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Far East
05-27-2009, 06:04 PM
Years ago, I coached Little League and we tried to allow every kid to bat at least twice per game. One of the simplest ways to accomplish that and still permit the "best" players to get the majority of the playing time (a little democracy/a little meritocracy) was to bat the "worst" players early and after they got their mandatory 2 AB, substitute for them with players slightly better, leaving in place the middle and tail end of the lineup for the "most deserving" kids -- in descending order.

If we had 12 players show up for the game, then the original batting order would be something like this:

#12
#11
#10
#1
#2
#3
#4
#5
#6

Then as numbers 12, 11, and 10 would get in their two AB, the lineup would become:

#7
#8
#9
#1
#2
#3
#4
#5
#6

Bercause Dusty invariably needs to bring in a relief pitcher for Owings sooner or later, how about batting Micah at the top of the order to maximize his number of plate appearances before he has to exit? Something like:

P. Owings
1B. Votto
LF. Gomes
RF. Bruce
C. Hernandez
2B. Phillips
CF. Hairston
3B. Rosales
SS. Gonzalez

Note that those who would get the most AB generally have the current best OPS and that #1-#5 are somewhat the base-clogging/slugging types and that #6-#9 are more likely to be expected to to execute the running/hitting behind the runner game, with #4 Hernandez in the middle, being expected to provide some of both (in his case, power and hitting behind the runner).

Gomes (starting over Nix and Dickerson) splits up the two power lefties. Hairston starting over Tavaras helps (theoretically) establish an early lead before Owings departs and double-switches or other defensive substituting attempts to protect the (theoretical) lead.

Hitting Owings at lead off might reduce the agonizing that Baker does over whether or not to allow Micah to squeeze in just one more inning on the mound so as to get his 3rd AB before the (inevitable) call to the pen.

In general, Owings should not hit 9th.

Will M
05-27-2009, 11:52 PM
Owings seems to go only 5 innings & gets to bat once when he pitches. I agree that a little creative lineup shuffling may be in order.
Maybe hit him ~6th. I think that Disty likes a bit of a set lineup at the top as he thinks it makes guys more comfortable in their roles. just my 2 cents.

Far East
05-28-2009, 10:51 AM
A lineup based on the current top OPS hitters happens to contain a pitcher, a catcher, a SS, but no "pure" CFer:

1. Votto @ 1.099

2. Gomes @ 1.000

3. Nix @ .901

4. Owings @ .889

5. Bruce @ .851

6. Phillip @ .827

7. Hairston @ .800

8. Hanigan @ .800

9. Janish @ .753

Obviously, Votto would be given the most plate appearances, followed by Gomes, and so forth on down to Hanigan and Janish getting the least.

Far East
05-31-2009, 07:56 PM
In today's game (Sunday at Milwaukee), Owings (hitting at # 9 in the order) got 3 plate appearances before being relieved by Masset.

Dickerson (at leadoff) and Hairston (second in the order) each got their 4th plate appearance before Owings got lifted.

Had Owings batted leadoff, he'd have gotten 4 AB before taking his shower and Dickerson and Hairston still would have at least gotten their 5 times at the plate -- assuming that they would have followed Micah as Dusty had them today (and that the rest of the game went as it did today).

If Owings had reached base in this hypothetical 4th AB (and barring any Red hitting into a DP) Bruce would still have gotten his 5th plate appearance.

A bonus to Owings' leading off is that there often will be one bench player saved for later innings with no need to pinch hit until Owings' replacement comes to the plate later.

Odds are that Owings would be even a better hitter with the extra AB(s) per week/month/season in addition to the occasional PH; people say that's true for the utility players, don't they?

Jpup
06-01-2009, 07:24 AM
Odds are that Owings would be even a better hitter with the extra AB(s) per week/month/season in addition to the occasional PH; people say that's true for the utility players, don't they?

I have the opposing opinion. I think if he hit more, he would do worse. I would rather have any of the players hit before him except for, maybe, Janish and Castillo.

nate
06-01-2009, 08:57 AM
I dunno. I think Owings hitting higher in the lineup just means we find out he's a .230 hitter sooner.

Unassisted
06-01-2009, 09:57 AM
Remember how much Dusty's batting order was tied to the notion of "respect" when Junior was struggling at the plate? He'd probably consider putting a pitcher up high in the batting order to be disrespectful.

Personally, I prefer "outside the box" thinking.

osuceltic
06-01-2009, 10:18 AM
So you're OK with insulting and embarassing your eight regulars and possibly making them resent Owings just so he can maybe get one more at-bat?

When I read stuff like this, I understand why Dusty gets criticized so much around here. There is a large group that completely discounts all of the personal, human interaction, emotions and feelings that must be considered when managing a baseball team. Thankfully, Dusty doesn't ignore that part of his job -- which I would argue is far more important than twisting the lineup to get an extra at-bat for a pitcher.

Sea Ray
06-01-2009, 10:23 AM
I dunno. I think Owings hitting higher in the lineup just means we find out he's a .230 hitter sooner.

With his batting style he's bound to settle in to about .230. Have you noticed how he bails with that left foot? If the pitcher keeps the ball on the outside half of the plate, Owings has little chance to hit it fair. His front foot bails toward LF on every swing. If he were a hitter this problem would have been corrected in Low A ball.

I'm thrilled he's hit as well as he has but after watching him hit, it can't be sustained. Leave him at #9 and show him films of him bailing...

nate
06-01-2009, 10:36 AM
When I read stuff like this, I understand why Dusty gets criticized so much around here. There is a large group that completely discounts all of the personal, human interaction, emotions and feelings that must be considered when managing a baseball team.

Not really.

Unassisted
06-01-2009, 10:52 AM
So you're OK with insulting and embarassing your eight regulars and possibly making them resent Owings just so he can maybe get one more at-bat?

When I read stuff like this, I understand why Dusty gets criticized so much around here. There is a large group that completely discounts all of the personal, human interaction, emotions and feelings that must be considered when managing a baseball team. Thankfully, Dusty doesn't ignore that part of his job -- which I would argue is far more important than twisting the lineup to get an extra at-bat for a pitcher.A manager should be able to sell his team on difficult or counter-intuitive choices that benefit the team. IMO, Dusty would rather avoid rocking the boat than steer it in a direction that might rock it for a while but prove to be a shortcut.

Far East
06-01-2009, 11:35 AM
He does step in the bucket, which opposing pitchers should be able to exploit, but I've seen him step toward third base and nail an outside corner pitch against the right field stands -- foul, no less. He's relatively close to the plate in the batter's box and perhaps can cover the outside pitch and authoritatively put the ball in play to the opposite field.

I realize that confidence does not equate to results, but Owings looks as confident at bat as Gomes does. Owings and Gomes have a determined, confident (almost cocky) facial expression and "body language" more so than any other Red, even with 2 strikes.

Far East
06-22-2009, 10:43 PM
Belated update from the Braves' game in which Owings pitched and homered:

Owings' second (and final) plate appearance was in the bottom of the 5th inning.

Had he been in the lead-off position, he would have gotten a 3rd time at the plate before being relieved.

I can not argue with the result -- an Owings' HR with Hairston and Hannigan on base -- just arguing for the process that would give Owings more AB before heading to the showers.

If Dusty had been told when he managed the Cubs that Sammy Sosa would never ever make it past the 5th or 6th inning in any game, would he have hit him first in the lineup to guarantee him more AB per game?

Owings is not Sosa, but his SLG of 0.553 trails only Castillo and Gomes on today's roster (I'm well aware that none of this trio has more than a couple dozen AB so far in '09).

Owing pitches Tuesday in Toronto; how many AB would you like to see him get?

It's not like Owings' leading off would give him more AB than, let's say, the cleanup hitter; the cleanup guy often bats 1, 2, or more times at the plate than Owings after Micah leaves the game.

backbencher
06-22-2009, 11:00 PM
Owing pitches Tuesday in Toronto; how many AB would you like to see him get?


I'm going with zero, Alex.

It would be fun to hit Owings and DH for Janish, though.

kpresidente
06-23-2009, 12:57 AM
I dunno. I think Owings hitting higher in the lineup just means we find out he's a .230 hitter sooner.

Maybe so, but the guy's got 150 ABs spread over 3 years. He have to bat around .150 over his next 150 ABs to bring his career avg. down to .230

Big Klu
06-23-2009, 04:15 AM
I'm going with zero, Alex.

It would be fun to hit Owings and DH for Janish, though.

You can only use the DH for the pitcher. So the choices are to use the DH for Owings, or let him hit for himself (i.e., use a NL lineup in the Skydome).

Far East
06-23-2009, 08:35 AM
I completely ignored the fact that the game is in the AL city where the DH can be used.

Against the Jays' southpaw Brian Tallet, Votto, if activated, might not start, so the 9 best chances among position players against the lefty might be:

Gomes, Phillips, Hannigan, Hernandez, Hairston, Bruce, Rosales, Janish, and perhaps Taveras.

Dusty will likely use those 9, with Gomes as DH.

nate
06-23-2009, 08:44 AM
Maybe so, but the guy's got 150 ABs spread over 3 years. He have to bat around .150 over his next 150 ABs to bring his career avg. down to .230

Yep. Then we'd be about halfway to knowing his true skill level.

Although it'd probably take another 3 years.

Big Klu
06-23-2009, 12:18 PM
I completely ignored the fact that the game is in the AL city where the DH can be used.

Against the Jays' southpaw Brian Tallet, Votto, if activated, might not start, so the 9 best chances among position players against the lefty might be:

Gomes, Phillips, Hannigan, Hernandez, Hairston, Bruce, Rosales, Janish, and perhaps Taveras.

Dusty will likely use those 9, with Gomes as DH.

If Votto is activated, then I think he will be in the starting lineup, even against a LHP.

My guess for tonight's lineup:

Taveras cf
Hairston lf
Votto 1b
Phillips 2b
Gomes dh
Hernandez c
Bruce rf
Rosales 3b
Janish ss


Hanigan gets an extra day off, as he has been overworked IMO.


If Votto is not activated, then the lineup might be:

Taveras cf
Hairston lf
Phillips 2b
Gomes dh
Hernandez 1b
Bruce rf
Hanigan c
Rosales 3b
Janish ss

OnBaseMachine
06-23-2009, 02:11 PM
When EdE returns, I would feel pretty good about this lineup against RHP:

Chris Dickerson, CF
Ryan Hanigan, C
Joey Votto, 1B
Brandon Phillips, 2B
Jay Bruce, RF
Edwin Encarnacion, 3B
Laynce Nix, LF
Paul Janish/Jerry Hairston Jr, SS
Pitcher

It's still not a great lineup but it's improved.

BRM
06-23-2009, 02:13 PM
When EdE returns, I would feel pretty good about this lineup against RHP:

Chris Dickerson, CF
Ryan Hanigan, C
Joey Votto, 1B
Brandon Phillips, 2B
Jay Bruce, RF
Edwin Encarnacion, 3B
Laynce Nix, LF
Paul Janish/Jerry Hairston Jr, SS
Pitcher

It's still not a great lineup but it's improved.

Don't hold your breath though. I just can't see Dusty ever batting Hanigan second. Bruce and Nix would probably be flipped as well.