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flyer85
03-02-2006, 02:00 PM
good article over at THT.

http://www.hardballtimes.com/main/article/constructing-lineups/


Perhaps the most important thing The Book tells us is that we should put our stereotypes of leadoff and #2 hitters aside.

First, the guys in the first two slots bat most often during the year; why waste those appearances on below-average hitters, or even average ones?

Secondly, The Book's key analysis was an assessment of the potential run value of each batting event in a lineup. They found that hits by the leadoff and second batters will typically generate more runs than hits from any other lineup position (other than cleanup). Hard to believe? I think most fans underappreciate the importance of power in these first two positions. These guys are only guaranteed to start an inning once, the first inning. Many other times, particularly in the American League, they will bat with runners on base.

In a nutshell, the first two positions bat most often and their hits create more runs than those in most other positions. This is why The Book recommends that you place two of your three best hitters in the first two lineup positions.

I can't wait for Lopez and Woemack in the 1-2 spots in the lineup.

KronoRed
03-02-2006, 02:04 PM
You mean Womack and Aurilia ;)

LincolnparkRed
03-02-2006, 02:15 PM
You mean Womack and Aurilia ;)
Hey they play the game the right way and they are both scrappy, what more do you need.

RedsBaron
03-02-2006, 02:33 PM
I had just read the article, and its referenced articles in turn, on THT before I saw this thread.
Years ago I read an article by Bill James where he concluded that a lineup doesn not greatly affect the number of runs a team scores over a season, but still every run could help.
If you accept the validity of the studies cited in THT, what then should the Reds lineup be?
Without doing a lot of research, I come up with:
Lopez .352 OBP/.486 SPCT (2005 stats)
Dunn .387/.540
Kearns .333/.452
Griffey .369/.576
Pena .304/.492
LaRue .355/.452
Encarnacion .308/.436
Pitcher (if you really buy the article's arguments)
Freel .371/.371
In the real world, a manager would probably never be able to take the grief, both from his players and from fans/media, in batting the pitcher 8th consistently, but Freel would really fit as the prototype "second leadoff hitter" in the 9th slot.
Dunn is the best hitter on the team, so he should bat either 2nd or 4th, and Griffey should take the slot Dunn doesn't. Since Dunn has the higher OBP, I have him 2nd. In the real world, Griffey might not accept batting anywhere but 3rd.
Kearns in the 3rd slot is based partly upon the hope that he regains his form, but also upon the idea that the 3rd slot isn't as important as 2nd or 4th, plus it breaks up the lefty swinging Dunn and Griffey with a right handed hitter.
Lopez leads off, being probably the second or third best hitter on the team, plus he has decent speed.
Pena bats 5th-great power, no discipline as a hitter.

RedsManRick
03-02-2006, 03:52 PM
I read that article earlier this morning and came up the exact same lineup with Baron. I think it makes a lot of sense for a number of reasons. Plus, it splits our lefties, "protects" Kearns, and if Womack does find his way in to the lineup, he's batting 9th...

One of the arguments I like about the pitcher 8th is that by the time the end of the game comes around and the number of at bat arguments surfaces, you're going to be pinch hitting for the pitcher anyways. I'm willing to bet that the average pinch hitter is actually better than the guy who typically bats 8th (or 9th in this construction).

Far East
03-02-2006, 10:57 PM
...
Lopez .352 OBP/.486 SPCT (2005 stats)
Dunn .387/.540
Kearns .333/.452
Griffey .369/.576
Pena .304/.492
LaRue .355/.452
Encarnacion .308/.436
Pitcher (if you really buy the article's arguments)
Freel .371/.371

Where would they bat a guy with a .338 OBP and a SLG of .444 in 2005?
Compare his numbers with the stats in the above lineup before you try to identify him.

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If we are discounting the stolen base -- from the likes of Freel, for example -- and putting more of a premium on slugging, then Aurilia's .338 and .444 stand up well against Freel, E.E., and even Kearns' numbers -- if we're going by '05.

RedsIn07
03-02-2006, 11:17 PM
Where would they bat a guy with a .338 OBP and a SLG of .444 in 2005?
Compare his numbers with the stats in the above lineup before you try to identify him.

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If we are discounting the stolen base -- from the likes of Freel, for example -- and putting more of a premium on slugging, then Aurilia's .338 and .444 stand up well against Freel, E.E., and even Kearns' numbers -- if we're going by '05.
Freel compensates for his lack of power with MUCH better OBP skills than Aurillia. IIRC someone here stated that about every 3 slugging points is equal to 1 OBP point.

Far East
03-02-2006, 11:56 PM
Freel compensates for his lack of power with MUCH better OBP skills than Aurillia. IIRC someone here stated that about every 3 slugging points is equal to 1 OBP point.

For every 100 AB Freel is on base just over 37 times, whereas Aurilia is on base just under 34 times. Is that "MUCH" better?

On the other hand, now that I think about it in terms of 100 AB, in 100 AB Aurilia is only getting about 44 total bases to Freel's 37, so they might not be significantly different from each other in that respect either.

Likewise, I think the two nearly cancel each other out as to defense and versitality, considering that Freel can't play SS, and Aurilia can't play CF.

The obvious tangible differences have to be age, foot speed, and potential for improvement -- all in Freel's favor.

RedsManRick
03-03-2006, 12:31 AM
The advantage is that Ryan Freel can pinch run for somebody in the 7th inning and use his speed on the basepaths where somebody else might not have. Aurilia doesn't really add anything of value off the bench that's not already in the starting lineup.

gonelong
03-03-2006, 01:17 AM
For every 100 AB Freel is on base just over 37 times, whereas Aurilia is on base just under 34 times. Is that "MUCH" better?


Well, that is roughly 25 extra outs a year. That is 25 Plate Appearances that go to the next batter who has a chance to do something with them. Nine or so of those ABs go to the next batter. Three of those or so go to the next batter, and one of those to the next. That is 38 extra attempts, all with at least one man on base. I'd say that is pretty significant.

GL

SteelSD
03-03-2006, 05:22 AM
Well, that is roughly 25 extra outs a year. That is 25 Plate Appearances that go to the next batter who has a chance to do something with them. Nine or so of those ABs go to the next batter. Three of those or so go to the next batter, and one of those to the next. That is 38 extra attempts, all with at least one man on base. I'd say that is pretty significant.

GL

Actually, it's fewer than 25 extra Outs because Freel will make a few on the bases while Aurilia might as well be a log. What I've done to compare is used my "tweak" on OPS (Speed Adjusted OPS) to give us a relative idea of how the two players match up.

Freel- .371 OBP, .371 SLG, .742 OPS
Freel- .345 SAOBP, .442 SASLG, .787 SAOPS

Freel's CS numbers turns his OBP into something more like a .345 OBP hitter. His successful SB, however, allow him to appoximate a .442 SLG. It's as if he's trading 26 points of OBP for an additional 71 points of Slugging Percentage with the bases empty. In short, Freel plays like a mid-level OBP Doubles hitter. But also note that his SAOPS is more of an approximation because we're not exactly sure how many bases Freel's CS are worth so each CS counts in the formula as a single-base erasure to his SLG.

Aurilia- .338 OBP, .444 SLG, .782 OPS
Aurilia- .338 SAOBP, .448 SASLG, .786 SAOPS

Unlike Freel, what you see is what you get with Aurilia. He added 4 SASLG points with two SB and no CS leaves his SAOBP the same with no SLG hit from base acquisition erasure. Without factoring anything else in, they seem as if they were virtually the same player in 2005. But, of course, there's always more to factor in...

Aurilia's SLG is "natural"- meaning that he was more likely to move Runners ahead of him further than Freel. That's about the only advantage that goes to Aurilia, but it's there so we might as well note it.

Freel has the speed advantage offensively, meaning that he's more likely to advance further on events occurring behind him which negates at some of Aurilia's "natural" SLG advantage. He gets on base slightly more often intially, which has the subsequent effect of making hitters behind him better more often (prior to SB attempts) than Aurilia does. Also hitters are likely to see a few more fastballs with Freel standing on a base and that's a good thing as long as they don't get distracted by Freel flashing through their field of vision or caught up in trying to "protect" the runner by swinging at bad balls.

But it doesn't stop there...

Freel sees more pitches than does Aurilia (4.06 P/PA vs. 3.74 P/PA). That might not seem like a big deal, but over the course of a season, it can be huge. Project out to 650 PA and you've got Freel working pitchers for about 200 more pitches than Aurilia. That's about two SP games worth of pitches. That's less time in the game for SP's and more time in the game for middle relief. Take a guy like Freel, put him in front of Kearns (3.97 P/PA) and Dunn (4.24 P/PA) and that's just murder on opposing hurlers. In 2005, nine teams saw 3.80 or more Pitches per Plate Appearance. Six of those teams finished in the top 10 in MLB team Runs Scored.

And then there's the fact that, of the two, Freel is the least likely to be affected by performance volatility due to age.

So there are significant differences actual offensive contribution between the two players in 2005. Just not quite like we tend to think.

KronoRed
03-03-2006, 02:11 PM
Start Freel and dump Aurilia for some bench help

RedsBaron
03-03-2006, 02:31 PM
Start Freel and dump Aurilia for some bench help
How about start Freel and dump Aurilia, period.

PickOff
03-03-2006, 02:31 PM
These look good to me:

Freel
Lopez
Dunn
Griffey
Pena
Kearns
Encarnacion
Larue
P

Or

Lopez
Kearns
Dunn
Griffey
Pena
Encarnacion
Larue
Womack/Aurilia
P


Without Freel in the lineup, it makes things difficult from a protection standpoint.

Far East
03-04-2006, 04:05 PM
Take a guy like Freel, put him in front of Kearns (3.97 P/PA) and Dunn (4.24 P/PA) and that's just murder on opposing hurlers.

Great analysis, Steel, in your entire post.

Just curious about what number of pitches that Lopez averaged per AB -- or the entire team, if that's feasible to do.

Cyclone792
03-04-2006, 04:27 PM
Great analysis, Steel, in your entire post.

Just curious about what number of pitches that Lopez averaged per AB -- or the entire team, if that's feasible to do.

Lopez - 3.95 P/PA in 2005
Team - 3.85 P/PA in 2005

Patrick Bateman
03-04-2006, 07:33 PM
Still, based on those numbers Aurillia still is a good option on the bench when players get injured as long as Narron does not use him when he doesn't have to.

Aurillia's not a bad player to have around when used correctly. Still, the Aurillia money would probably be better off spent towards pitching in some fashion.

Spitball
03-05-2006, 01:30 PM
Interesting article and responses.

I have long felt the bottom of the order is a place where a team needs to think creatively as far as how to maximize its production. I know the bottom has less importance over the longhaul, but they still participate in each game.

Here is a thought:
Freel, Griffey, Dunn, Kearns in the first four at the top.

Lopez bats fifth. He also serves as the "leadoff man" for the second half of the order.

LaRue, Pena, Encarnacion, pitcher/pinch hitters round out the bottom.

Lopez provides enough on base percentage, speed, and slugging to serve as the pivot for the lineup. He can anchor the top and set up the bottom. LaRue hit well with runners on last year (if memory serves me) and the team would maximize LaRue's value by putting a .352 OBP in front of him instead of WMP's .304.

Also, I liked the addition of Hatteberg to pinch hit because the Reds have so many five inning starters. He helps turn a big negative into a bit of a positive.

TC81190
03-05-2006, 01:57 PM
2B Freel
SS Lopez
CF Griffey
1B Dunn
RF Kearns
LF Pena
3B Encarnacion
C LaRue

Easy.

KronoRed
03-05-2006, 02:08 PM
Flip Dunn and JR and I agree.

What we'll see?

Eh

Womack
Aurilia
Lopez
JR
Dunn
Kearns
Pena
LaRue

:explode:

Ravenlord
03-06-2006, 03:10 AM
Flip Dunn and JR and I agree.

What we'll see?

Eh

Womack
Aurilia
Lopez
JR
Dunn
Kearns
Pena
LaRue

:explode:
Kearns would be in front of Dunn...gotta split lefties ya know.:bang:

Spitball
03-06-2006, 08:24 AM
Kearns would be in front of Dunn...gotta split lefties ya know.:bang:

Unless the other team has a deep, potent lefthanded bullpen, is this really necessary? Do you really need to break up the best possible line-up to avoid the chance that a lefty specialist might be brought in?

KronoRed
03-06-2006, 01:12 PM
I don't think so, if your best players are lefties you bat them where they need to be, too much thinking about "what might happen" on some managers part.