situation you want: a chance for the #3 and #4 hitters to do business with a man on base.

I think people think about these things way too much. The idea of any baseball game is to score more runs than the other guy. If that's the goal, then put your best players at the front of the lineup and force the opposing pitcher to pitch to your best his first inning up. Anecdotally, it always seems like the best pitchers have trouble early (if they have trouble) before settling down. Why wouldn't you want Adam Dunn, Wily Mo Pena, and Ken Griffey Jr up as soon as possible?

I do want Dunn up early, but in the 3 or 4 spot... as for your argument, you have a good point about Dunn avoiding the DP, however if he's only going to get a hit 34% and won't sac bunt, you've limited your options in getting the guy over with that out (which will occur the other 66% of the time)... with a flexible #2 you have the option to sac bunt as a part of that other 66% of the outs you will get however your chances of the runner advancing are much better....

SteelSD
05-06-2005, 05:14 PM
True, although some managers would prescribe to the theory that if you get down 3 or 4 early, you have time to get runs 1 at a time if necessary.

And that's all well and good if you're trying to get them back one at a time by having a truly horrible hitter (also known as your Pitcher) bunt a runner over. Ok. Fine.

But when you're down 3 or 4 Runs, Outs are much MUCH more valuable than bases. Trying to chip away a Run at a time in that scenario is a great way to lose a game by a Run or two. I can't think of a single manager who, if asked "Would you rather have 24 or 27 Outs in a ballgame?", would choose to have fewer. But, many managers put themselves in that exact situation. Sillyness.


I'm not totally discounting the theory that runs in bunches is valid... our discussion is whether or not Randa is the best #2 on this team... I've stated in my argument that he can give you the situational options in the game you described, but is also a good enough batter to hold his own in non-situational hitting... the fact that he's got good power to both fields would lead me to believe that... Griffey/Dunn don't offer that same flexibility.. if you DO get to that 8th or 9th inning in that situation you've got the cuffs on playing the probability of 34% +/- that they will get the job done...

There's your paradox. If a hitter is good enough to hit that high in the order, why ask him to make Outs? Secondly, if Kearns is on first and Dunn walks to the plate, why do we care if Dunn is a great bunter if you can just lift him for a guy who can bunt well...if that's what you REALLY want to do?

The truth is that you're not going to lift an Adam Dunn for a pinch hit bunter with a Runner on first and a tie ballgame in the 9th Inning. Why? Because Dunn's additional power potential partially (or wholly) negates the value in moving that Runner to 2nd via making an Out.

When faced with a performance-trump card, the "flexibility" argument is really a non-starter.

It just makes little sense to put a worse option at the top of the order simply because he can bunt while allowing him to gain more PA than a more productive teammate over time. That philosophy actually ignores the concept that you wouldn't need a Joe Randa to bunt if you'd have had a more productive hitter up more often early-game.

That's the thing with situations- they pop up and we think they're completely independent of what happened before. Well, they're not. The best way to cause yourself to need that bunt late-game is to waste Outs early game and hand more PA to less productive hitters.

Personally, I think- at this point- the discussion hinges on whether or not you feel that the Joe Randa you're seeing is THE Joe Randa. He is Joe Randa, but he's not THAT Joe Randa.

WillPitch4Food
05-06-2005, 05:48 PM
Good argument... you make compelling arguments and I will attempt a defense...


And that's all well and good if you're trying to get them back one at a time by having a truly horrible hitter (also known as your Pitcher) bunt a runner over. Ok. Fine.

Once again read where I said SOME managers... and I'd rather have that option if I thought I could go that route...



But when you're down 3 or 4 Runs, Outs are much MUCH more valuable than bases. Trying to chip away a Run at a time in that scenario is a great way to lose a game by a Run or two. I can't think of a single manager who, if asked "Would you rather have 24 or 27 Outs in a ballgame?", would choose to have fewer. But, many managers put themselves in that exact situation. Sillyness.

Guess what? With the lineup we've put out there now we have been down 3 or 4 and our current philosophy is obviously not working, trading an out for a run will make sense if it is still early in the game... mid to late game down 3 to 4, your outlook changes... situations..



There's your paradox. If a hitter is good enough to hit that high in the order, why ask him to make Outs? Secondly, if Kearns is on first and Dunn walks to the plate, why do we care if Dunn is a great bunter if you can just lift him for a guy who can bunt well...if that's what you REALLY want to do?

We're still talking about the #2 guy in the order here, and to my knowledge Kearns doesn't lead off... in the same situation later in the game, my management decisions would change with the personnel coming to bat... with Kearns on Dunn probably bats unless he has a terrible pitching matchup...



The truth is that you're not going to lift an Adam Dunn for a pinch hit bunter with a Runner on first and a tie ballgame in the 9th Inning. Why? Because Dunn's additional power potential partially (or wholly) negates the value in moving that Runner to 2nd via making an Out.

I'd probably let him swing the bat here, assuming we're still talking there are no outs and Dunn is the 4 or 5 hitter... once again you make decisions based on who you have coming up in the lineup... my argument for a #2 guy still remains solid as I still say his main job is to get the leadoff guy into scoring position in any way possible... late in the game especially...


When faced with a performance-trump card, the "flexibility" argument is really a non-starter.

I would venture to say that any manager in the majors would probably not put their best power hitter in the #2 hole, rather someone who is a versitile hitter... so let's not say it's a non-starter...



It just makes little sense to put a worse option at the top of the order simply because he can bunt while allowing him to gain more PA than a more productive teammate over time. That philosophy actually ignores the concept that you wouldn't need a Joe Randa to bunt if you'd have had a more productive hitter up more often early-game.

I hardly think Randa is a "worse" option than the way we are structured now... I'd much rather see it be #2 Randa, #3 Griffey than #2 Griffey, #3 Casey... I believe Randa to be more productive there...


That's the thing with situations- they pop up and we think they're completely independent of what happened before. Well, they're not. The best way to cause yourself to need that bunt late-game is to waste Outs early game and hand more PA to less productive hitters.
Randa is hardly a wasted out at #2.. his career numbers .342 OBP, .425 SLG, .286 AVG are fine for a #2 especially with the options you have with him batting there.. Dunn and Griffey still get as many ABs at 3 & 4 while giving Casey less ABs until he can unhook the trailer and stop hitting into DPs...



Personally, I think- at this point- the discussion hinges on whether or not you feel that the Joe Randa you're seeing is THE Joe Randa. He is Joe Randa, but he's not THAT Joe Randa.
His numbers at this point are only slightly better than his career average:

OBP SLG AVG
2005 .400 .484 .286
Career .342 .425 .286

and you can tell by watching him bat that he has good plate coverage/protection and a good eye...

Compare this to Dunn's career averages:

OBP SLG AVG
.383 .520 .250

... you get marginal improvement in the situations we're discussing, less versatility, and less chances to drive in multiple runs... you up your chances to hit a long ball with Dunn but you also up your strikeout chances.. only 4% chance he'll get on base more often than Randa anyway..

For the team we have, Randa is my guy at #2 until Lopez can take the spot from him... and I'd do it like this:

Freel
Randa
Dunn
Pena
Griffey
Casey
Aurilia/Lopez
LaRue

If Lopez continues improving, I'd swap him and Randa in that lineup...

Golgafrinchan
05-06-2005, 06:14 PM
Guess what? With the lineup we've put out there now we have been down 3 or 4 and our current philosophy is obviously not working, trading an out for a run will make sense if it is still early in the game... mid to late game down 3 to 4, your outlook changes... situations..
With the Reds pitching staff the way it is, it seems to me that the Reds should play for a big inning EVERY inning until the 9th when they're tied or down by 1. If I ever see Joe Randa laying down a bunt or hear about him trying to "move the runner over" early in the game, I'm going to be pissed off. The Reds should trust their pitchers to hold a 1 or 2 run lead in the early innings.


Randa is hardly a wasted out at #2.. his career numbers .342 OBP, .425 SLG, .286 AVG are fine for a #2 especially with the options you have with him batting there.. Dunn and Griffey still get as many ABs at 3 & 4 while giving Casey less ABs until he can unhook the trailer and stop hitting into DPs...

His numbers at this point are only slightly better than his career average:

OBP SLG AVG
2005 .400 .484 .286
Career .342 .425 .286
This is only slightly better than his career average? Nearly 60 points of both OBP and SLG? I sincerely hope you aren't trolling here.

---

Incidentally, someone else brought up the idea of replacing Valentin with Sardinha. Not a good idea. Valentin isn't exactly the best catcher around, but these stats should tell you all you need to know:
Valentin's career Major League OPS: .643
Sardinha's career Minor League OPS: .623

Edit: Grammar error.

WillPitch4Food
05-06-2005, 06:22 PM
With the Reds pitching staff the way it is, it seems to me that the Reds should play for a big inning EVERY inning until the 9th when they're tied or down by 1. If I ever see Joe Randa laying down a bunt or hear about him trying to "move the runner over" early in the game, I'm going to be pissed off. The Reds should trust their pitchers to hold a 1 or 2 run lead in the early innings.

Well, I think we agree here to a point as most of my argument has had the caveat that situations dictate managerial decisions and I wanted a #2 guy that was "versitile" enough to give me those options... Early in the game I wouldn't bunt Randa unless I thought it a surprise move (other team was asleep), but I might hit and run... however later in the game 8th/9th if the top of the lineup rolls around I've got options...

And saying we should trust our pitchers to hold a 1 or 2 run lead is as comical as saying Russia should've trusted Hitler when he said he wouldn't attack them... with our staff... seriously think about that...


This is only slightly better than average? Nearly 60 points of both OBP and SLG is slightly better than average? I sincerely hope you aren't trolling here.

60 points equates to 6% which isn't compelling enough for me to say he's overachieving to an unbelievable degree... and no I'm not trolling..

Edit: basically I'm saying that if you tell me I have a 34% chance or 40% chance... I'm still less than a coin-toss.. not overwhelmingly less of a favorite...

Good point about Sardinha however...

ochre
05-06-2005, 06:25 PM
60 points of OBP is significant.

WillPitch4Food
05-06-2005, 06:26 PM
60 points of OBP is significant.
Not if you plan to sacrifice the guy in certain situations anyway... and if you look at his numbers year by year they have fluctuated from time to time... if you catch him in a year with an OBP of .400, all the more reason to stick him in at #2... so you kind of helped me out there anyway...


Edit: Time to get out of here (work)... great discussion guys and some great points made that I hadn't thought of... hope we beat the Dodgers tonight! (With Randa batting #2 of course :evil: )

ochre
05-06-2005, 06:43 PM
most likely his obp is artificially high so far this year because teams were pitching around him when he was the only one that was hitting (10 of 17 walks were with runners in scoring position). Now that he isn't hitting quite so well lets see how many walks he gets in the next couple of weeks. Four game walkless streak to open up May.

My point was, unless he can maintain the 60 point improvement, or at least keep it above .360 or so, there is no reason to have him in the top 5 of the lineup.

Golgafrinchan
05-06-2005, 07:04 PM
And saying we should trust our pitchers to hold a 1 or 2 run lead is as comical as saying Russia should've trusted Hitler when he said he wouldn't attack them... with our staff... seriously think about that...
D'oh! Obviously it should have said that the Reds should NOT trust their pitchers to hold a 1 or 2 run lead. Saying they should contradicted my whole argument about playing for the big inning -all the time-. Sorry about that.

Golgafrinchan
05-06-2005, 07:23 PM
60 points equates to 6% which isn't compelling enough for me to say he's overachieving to an unbelievable degree.
I have 11,513 player-years since 1900 where a player received over 300 at bats in 2 consecutive seasons.

A player improved his OBA by .06 or more in 443 of those seasons, which is about 3.8%.

So if we assume that Joe Randa 2005 represents an "average" member of this group of 443 player-seasons, we should expect his OBA to jump by that much with 3.8% probability.

In other words, whiel it's possible that this improvement is for real, it's not very likely: a 1 in 25 chance.

If anyone's really interested, I can try getting more info from the data. For example, I'd expect that a lot of the guys who experienced a big OBA jump were age 25-28, not 35 like Randa.

ochre
05-06-2005, 07:26 PM
You'd also need to verify the improved players batting averages for those years. They could just have had "lucky" career high BA years that caused their OBP to spike. Joe's is all in the "non-hit" events as his BA is in line with his career norms.

SteelSD
05-06-2005, 07:29 PM
Good argument... you make compelling arguments and I will attempt a defense...

I appreciate the well thought out posts, even if we disagree.


Once again read where I said SOME managers... and I'd rather have that option if I thought I could go that route...

Basically, you're saying that some managers are not very smart. I completely agree.


Guess what? With the lineup we've put out there now we have been down 3 or 4 and our current philosophy is obviously not working, trading an out for a run will make sense if it is still early in the game... mid to late game down 3 to 4, your outlook changes... situations..

Wasting Outs in Inning one is no smarter than wasting Outs in Inning four or Inning five.

And you're right that the lineup isn't clicking right now? Why? Because the hitters who have been populating the top three slots in the order have been making too many Outs. You're saying that part of a #2 hitter's job is to make Outs. But that's in direct conflict with why the team isn't doing very well right now.


We're still talking about the #2 guy in the order here, and to my knowledge Kearns doesn't lead off... in the same situation later in the game, my management decisions would change with the personnel coming to bat... with Kearns on Dunn probably bats unless he has a terrible pitching matchup...

Then replace "Kearns" with "Freel" and you'll get the same answer from me- Dunn hits away. Your position has been that Randa is a better choice for a #2 hitter, in part, because of his ability to bunt versus Dunn. But you don't bunt with an Adam Dunn at the plate anyway, which negates any possible advantage you'd have by placing Randa there instead of Dunn.

Simply put, if you're not going to ask a hitter to bunt anyway, what possible reason would there be to downgrade him as an option because he doesn't bunt well?


I'd probably let him swing the bat here, assuming we're still talking there are no outs and Dunn is the 4 or 5 hitter... once again you make decisions based on who you have coming up in the lineup... my argument for a #2 guy still remains solid as I still say his main job is to get the leadoff guy into scoring position in any way possible... late in the game especially...

And yet, any potential advantage gained by bunting a hitter to 2nd with your #2 hitter is negated by the fact that a masher like Dunn has a much better chance of 1) Advancing him without making an Out and 2) Plating him from first base. Furthermore, you gain no advantage from allowing a worse hitter to chew up Plate Appearances in the early game versus giving more PA to a better hitter- thus maximizing your potential to avoid a late-game scenario where a bunt would come into play.


I would venture to say that any manager in the majors would probably not put their best power hitter in the #2 hole, rather someone who is a versitile hitter... so let's not say it's a non-starter...

In 2003, Jim Edmonds spent over a quarter of his AB in the #2 slot in the lineup. Carlos Beltran spent the majority of 2004 there.


I hardly think Randa is a "worse" option than the way we are structured now... I'd much rather see it be #2 Randa, #3 Griffey than #2 Griffey, #3 Casey... I believe Randa to be more productive there...

I don't want Griffey there either. That was a dumb thing to do. But there are a couple better options than Joe Randa.


Randa is hardly a wasted out at #2.. his career numbers .342 OBP, .425 SLG, .286 AVG are fine for a #2 especially with the options you have with him batting there.. Dunn and Griffey still get as many ABs at 3 & 4 while giving Casey less ABs until he can unhook the trailer and stop hitting into DPs...

A .342 OBP is not good enough to place that high in the batting order.


His numbers at this point are only slightly better than his career average:

OBP SLG AVG
2005 .400 .484 .286
Career .342 .425 .286

and you can tell by watching him bat that he has good plate coverage/protection and a good eye...

Those 2005 numbers are two standard deviations better than his career numbers. That's not "slightly" better. That's blown away out of this world better. It's the difference between a mediocre offensive player and an All-Star offensive third baseman.

And they won't continue because Joe Randa is not that player. And the player he is isn't suited to hit that high in the lineup because he makes too many Outs.

[/QUOTE]Compare this to Dunn's career averages:

OBP SLG AVG
.383 .520 .250

... you get marginal improvement in the situations we're discussing, less versatility, and less chances to drive in multiple runs... you up your chances to hit a long ball with Dunn but you also up your strikeout chances.. only 4% chance he'll get on base more often than Randa anyway..[/QUOTE]

Dunn's on the way up. He's a .400+ OBP monster waiting to happen. In fact, he'll hit the .450+ OBP level at least a couple times before it's all over. The difference between a .340 OBP and a .400 OBP is really substantial.


For the team we have, Randa is my guy at #2 until Lopez can take the spot from him... and I'd do it like this:

Freel
Randa
Dunn
Pena
Griffey
Casey
Aurilia/Lopez
LaRue

If Lopez continues improving, I'd swap him and Randa in that lineup...

That's not the worst lineup possible. But it's not the optimal lineup either. Especially when you can't pitch, you need lineup optimalization.

Golgafrinchan
05-06-2005, 07:47 PM
You'd also need to verify the improved players batting averages for those years. They could just have had "lucky" career high BA years that caused their OBP to spike. Joe's is all in the "non-hit" events as his BA is in line with his career norms.
Good call.

I redid the analysis using (OBA-AVG) rather than straight OBA.

Randa's OBA-AVG in 2004 is, interestingly enough, the same as his career OBA-AVG: .056.

So far in 2005, it's .114.

.114-.056 = .058.

So, out of the 11513 player-seasons, only 25 times did a player's OBA-AVG increase by .058 or more. That's 0.2%.

That is, based on historical data there's a 1-in-500 chance that Randa would improve his ability to get on base by that much.

I think I'll take my chances with history and guess that Randa is a 12.6 AB/BB guy, and not a 6.1 AB/BB guy like he has been so far this year.

This isn't for real. Keep him at #6.

M2
05-06-2005, 07:58 PM
IMO the #2 spot has changed, even if much of baseball hasn't gotten the message. Ryne Sandberg, Roberto Alomar and Barry Larkin led the charge in redefining it. When Mike Devereaux collected 24 HR and 107 RBI from the #2 slot in 1992 (when 24/107 meant something) it was a shot across the bow. Power can play higher in the lineup.

Carlos Beltran put on a clinic for what you can get from the #2 slot last season. Bob Abreu, though he rarely hits second, might be the ideal #2 hitter. Melvin Mora, Larry Walker, J.D. Drew and Lance Berkman are others I'd point to as prototype #2 hitters. Adam Dunn's another. Not only does hitting him higher buy him 54 extra plate appearances compared to the #5 slot where Miley's buried him, but it puts the guy who is unquestionably the best OB guy on the team in a position to get on base in front of other competent hitters.

Sean Casey has 103 ABs this season, 46 with runners on base (45%). Rich Aurilia has 81 ABs this season, 44 with runners on base (54%). Aurilia actually leads the team in ABs with runners in scoring position. That is wholly because of his proximity in the lineup to Adam Dunn. The Reds have funneled their lineup into the worst hitter on the team. Move Dunn up higher and you'll give quality chances to some quality bats.

johngalt
05-06-2005, 10:05 PM
Aurilia actually leads the team in ABs with runners in scoring position. That is wholly because of his proximity in the lineup to Adam Dunn. The Reds have funneled their lineup into the worst hitter on the team. Move Dunn up higher and you'll give quality chances to some quality bats.

This is exactly the point that Miley and DOB are missing. They talk about striking out in key situations and/or not getting hits in those situations destroys rallies. That's because they've assembled the lineup in a way that makes that the ultimate result.

Adam Dunn serves two main purposes: getting on base and hitting home runs. The latter is good at any spot in the lineup. But the former is only good if you have competent hitters coming up behind him. They have placed Dunn in the lineup in the exact spot where his talents mean the least.

RedsBaron
05-06-2005, 11:04 PM
This is exactly the point that Miley and DOB are missing.
M2 and you are of course exactly right. The utter failure of Miley and DanO to understand this relatively simple concept is an argument for their dismissals.

4256 Hits
05-06-2005, 11:35 PM
Sean Casey has 103 ABs this season, 46 with runners on base (45%). Rich Aurilia has 81 ABs this season, 44 with runners on base (54%). Aurilia actually leads the team in ABs with runners in scoring position. That is wholly because of his proximity in the lineup to Adam Dunn. The Reds have funneled their lineup into the worst hitter on the team. Move Dunn up higher and you'll give quality chances to some quality bats.

Exactly! This is why I think that setting a line-up along with making pitching changes are by far the two most important thing a manager does.

WillPitch4Food
05-07-2005, 04:08 PM
Wrong.. the #1 hitter's job is to get on base... #2 is to get the #1 over or in... this can be in the form of hit and run or in sac bunts depending on tje game situation... getting on base for him is important, but not to the degree of the #1 of course. The hit and run accomplishes both, which I think Randa would excel at incredibly. The #3 guy then gets to worry about driving one or both of them in.

Nice to lose rep points on something borne out in the game (Sat) today proving my point... big 6th inning jump-started by Freel getting Jimenez into scoring position letting the 3rd batter drive him in.... Granted Randa wasn't the batter...

westofyou
05-07-2005, 04:17 PM
Well I hardly think it "proves" your point. But I also don't think you did anything other than debate your point well.

WillPitch4Food
05-07-2005, 04:18 PM
For anyone who wasn't listening... McCoy was on with Marty Saturday and explained the original article posted here, which Marty agreed with... and apparently McCoy sees the game fine contrary to what was posted here Friday, at least that's what he said on the air... He even commented on a purple shirt Marty wore recently... I don't know how they keep their jobs... they don't know what they're talking about... ;)

WillPitch4Food
05-07-2005, 04:21 PM
Well I hardly think it "proves" your point. But I also don't think you did anything other than debate your point well.

I think it at least supports it.. no? The scoring began when Freel moved Jimenez over to second by hitting to the right side, then Casey doubles to start the scoring and they were ahead before the Kearns longball... proving that in certain situations, giving up an out isn't a tragedy as it seems has been suggested in this thread...

WillPitch4Food
05-07-2005, 04:24 PM
Overall, I think both sides have proven (at least in Saturday's game) that both philosophies can be used to score runs... we got 4 without the longball and scored 4 (through the 7th) without "sacrificing outs"...

I will rest with that and get into another thread :) ... I do appreciate the discussion and the statistics provided by various posters... I don't think either side will budge from here out anyway :)