PDA

View Full Version : Can you make a better lineup than Dusty Baker?



JinAZ
03-31-2008, 02:45 AM
As I type this, Opening Day is just over 12 hours away. And with it has come Dusty Baker's first official lineup as a Reds manager, courtsey of John Fay:

Corey Patterson CF
Jeff Keppinger SS
Ken Griffey Jr. RF
Brandon Phillips 2B
Adam Dunn LF
Edwin Encarnacion 3B
Scott Hatteberg 1B
Javier Valentin C
Aaron Harang P

Among the most common (and convincing) critiques of Dusty's managerial skills is his selection of leadoff hitters. Statheads "know" that OBP rules all in the leadoff slot, right? Patterson and his PECOTA-projected 0.313 OBP is therefore an awful choice. Right?

I'm pretty sure it is. But I'm not positive, and I'd like to know how big of a deal it is. Fortunately, there's an excellent tool that can answer just this kind of question: John Beamer's Markov model from the Hardball Times 2008 Annual. Because it uses Markov Chains (described here (http://www.hardballtimes.com/main/article/introducing-markov-chains/)), Beamer's model is a much better approach to understanding the dynamic nature of lineup interactions than simple regression equations (like those used in David Pinto's oft-cited lineup tool).

So, I'd like to set up a Lineup Showdown! To that end, I'm requesting that each of you reply to this post with two lineups:

1. Your "best" lineup using only Dusty Baker's Opening Day players.
2. Your "best," lineup with your pick of players from the Reds' organization.

If you want to submit more or fewer than two lineups (e.g. one vs. righties, one vs. lefties), go ahead. I will take all submitted lineups--along with any others that Baker uses this week--and plug them into Beamer's Markov model, along with 2008 PECOTA projections, and report the results back later this week.

Markov will tell us, for each lineup:
1. Its estimate for how many runs it should produce per game.
2. How many times each batting slot should lead off an inning.
3. Complete run expectancy frequency matrices for every out base & out state.

Should be fun! -Justin

Note: this is cross-posted from my blog (http://jinaz-reds.blogspot.com/2008/03/can-you-make-better-lineup-than-dusty.html), but I'm hoping to get as many submissions as I can. The more I get, the more interesting the results. :)

mlbfan30
03-31-2008, 03:14 AM
Scott Hatteberg 1B
Jeff Keppinger SS
Adam Dunn LF
Edwin Encarnacion 3B
Ken Griffey Jr. RF
Brandon Phillips 2B
Corey Patterson CF
Javier Valentin C
Aaron Harang P

As the Dusty's players

JinAZ
03-31-2008, 03:26 AM
Thanks for this, and for the lineup in your thread! -j

LouisvilleCARDS
03-31-2008, 03:55 AM
I agree completely with what Baker is using to be honest. Not only that, but I think its such a ridiculously overrated concept switching a guy here or there will suddenly make the team win 10-20 more games or something. Encarnacion had a pretty poor spring, so I might move him down to 7 and move Hatteberg to the 6 spot. That's all I can think of. Since we traded Hamilton, we're missing some of the firepower we could have.

PastAndPending
03-31-2008, 04:23 AM
Norris Hopper CF
Jeff Keppinger SS
Ken Griffey Jr RF
Brandon Phillips 2B
Adam Dunn LF
Joey Votto 1B
Edwin Encarnacion 3B
Javy Valentin C
-------------------------------
Ryan Freel 3B
Jeff Keppinger SS
Jay Bruce CF
Ken Griffey RF
Brandon Phillips 2B
Adam Dunn LF
Joey Votto 1B
David Ross C

DannyB
03-31-2008, 06:43 AM
Keppinger
Dunn
Griffey
Encarnation
Votto
Phillips
Hopper
Valentin Dusty
-------------------------
Hopper
Dunn
Griffey
Encarnation
Votto
Phillips
Gonzales
Ross Me
-----------------------

muethibp
03-31-2008, 08:49 AM
I think 90% or more of us would agree that Dunn needs to be higher in the order and Patterson lower.

Va Red Fan
03-31-2008, 09:49 AM
I can't make a better line-up than Dusty Baker.

Va Red Fan
03-31-2008, 09:50 AM
I think it's foolish to think I could.

James B.
03-31-2008, 10:32 AM
1. Norris Hopper CF
2. Jeff Keppinger SS
3. Ken Griffey Jr. RF
4. Adam Dunn LF
5. Brandon Phillips 2B
6. Joey Votto 1B
7. Edwin Encarnarcion 3B
8. Javier Valentin C

OesterPoster
03-31-2008, 10:38 AM
Dunn is too low, plain and simple. Batting 5th potentially robs him of an extra AB during some games. The same can be said about Hatteberg batting 7th. Your best hitters should be high in the lineup, regardless of whether they're a lefty or righty. I also think the whole lefty-righty-lefty-righty thing is overrated.

I'd go with:

Hatteberg
Keppinger
Griffey
Dunn
Phillips
Patterson
Encarnacion
Valentin
Harang

smoke6
03-31-2008, 10:44 AM
I would have Votto in there instead of Hatte. Other than that, I think our OD lineup is great (at least until Jay is up).

texasdave
03-31-2008, 11:36 AM
Keppinger
Votto
Dunn
Encarnacion
Griffey
Phillips
Ross
Hopper
Pitcher

Rinse. Repeat.

Trace's Daddy
03-31-2008, 12:48 PM
For Opening Day I would have:

Scott Hatteberg 1B
Adam Dunn
Ken Griffey Jr. RF
Brandon Phillips 2B
Edwin Encarnacion 3B
LFJeff Keppinger SS
Javier Valentin C
Corey Patterson CF
Aaron Harang P

I like a guy with speed batting in front of the pitcher.

bounty37h
03-31-2008, 12:51 PM
EE batting cleanup, has he even hit the ball yet this spring, let alone enough to be cleanup? I have no doubt he wil find his groove, but dont think I would have him there right now

PickOff
03-31-2008, 02:05 PM
Keppinger
Encarnacion
Dunn
Griffey
Phillips
Hatteberg/Votto
Patterson
Catcher
Pitcher

757690
03-31-2008, 02:27 PM
I and others on this board might be able to make a better lineup than Dusty, but the managers job is to make out the lineup day after day. Most teams go through 50-60- sometimes over 100 different lineups in a season. Each day the manager changes the lineup due to the pitcher, the stadium, the weather conditions, the health of the players, whether players are hot or cold at the plate, defensive considerations, and many more factors.
I have a feeling that whatever runs Dusty loses by putting Patterson first or Dunn fitfth, he more than makes up for with his tweaking of the lineup on a daily basis, that us fans, who think we are so smart, would not be able to do nearly as well.

JinAZ
03-31-2008, 02:34 PM
Lots of great lineups here folks! Thanks and keep 'em coming!

Remember, the first one should be using Dusty Baker's starting eight players (i.e. Hatteberg, not Votto). That way we can get an idea of the effect of juggling lineup slots, not personnel.

The second lineup is your chance to use any of the players in the Reds' organization. That'll help us understand the effects of juggling personnel.
-Justin

Degenerate39
03-31-2008, 02:38 PM
1. Scott Hatteberg 1st Base
2. Jeff Keppinger Shortstop
3. Adam Dunn Left Field
4. Edwin Encarnacion 3rd Base
5. Ken Griffey Jr. Right Field
6. Brandon Phillips 2nd Base
7. Corey Patterson Centerfield
8. Javier Valetine Catcher
9. Aaron Harang Pitcher

I want Hatteberg leading off because he'll cause Webb to throw a lot of pitches and with a guy like Webb pitching you want him out of the game ASAP.

Keppinger is a good contact hitter so if you need to have a Hit and Run situation he'll be a good one to use.

I like Dunn batting third because he's the best power hitter on the Reds and he shouldn't be batting 5th IMO.

Edwin provides that split in between the two big lefties that a lot of people like to have. He's got some power and good contact so I would like to see him there.

Griffey bats 5th because he's just not as powerful as Dunn right now.

Phillips is a free swinger so the 6th spot is a good spot to have him at.

Patterson might be fast but that won't matter if you can't get on base. Having him and Phillips near each other in the lineup could cause some havoc on the basepath's.

Javier is probably a better pinch hitter than an everyday player so if Ross was healthy he would be in this spot.

JinAZ
03-31-2008, 02:50 PM
I and others on this board might be able to make a better lineup than Dusty, but the managers job is to make out the lineup day after day. Most teams go through 50-60- sometimes over 100 different lineups in a season. Each day the manager changes the lineup due to the pitcher, the stadium, the weather conditions, the health of the players, whether players are hot or cold at the plate, defensive considerations, and many more factors.
I have a feeling that whatever runs Dusty loses by putting Patterson first or Dunn fitfth, he more than makes up for with his tweaking of the lineup on a daily basis, that us fans, who think we are so smart, would not be able to do nearly as well.

I don't disagree with this, necessarily, but what I want to study is how much moving players around in the batting order affects the performance of the order as a whole. Granted, there are things this model won't account for (it assumes a league-average pitcher, and that players will perform consistently around their PECOTA projections), but I still think the results are going to be pretty interesting. If there's one thing I've learned from playing with this model thus far, it's that what appear to be small changes to a lineup can make an enormous difference in its performance, and not always in the direct I expect. :)
-j

PickOff
03-31-2008, 02:54 PM
I and others on this board might be able to make a better lineup than Dusty, but the managers job is to make out the lineup day after day. Most teams go through 50-60- sometimes over 100 different lineups in a season. Each day the manager changes the lineup due to the pitcher, the stadium, the weather conditions, the health of the players, whether players are hot or cold at the plate, defensive considerations, and many more factors.
I have a feeling that whatever runs Dusty loses by putting Patterson first or Dunn fitfth, he more than makes up for with his tweaking of the lineup on a daily basis, that us fans, who think we are so smart, would not be able to do nearly as well.


So, I suppose that all managers over the course of the year are better than non-managers would be at putting together a lineup?

JinAZ
03-31-2008, 03:36 PM
I figured that I should probably stick my neck out as well. So, this is a lineup that I would probably have proposed using Dusty's Opening Day Eight prior to messing around with this model:

Encarnacion
Dunn
Keppinger
Griffey
Hatteberg
Phillips
Valentin
Patterson
Pitcher

At this point, from various sources, I've gotten 16 unique lineup submissions, six of which are variants on today's opening day players. I'd like to at least double this number for the study, so keep 'em coming. :)
-j

Edit:
One more:
Lineup with my choice of players and decent balance between lefties and righties:
Votto
Encarnacion
Dunn
Phillips
Griffey
Bruce
Keppinger
Valentin
Pitcher

texasdave
03-31-2008, 04:09 PM
Using today's starting eight I would go with:

Keppinger
Hatteberg
Dunn
Encarnacion
Griffey
Phillips
Valentin
Patterson
Harang

Rinse. Repeat.

LouisvilleCARDS
03-31-2008, 07:55 PM
Encarnacion has been sucking, in spring training, on the field, and in the lineup. Don't see why people are putting him so high. He needs to start off hot for a change instead of waiting until August to get it together.

justincredible
03-31-2008, 08:55 PM
Based on todays starters:

Hatteberg
Keppinger
Griffey
Dunn
Phillips
EdE
Patterson
Javy


Not todays starters:
Votto
Keppinger
Griffey
Dunn
Phillips
Bruce
EdE
Ross

texasdave
04-01-2008, 12:03 AM
After today's effort perhaps a greater challenge would to be to come up with a lineup that is not better than Dusty's. :p:

Mutaman
04-01-2008, 12:18 AM
I agree completely with what Baker is using to be honest. Not only that, but I think its such a ridiculously overrated concept switching a guy here or there will suddenly make the team win 10-20 more games or something. .


You don't understand, its a ritual here at Red Zoan that who bats 7th and who bats 8th makes the difference between being world champs and finishing behind the Pirates.

The bottom line- If Cueto, Edison, and the bull pen come through, we'll do fine. If they don't , we won't. And it doesn't make any difference if Dusty bats himself leadoff.

ED44
04-01-2008, 01:23 AM
SS-Kepp
1b-Votto
LF-Dunn
2B-BP
RF-JR
3B-EdE
CF-Patterson
C-Javy
----------------------
SS-Keppinger
CF-Bruce
LF-Dunn
2B-BP
RF-JR
1B-Votto
3B-EdE
C-Javy

Va Red Fan
04-02-2008, 06:29 PM
So, I suppose that all managers over the course of the year are better than non-managers would be at putting together a lineup?

Yes. They get paid to do it and we pay to watch them.:cool:

Va Red Fan
04-02-2008, 06:30 PM
After today's effort perhaps a greater challenge would to be to come up with a lineup that is not better than Dusty's. :p:

It had nothing to do about where people were hitting. Moving Dunn up or Hopper in was not going to make that big of a difference.

Kingspoint
04-02-2008, 08:37 PM
I like Texas Dave's 1st one the best (the one without Corey Patterson in it.).

JinAZ
04-05-2008, 02:39 AM
Update: I've taken all the lineups in this thread and will start working through them tonight with the model. I have it down pretty quick, but it's still a manual process. Hopefully I will have something on this by the end of the weekend.
-j

tigh24
04-05-2008, 02:03 PM
SS Keppinger
CF Hopper
CF Griffey Jr.
2b Phillips
LF Dunn
3b EE
1B Votto
C Javy
P Harang

DannyB
04-11-2008, 10:02 AM
well?

JinAZ
04-11-2008, 05:23 PM
Sorry--work has been killing me the last few weeks. I've run all the lineups, and I've half-written a post talking about the data. But I'm trying to work up at least a little bit of interpretation to help understand the results, as they're pretty interesting. I'll try to get it up tonight or tomorrow night though.
-j

Va Red Fan
04-11-2008, 05:38 PM
Corey Patterson deserves to start and I could care less where he hits in the line-up. Hopper or Freel do not have what CPat has - power, speed and incredible defense.

mlbfan30
04-11-2008, 05:58 PM
Corey Patterson deserves to start and I could care less where he hits in the line-up. Hopper or Freel do not have what CPat has - power, speed and incredible defense.

The argument is NOT that Patterson is worse than those players, the argument is that Patterson should not be leading off.

DannyB
04-13-2008, 11:29 AM
This just in-:eek:J has made the big time
Can you put the results on ORG?

I unfortunately(?) just was granted ORG access, which is very nice except that it means that I suddenly can't post to my thread about lineups!

So, because you seemed interested in seeing the results, I was hoping that you could post this statement for me in that thread:
http://www.redszone.com/forums/showt...t=66651&page=3

Here's my statement:
"I've completed the Markov simulations on all the lineups, and have posted the results here. I welcome feedback, but I no longer have access to post in this forum. So, I'll only be able to respond to your comments on my blog, via e-mail, or in the ORG forums."

Thanks!
Justin
__________________
Blog: On Baseball and the Reds

DannyB
04-13-2008, 11:48 AM
Dont forget the newest rule

DB41308 states -
New members of ORG shal be required to do 10 games of timely and accurate PBP on gamethreads :)

_Sir_Charles_
04-13-2008, 02:18 PM
Well, I see here that nobody else has tried it, so here goes. The flaming can begin now. :O)

1-Dunn
2-Keppinger
3-Griffey
4-Votto
5-Phillips
6-Patterson
7-Bako
8-Encarnacion (Rosales, Freel, Castro, Hairston, Cabrera...take your pick)
9-pitcher

If it's hariston or cabrera they'd be 7 and Bako'd be 8.

As for my reasoning, you'll find it here. http://www.redszone.com/forums/showthread.php?t=67163&page=2

eastkyred
04-14-2008, 06:29 PM
1-Freel 3B
2-Votto 1B
3-Phillips 2b
4-Bruce CF
5-Kepp SS
6-Griffey RF
7-Dunn LF
8-Catcher
9-Pitcher

After Gonzo returns
1-Phillips 2B
2-Votto 1B
3-Kepp 3B
4-Bruce CF
5-Griffey RF
6-Gonzo SS
7-Dunn LF
8-Catcher
9-Pitcher

Jay Bruce is probably the only guy that is big league ready in the organization that is a true #3 or #4 hitter. Griiffey isn't anymore and I personally don't think Dunn is either. Phillips is not a real high OBP guy, but I expect him to continue to improve. He is potentially the next Jimmy Rollins hitting leadoff.

fugowitribe
04-14-2008, 07:31 PM
1-Freel 3B
2-Votto 1B
3-Phillips 2b
4-Bruce CF
5-Kepp SS
6-Griffey RF
7-Dunn LF
8-Catcher
9-Pitcher

After Gonzo returns
1-Phillips 2B
2-Votto 1B
3-Kepp 3B
4-Bruce CF
5-Griffey RF
6-Gonzo SS
7-Dunn LF
8-Catcher
9-Pitcher

Jay Bruce is probably the only guy that is big league ready in the organization that is a true #3 or #4 hitter. Griiffey isn't anymore and I personally don't think Dunn is either. Phillips is not a real high OBP guy, but I expect him to continue to improve. He is potentially the next Jimmy Rollins hitting leadoff.

Do you really think that Jay Bruce has the ability right now to out produce Corey Patterson?

eastkyred
04-15-2008, 09:39 AM
Do you really think that Jay Bruce has the ability right now to out produce Corey Patterson?

I think offensively he does. I think this team is in need of middle of the order bats. Patterson is off to a great start, but he is what he is. If you want to know what C. Patterson is going to be this year, just look at his career. Other than the steals, I think Bruce would be better offensively right now. Patterson is a career .258 hitter with an OPS of .715. I think Bruce would easily surpass these numbers right now. I'm certainly not blaming Patterson for our offensive struggles, but if we are counting on Patterson to keep this up and carry a big part of the load offensively, we are all going to be sorry.

AmarilloRed
04-15-2008, 02:47 PM
1. Votto
2. Keppinger
3. Griffey
4. Dunn
5. Philips
6. Edwin
7. Patterson
8. Valentin
9. Pitcher

I know Votto starts slowly, but I think he could be a good lead-off man.

Eric Davis
06-29-2008, 12:26 AM
Defensively I think it's time to move brandon phillips to shortstop. Athletic shortstops who can hit don't grow on trees. BP defensively would be a huge upgrade over anyone else we have. I like Jerry Hairston as a utility player but the guy has no business starting games at shortstop. I also like the idea because it could Keppinger in the lineup full time as a more natural second baseman. Keppinger is an ok ss but the best athletes need to be at the most important positions and that is BP at shortstop. I'd be more than satisfied with an infield of EE, BP, Kepp, and Votto going into 2009.

keeganbrick
06-29-2008, 12:29 AM
1. Hairston -CF
2. Keppinger - SS
3. Votto -1B
4. Dunn - LF
5. Phillips - 2B
6. Bruce - RF
7. Encarnacion - 3B
8. 3 Headed Monster - C

Eric Davis
06-30-2008, 09:27 PM
1.) Jeff Keppinger, 2B, Strong hitter who gets on base. And while he's ok on shortstop he's a more natural second baseman. Phillips is also our most athletic player and needs to be at the position the best athlete plays.

2.) Adam Dunn, LF. Not your prototype two hole hitter but his on base percentage clearly means he should be at the top of the lineup. He's got the best slugging percentage but doesn't make enough contact to warrant the three spot.

3.) Brandon Phillips, SS. BP truly can get on my nerves at times. He's never seen a first pitch he doesn't like. But when the man hits he's as dangerous as anyone.

4.) Joey Votto, 1B. Strong hitter. Hits for power. Hits for average. Is just a true professional who will only get better. RBI's galore with this guy.

5.) Edwin Encarnarcion, 3B. This spot was between him and Griffey. The tiebreaker was the righty lefty split.

6.) Ken Griffey Jr, RF. Griffey is obviously not what he used to be. His bat speed has slowed and he has no business hitting at the top of the lineup anymore. Will toothpick finally get the guts to move him down?

7.) Jay Bruce, CF. This guy obviously has the potential to be a great three hole hitter but has struggled big time lately. Let him work it out with less pressure.

8.) Paul Bako/David Ross, C. These guys both make we pray we have a better catcher next year. For the time being a rightly lefty platoon is the only choice.

Blue
06-30-2008, 10:34 PM
Not sure it matters where Bruce hits, Dusty will probably do something stupid like pinch hit for him with Javy Valentin.

haha, yeah right. Not even an infant would do that. :help: