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big boy
05-28-2009, 04:32 PM
Hard to argue with this opinion (http://www.statisticianmagician.com/) from Joe Veno.


Nothing new to the Sabermetric world…

But Dusty Baker continues to give extra At Bats to players undeserving of receiving them.

His most common lineup, and the one featured of late, has Willy Taveras batting leadoff, with Jerry Hairston in the two-hole.

Taveras has an OPS+ of 76. And that is no fluke. Last season it was 56, and the season before it was 89. His OBP is a league-average .333 (in a hitters park), but the power is abysmal. As I said, his OBP is average, and it sits at .333. Well, his Slugging% is literally 12 percentage points higher than that. Yes, it’s .345. And yes, he it the leadoff hitter.

Hairston is at least closer to decent, with an OPS+ of 96. But his OBP is .314, and just last season it was .384. However, the two previous seasons it fell below the horrible .300 mark. So the power is there, but does one really want someone making outs that often when there has to be a better option?

Generally speaking, black holes come at the bottom of lineups. But not with Dusty Baker. He wants to get those guys out of the way as many times as possible and let better hitters, well, hit.

If Dusty’s philosophy is save the best for last, then maybe this makes a little sense.

The 25-20 record is going to allow Baker to do what he wants with this team, as no one more knowledgeable is going to interfere with winning. But the team’s offense has been atrocious thus far, with two hitters above-average, and the rest below.

The pitching has been very good, and that is why the Reds are virtually a team of .500 quality so far. That rotation is very legit. However, Dusty is screwing with at least part of the equation by insisting that bad hitters bat at the top of the order.

But Willy Taveras IS seeing more pitches this season…

And that still isn’t close to being enough.

Javy Pornstache
05-28-2009, 04:34 PM
But they're, like, fast, dude. They gotta hit at the top of the order! That's where the fast guys hit!

LouisvilleCARDS
05-28-2009, 05:08 PM
The problem is, who the heck else do you bat leadoff? This guy acts like we have some magical bat there sitting there in wait that Dusty has to bat leadoff. Taveras is still listed as the 4th best starter in OBP, and other ones besides Votto and Hernandez aren't any better.

big boy
05-28-2009, 05:09 PM
The problem is, who the heck else do you bat leadoff?

Dickerson is the best OBP guy not named Votto in the lineup.

bgwilly31
05-28-2009, 05:17 PM
You think dickerson should be batting lead off and you sit Taveras. The guy who WHEN HE DOES GET ON BASE> Almost everytime makes something happen.


What reds fan in here doesnt get thrilled when Will T gets on base with no outs. He's a threat. He needs to be at the top of the lineup and get the AB's. Willy T is another guy that is slumping right now. But 30 AB's ago he was doing very well.

GIDP
05-28-2009, 05:24 PM
Hes a threat then doesnt steal

defender
05-28-2009, 05:34 PM
It is a gross misuse of statistics to talk about a leadoff hitter's OPS+. I guess when you run out of things to say, you can always go back to the Dusty is a dinosaur well.

Zimmers
05-28-2009, 05:36 PM
I dont agree with the line ups dusty throws out there at times but come on! Willy is the only guy on the roster who should be hitting leadoff. Who could bat 2? Jhj at this point in time is the only guy at this time. You arent going to put Brue, Votto, Nix, Gomes, Hernandez there. Gonzo doesnt fit the bill even at 7 or 8. So who else?

jfar23
05-28-2009, 05:36 PM
Dickerson is probably best option but he isn't quite ready. I have no problem with Hairston right now. Play him until he cools off. No problem in my view.

Kingspoint
05-28-2009, 07:48 PM
Dusty Baker isn't wasting ANY at-bats.

April and May are the time a manager does what he gets paid to do:

...........set up the months of June, July, August, and September by distributing playing time in a manner that benefits everyone on the ballclub both collectively and individually.

Griffey012
05-28-2009, 08:15 PM
Dickerson is probably best option but he isn't quite ready. I have no problem with Hairston right now. Play him until he cools off. No problem in my view.

I would say Dickerson would be one of the worst options. Yeah he has a solid OBP and some speed, but he puts no fear into the pitchers and strikes out a TON. Pitchers have a ton of confidence when facing him because they know he gets himself out a lot. Yeah I said it, Wily T actually puts fear into the pitchers, not from a power perspective but the pitching and defense wants him off base as much as possible. Think back to how many games this year Wily T gets on to lead off the game and turns around to score the first run and we win. Not to mention, how much pitchers change their delivery and pitches due to Wily on first base.

These saber nerds who have quantified baseball should get rid of their pocket protectors and actually try playing the game. They need to learn how to mix numbers and philosophies a bit more.

It seems to me Wily and Hairston have been making it happen at the top of the order just from watching the games. I'll go ahead and give Dusty the benefit of the doubt on this topic.

Redeye fly
05-28-2009, 08:19 PM
I kind of agree with this, but at the same time you play the cards you have with the hand you're dealt. Sure Dusty no doubt has some say in who's on the roster. He made a remark before the season began I believe saying this kind of team is the kind of team he's always wanted to have. Yes, he makes the lineups... but notice this guy doesn't offer any viable alternatives or solutions either. Granted, that's not his job. He is not employed by the Reds and has no real interest either way in their success or failure.

But, the thing is, who else are you going to play there? Someone mentioned Dickerson, who would be a possibility perhaps. But we still don't know if he's anything more than a fourth outfielder and platoon player. Plus, Nix has passed him up for now, and rightfully so based on performance so far.

I don't know that I see any viable alternatives. Dickerson could bat first or second if you want a guy who can generate a good OBP. But again who's he going to play in front of? Not Nix, and not Bruce... Taveras or platoon with Taveras...maybe

For better or worse, Encarnacion will no doubt be the third baseman again once he's back and healthy. Phillips will be back as the second baseman. Which means Hairston goes back to being a super sub and occasional starter again... maybe back to at least a semi-platoon in LF.

It's a fair point, but it totally ignores the fact that Hairston would not even be in the everyday lineup, let alone batting second, if Encarnacion and Phillips were both playing right now.

I'll never be a huge Dusty fan by any means. Heck, we know Taveras will always bat leadoff in all likelihood, and we know that there's a good chance whenever he's in there Hairston will bat second. But completely loading the bottom of the lineup with outs isn't a great strategy either. Would this really scare many pitchers?
6. Hairston
7. Gonzalez
8. Taveras
9. Pitcher (who is not Owings)

There's just several guys on this team who aren't great or disciplined hitters. That's just the way it is right now. But the offense doesn't have to be a juggernaut. If it can hover somewhere around average, maybe on the plus side of average, they'll be alright as long as the pitching holds up.

Playoff team alright? Maybe, maybe not. World Series team alright would be pretty danged remarkable. But I'd be relatively happy with say 86-87 wins and an "almost playoff appearance"... disappointed sure, but it's a step in the right direction that hopefully could be built upon.

Griffey012
05-28-2009, 08:23 PM
I kind of agree with this, but at the same time you play the cards you have with the hand you're dealt. Sure Dusty no doubt has some say in who's on the roster. He made a remark before the season began I believe saying this kind of team is the kind of team he's always wanted to have. Yes, he makes the lineups... but notice this guy doesn't offer any viable alternatives or solutions either. Granted, that's not his job. He is not employed by the Reds and has no real interest either way in their success or failure.

But, the thing is, who else are you going to play there? Someone mentioned Dickerson, who would be a possibility perhaps. But we still don't know if he's anything more than a fourth outfielder and platoon player. Plus, Nix has passed him up for now, and rightfully so based on performance so far.

I don't know that I see any viable alternatives. Dickerson could bat first or second if you want a guy who can generate a good OBP. But again who's he going to play in front of? Not Nix, and not Bruce... Taveras or platoon with Taveras...maybe

For better or worse, Encarnacion will no doubt be the third baseman again once he's back and healthy. Phillips will be back as the second baseman. Which means Hairston goes back to being a super sub and occasional starter again... maybe back to at least a semi-platoon in LF.

It's a fair point, but it totally ignores the fact that Hairston would not even be in the everyday lineup, let alone batting second, if Encarnacion and Phillips were both playing right now.

I'll never be a huge Dusty fan by any means. Heck, we know Taveras will always bat leadoff in all likelihood, and we know that there's a good chance whenever he's in there Hairston will bat second. But completely loading the bottom of the lineup with outs isn't a great strategy either. Would this really scare many pitchers?
6. Hairston
7. Gonzalez
8. Taveras
9. Pitcher (who is not Owings)

There's just several guys on this team who aren't great or disciplined hitters. That's just the way it is right now. But the offense doesn't have to be a juggernaut. If it can hover somewhere around average, maybe on the plus side of average, they'll be alright as long as the pitching holds up.

Playoff team alright? Maybe, maybe not. World Series team alright would be pretty danged remarkable. But I'd be relatively happy with say 86-87 wins and an "almost playoff appearance"... disappointed sure, but it's a step in the right direction that hopefully could be built upon.

Great Post. Taveras has value as a leadoff hitter doing what he does, but place him anywhere else in the order and he has basically no value. Hairston has done a great job in the 2 hole thus far when it comes to laying down bunts getting hits and getting on when Taveras doesn't. All in all, I would say this lineup is clicking for now. And the old saying says "If it ain't broke don't fix it."

gedred69
05-28-2009, 08:37 PM
I would say Dickerson would be one of the worst options. Yeah he has a solid OBP and some speed, but he puts no fear into the pitchers and strikes out a TON. Pitchers have a ton of confidence when facing him because they know he gets himself out a lot. Yeah I said it, Wily T actually puts fear into the pitchers, not from a power perspective but the pitching and defense wants him off base as much as possible. Think back to how many games this year Wily T gets on to lead off the game and turns around to score the first run and we win. Not to mention, how much pitchers change their delivery and pitches due to Wily on first base.

These saber nerds who have quantified baseball should get rid of their pocket protectors and actually try playing the game. They need to learn how to mix numbers and philosophies a bit more.

It seems to me Wily and Hairston have been making it happen at the top of the order just from watching the games. I'll go ahead and give Dusty the benefit of the doubt on this topic. Dickerson is no option. He's a marginal MLB player.

Redeye fly
05-28-2009, 08:43 PM
That's true. Maybe the only other place Taveras could serve a purpose is 8th. If he gets on base, the pitcher bunts him to second, and then maybe he steals third. But that's really all conditional on the pitcher getting the bunt down and Taveras constantly trying to create havoc on the basepaths, which he's actually been reluctant to do at times. But if you're going to play him you pretty much have to bat him first or 8th, because he doesn't have the power to serve any purpose anywhere else. Plus, if he bats eighth, you're automatically giving up an out to advance him on the base paths, which you don't necessarily have to do if you have an actual hitter behind him.

Plus, a week or two ago Willy was on fire and OBP'ing over .350. I think most everyone saw it as a temporary hot streak. But nonetheless it's rather convenient to make the point now that he's hit a cold streak.

The bottom line is why I see plenty of intriguing value in some sabremetric concepts, it's going to take another generation or two of managers probably to ever see it take hold all over baseball.

Until then, most teams and managers will probably bat their fastest guy at the top of the order, regardless of OBP.

If Taveras gets on base enough, it's not that bad. Hairston is a fairly competent bunter, with a complete notable exceptions. Beyond that, if he's going to show a little bit more power this year, that's a bit of plus, as a double will almost certainly score Taveras from first a good bit of the time.

Again, if the offense can score 4 or 5 runs in a game you've got to think they're going to be there with a very real chance to win a lot of those games.

texasdave
05-28-2009, 09:26 PM
Nothing new to the Sabermetric world…

But Dusty Baker continues to give extra At Bats to players undeserving of receiving them. In one writer's opinion. But, remember, this statement is nothing but opinion. Let's see some facts.

His most common lineup, and the one featured of late, has Willy Taveras batting leadoff, with Jerry Hairston in the two-hole. Okay, this is a fact. Anyone disagree?

Taveras has an OPS+ of 76. And that is no fluke. Last season it was 56, and the season before it was 89. His OBP is a league-average .333 (in a hitters park), but the power is abysmal. As I said, his OBP is average, and it sits at .333. Well, his Slugging% is literally 12 percentage points higher than that. Yes, it’s .345. And yes, he it the leadoff hitter. First let's get the SLG issue out of the way. Yes, it would be great if it were higher. But, IMO, a low SLG for a leadoff hitter is not a disqualifier. Now let's move on the meat-and-potatoes job of a leadoff hitter - getting on base. WT is getting on base at a .332 clip batting in the one-hole. The NL average OBP for players batting in the one spot is...........328. Yes, Wily is an above average leadoff hitter at reaching base. Here are some more relevant facts. The average NL leadoff hitter gets himself into scoring position (either by extra-base hits or steals) 10.4% of the time. WT does that 11.0% of the time. The average NL leadoff hitter steals successfully 72.8% of the time. WT steals successfully 85.7% of the time. And here is the kicker, IMO. The average NL leadoff hitter scores a run once every 7.4 PA. It takes Taveras only 5.8 PA to score a run. What exactly is there not to like about Taveras when you compare him to the average NL leadoff man? Nothing at all.

Hairston is at least closer to decent, with an OPS+ of 96. But his OBP is .314, and just last season it was .384. However, the two previous seasons it fell below the horrible .300 mark. So the power is there, but does one really want someone making outs that often when there has to be a better option?I think the jury is still out on Hairston. However, I am optimistic. Here is why. First, as pointed out JH did have an excellent 2008. He did get off to a slow start in April, but he has absolutely turned things around in the month of May. So far in May he has put up a .348 OBP. Combine that with a .567 SLG and you get a .914 OPS. Yeah, the Reds can live with that out of the two-hole. Maybe the back of his baseball card wins out in the long run. But, given how Hairston has performed since the start of the 2008, I am thinking he is gonna beat those back-of-the-card numbers by a large margin.

Generally speaking, black holes come at the bottom of lineups. But not with Dusty Baker. He wants to get those guys out of the way as many times as possible and let better hitters, well, hit.As has been shown Taveras is out-OBPing the NL average for a leadoff hitter. And Hairston, IMO, has a reasonable chance to do the same in the two-hole. I guess it is reasonable to conclude that if the Reds have black hole problems at the top of the lineup then they aren't the only ones.

If Dusty’s philosophy is save the best for last, then maybe this makes a little sense.And if this writer's philosophy is to write articles without paying attention to facts, then this article makes a little sense.

The 25-20 record is going to allow Baker to do what he wants with this team, as no one more knowledgeable is going to interfere with winning. But the team’s offense has been atrocious thus far, with two hitters above-average, and the rest below.Atrocious? What rock has this writer been hiding under? Follow the bouncing illogical ball. The NL team average for RPG is 4.63. The Reds are averaging 4.63 RPG. The only (il)logical conclusion one can reach is that league-average is atrocious.

The pitching has been very good, and that is why the Reds are virtually a team of .500 quality so far. That rotation is very legit. However, Dusty is screwing with at least part of the equation by insisting that bad hitters bat at the top of the order.The Reds aren't "virtually" a .500 team so far. The Reds are six-games-over .500 team so far. And the assertion that Dusty is screwing with at least part of the equation is just plain wrong.

But Willy Taveras IS seeing more pitches this season…And IS reaching base more frequently, and IS stealing at a higher success rate, and IS reaching scoring position by himself more frequently and IS scoring runs at a greater clip than the average NL leadoff hitter.

And that still isn’t close to being enough. Perhaps not for a pre-judging perfectionist. But most fans wearing a red wishbone "C" are more than satisfied with how the season has gone to date.

Ghosts of 1990
05-28-2009, 10:16 PM
Who's the two hitters above average? Votto and ?

schmidty622
05-28-2009, 10:28 PM
Nothing new to the Sabermetric world…

But Dusty Baker continues to give extra At Bats to players undeserving of receiving them. In one writer's opinion. But, remember, this statement is nothing but opinion. Let's see some facts.

His most common lineup, and the one featured of late, has Willy Taveras batting leadoff, with Jerry Hairston in the two-hole. Okay, this is a fact. Anyone disagree?

Taveras has an OPS+ of 76. And that is no fluke. Last season it was 56, and the season before it was 89. His OBP is a league-average .333 (in a hitters park), but the power is abysmal. As I said, his OBP is average, and it sits at .333. Well, his Slugging% is literally 12 percentage points higher than that. Yes, it’s .345. And yes, he it the leadoff hitter. First let's get the SLG issue out of the way. Yes, it would be great if it were higher. But, IMO, a low SLG for a leadoff hitter is not a disqualifier. Now let's move on the meat-and-potatoes job of a leadoff hitter - getting on base. WT is getting on base at a .332 clip batting in the one-hole. The NL average OBP for players batting in the one spot is...........328. Yes, Wily is an above average leadoff hitter at reaching base. Here are some more relevant facts. The average NL leadoff hitter gets himself into scoring position (either by extra-base hits or steals) 10.4% of the time. WT does that 11.0% of the time. The average NL leadoff hitter steals successfully 72.8% of the time. WT steals successfully 85.7% of the time. And here is the kicker, IMO. The average NL leadoff hitter scores a run once every 7.4 PA. It takes Taveras only 5.8 PA to score a run. What exactly is there not to like about Taveras when you compare him to the average NL leadoff man? Nothing at all.

Hairston is at least closer to decent, with an OPS+ of 96. But his OBP is .314, and just last season it was .384. However, the two previous seasons it fell below the horrible .300 mark. So the power is there, but does one really want someone making outs that often when there has to be a better option?I think the jury is still out on Hairston. However, I am optimistic. Here is why. First, as pointed out JH did have an excellent 2008. He did get off to a slow start in April, but he has absolutely turned things around in the month of May. So far in May he has put up a .348 OBP. Combine that with a .567 SLG and you get a .914 OPS. Yeah, the Reds can live with that out of the two-hole. Maybe the back of his baseball card wins out in the long run. But, given how Hairston has performed since the start of the 2008, I am thinking he is gonna beat those back-of-the-card numbers by a large margin.

Generally speaking, black holes come at the bottom of lineups. But not with Dusty Baker. He wants to get those guys out of the way as many times as possible and let better hitters, well, hit.As has been shown Taveras is out-OBPing the NL average for a leadoff hitter. And Hairston, IMO, has a reasonable chance to do the same in the two-hole. I guess it is reasonable to conclude that if the Reds have black hole problems at the top of the lineup then they aren't the only ones.

If Dusty’s philosophy is save the best for last, then maybe this makes a little sense.And if this writer's philosophy is to write articles without paying attention to facts, then this article makes a little sense.

The 25-20 record is going to allow Baker to do what he wants with this team, as no one more knowledgeable is going to interfere with winning. But the team’s offense has been atrocious thus far, with two hitters above-average, and the rest below.Atrocious? What rock has this writer been hiding under? Follow the bouncing illogical ball. The NL team average for RPG is 4.63. The Reds are averaging 4.63 RPG. The only (il)logical conclusion one can reach is that league-average is atrocious.

The pitching has been very good, and that is why the Reds are virtually a team of .500 quality so far. That rotation is very legit. However, Dusty is screwing with at least part of the equation by insisting that bad hitters bat at the top of the order.The Reds aren't "virtually" a .500 team so far. The Reds are six-games-over .500 team so far. And the assertion that Dusty is screwing with at least part of the equation is just plain wrong.

But Willy Taveras IS seeing more pitches this season…And IS reaching base more frequently, and IS stealing at a higher success rate, and IS reaching scoring position by himself more frequently and IS scoring runs at a greater clip than the average NL leadoff hitter.

And that still isn’t close to being enough. Perhaps not for a pre-judging perfectionist. But most fans wearing a red wishbone "C" are more than satisfied with how the season has gone to date.

Great post...

I think sometimes when looking at stats these guys miss the forest because their too busy looking at the trees.

Sure Taveras doesn't stack up to the top hitters in baseball statistically, but anyone who has watched Reds games this year can tell you that he has brought something different to the table for the Reds. He has been an upgrade at the position from what was thrown out there last year.

To say that he is undeserving of ABs is just plain off in my opinion.

Redeye fly
05-28-2009, 10:33 PM
That was a great post Dave.

I guess most sabremetric based writers are actually Reds fans, or maybe a mixture of Reds fans and Cubs fans, because they obviously like to target Dusty Baker.

Granted, Dusty does a fair amount of silly things. But when you have to stretch and distort numbers to make your point, you're bordering on an obsession.

Roush's socks
05-28-2009, 10:39 PM
While I do believe in sabermetrics in general, I also used to play baseball and it is ridiculous to act like the "speed factor" is totally worthless. Being fast makes things happen. For example, the game the Reds won on a throwing error by the catcher trying on a SB attempts. Taveras has been a positive overall this year even though his OBP is only average. But it is average-- and he has great speed. With his low SLG percentage you want to bat him leadoff. He isn't there to drive runners in. His low SLG percentage is slightly deceiving because his SB effectively turns a single into a double and gets you in scoring position.

Also, the Reds DEFENSE IS WAY BETTER THIS YEAR and is one of the main reasons the pitching is better. That is partly due to having younger faster players than dinosaurs like Dunn and Griffey. Anyone who's watched the games have seen it. If you have to sacrifice a little hitting for it, so be it.

freestyle55
05-29-2009, 09:22 AM
Sure Taveras doesn't stack up to the top hitters in baseball statistically, but anyone who has watched Reds games this year can tell you that he has brought something different to the table for the Reds. He has been an upgrade at the position from what was thrown out there last year.

Not saying we have anything better, but when you're saying someone's an upgrade to Corey Patterson, that ain't much of an argument...

GIDP
05-29-2009, 11:09 AM
Name 1 thing Taveras is great or even good at offensively besides stealing a base, which is something he isn't doing that often.

schmidty622
05-29-2009, 11:17 AM
Not saying we have anything better, but when you're saying someone's an upgrade to Corey Patterson, that ain't much of an argument...

Patterson batted leadoff less than 50% of the time last year. The leadoff spot as a whole was terrible. The spot has been upgraded to at least average.

GIDP
05-29-2009, 11:20 AM
Patterson batted leadoff less than 50% of the time last year. The leadoff spot as a whole was terrible. The spot has been upgraded to at least average.

We had a .749 OPS from the lead off spot last year.

Taveras is a .675.

But at least on the bright side his OBP is about .006 higher. While the teams OBP in that spot is actually lower.

schmidty622
05-29-2009, 11:41 AM
We had a .749 OPS from the lead off spot last year.

Taveras is a .675.

But at least on the bright side his OBP is about .006 higher. While the teams OBP in that spot is actually lower.

How many runs were scored out of the leadoff spot last year? What is Taveras on pace to provide in that department? Runs scored and OBP would be how I judge a leadoff hitter statistically. I could care less about slugging which throws OPS out the window for me.

flash
05-29-2009, 11:43 AM
Willy T's job is to get on base. If he has to move a base-runner he can still get on base with a bunt. Power is not a big deal there. I've often advocated putting him at eight to aid the pitcher's AB. But first is all right.

Hannigan would be very good in the lead-off spot. Strikes out less than one in every thirty ab's. Has an OBP of over .400. Little bit of power and he knows how to work a count. Doesn't have speed, but you can't have everything.

Other than Taveras, Hannigan would be the best option at lead-off.

GIDP
05-29-2009, 11:53 AM
How many runs were scored out of the leadoff spot last year? What is Taveras on pace to provide in that department? Runs scored and OBP would be how I judge a leadoff hitter statistically. I could care less about slugging which throws OPS out the window for me.

120 runs for Taveras with 29 RBIs and 4 homers projected from ESPN

Last year the Reds scored 93 from the lead off spot and had 77 RBIs. They also had 20 homers so 20 runs/rbi are counted twice.

So that makes

145 combined runs from Taveras compared to 150 combined last year.

schmidty622
05-29-2009, 12:23 PM
Ok, so Taveras is not an upgrade. Who should we play in that spot?

GIDP
05-29-2009, 12:27 PM
Ok, so Taveras is not an upgrade. Who should we play in that spot?

Dickerson should have probably got that spot.

defender
05-29-2009, 12:35 PM
The 25-20 record is going to allow Baker to do what he wants with this team, as no one more knowledgeable is going to interfere with winning. But the team’s offense has been atrocious thus far, with two hitters above-average, and the rest below.Atrocious? What rock has this writer been hiding under? Follow the bouncing illogical ball. The NL team average for RPG is 4.63. The Reds are averaging 4.63 RPG. The only (il)logical conclusion one can reach is that league-average is atrocious.



This is a weakness of way too many sabremetric articles, only including the stats that support the authors opinion. If the Reds are scoring an league average, with only 2 players above average, it would imply Baker's lineups are resulting in better than average runs.

texasdave
05-29-2009, 01:05 PM
120 runs for Taveras with 29 RBIs and 4 homers projected from ESPN

Last year the Reds scored 93 from the lead off spot and had 77 RBIs. They also had 20 homers so 20 runs/rbi are counted twice.

So that makes

145 combined runs from Taveras compared to 150 combined last year.


Well this would be all well and good if Taveras was getting every leadoff Plate Appearance for the Reds in 2009. Then you could make this comparison. Unfortunately for you, he is not getting every leadoff PA for the Reds in 2009.

ESPN shows that Taveras will get approximately 675 PA. (615 AB 51 BB plus I threw in 9 more PA for HBP/SF/SAC.) Reds' leadoff hitters in 2008 had 757 PA. I am willing to bet that if you give Taveras 82 more PA it is going to result in more than 5 (RS + RBI - HR) combined.

In fact, if you do the math, Taveras is on a pace to end up with 163. Just sayin'.

GIDP
05-29-2009, 01:16 PM
Its all projections, the problem is this teams offense has been doing better across the board. We didnt have a single hitter doing what Votto is doing last year at any point in the season.

The extra runs happen but the point is the upgrade is minimal.

Va Red Fan
05-29-2009, 01:32 PM
Hard to argue with this opinion (http://www.statisticianmagician.com/) from Joe Veno.

It's not hard to argue with this at all. Who is waiting in the wings to take those AB's? There is not a better option on the roster or in AAA.

texasdave
05-29-2009, 01:33 PM
I am not saying they can't upgrade from Wily Taveras and it certainly would not bother me at all if they did. Two months from now I might be complaining long and loud about his production (or lack thereof). I just think that for the first 2 months of the season Taveras has done okay. Not great, but okay. And maybe he deserves a little slack. That's all I am saying.

Va Red Fan
05-29-2009, 01:37 PM
Nothing new to the Sabermetric world…

But Dusty Baker continues to give extra At Bats to players undeserving of receiving them. In one writer's opinion. But, remember, this statement is nothing but opinion. Let's see some facts.

His most common lineup, and the one featured of late, has Willy Taveras batting leadoff, with Jerry Hairston in the two-hole. Okay, this is a fact. Anyone disagree?

Taveras has an OPS+ of 76. And that is no fluke. Last season it was 56, and the season before it was 89. His OBP is a league-average .333 (in a hitters park), but the power is abysmal. As I said, his OBP is average, and it sits at .333. Well, his Slugging% is literally 12 percentage points higher than that. Yes, it’s .345. And yes, he it the leadoff hitter. First let's get the SLG issue out of the way. Yes, it would be great if it were higher. But, IMO, a low SLG for a leadoff hitter is not a disqualifier. Now let's move on the meat-and-potatoes job of a leadoff hitter - getting on base. WT is getting on base at a .332 clip batting in the one-hole. The NL average OBP for players batting in the one spot is...........328. Yes, Wily is an above average leadoff hitter at reaching base. Here are some more relevant facts. The average NL leadoff hitter gets himself into scoring position (either by extra-base hits or steals) 10.4% of the time. WT does that 11.0% of the time. The average NL leadoff hitter steals successfully 72.8% of the time. WT steals successfully 85.7% of the time. And here is the kicker, IMO. The average NL leadoff hitter scores a run once every 7.4 PA. It takes Taveras only 5.8 PA to score a run. What exactly is there not to like about Taveras when you compare him to the average NL leadoff man? Nothing at all.

Hairston is at least closer to decent, with an OPS+ of 96. But his OBP is .314, and just last season it was .384. However, the two previous seasons it fell below the horrible .300 mark. So the power is there, but does one really want someone making outs that often when there has to be a better option?I think the jury is still out on Hairston. However, I am optimistic. Here is why. First, as pointed out JH did have an excellent 2008. He did get off to a slow start in April, but he has absolutely turned things around in the month of May. So far in May he has put up a .348 OBP. Combine that with a .567 SLG and you get a .914 OPS. Yeah, the Reds can live with that out of the two-hole. Maybe the back of his baseball card wins out in the long run. But, given how Hairston has performed since the start of the 2008, I am thinking he is gonna beat those back-of-the-card numbers by a large margin.

Generally speaking, black holes come at the bottom of lineups. But not with Dusty Baker. He wants to get those guys out of the way as many times as possible and let better hitters, well, hit.As has been shown Taveras is out-OBPing the NL average for a leadoff hitter. And Hairston, IMO, has a reasonable chance to do the same in the two-hole. I guess it is reasonable to conclude that if the Reds have black hole problems at the top of the lineup then they aren't the only ones.

If Dusty’s philosophy is save the best for last, then maybe this makes a little sense.And if this writer's philosophy is to write articles without paying attention to facts, then this article makes a little sense.

The 25-20 record is going to allow Baker to do what he wants with this team, as no one more knowledgeable is going to interfere with winning. But the team’s offense has been atrocious thus far, with two hitters above-average, and the rest below.Atrocious? What rock has this writer been hiding under? Follow the bouncing illogical ball. The NL team average for RPG is 4.63. The Reds are averaging 4.63 RPG. The only (il)logical conclusion one can reach is that league-average is atrocious.

The pitching has been very good, and that is why the Reds are virtually a team of .500 quality so far. That rotation is very legit. However, Dusty is screwing with at least part of the equation by insisting that bad hitters bat at the top of the order.The Reds aren't "virtually" a .500 team so far. The Reds are six-games-over .500 team so far. And the assertion that Dusty is screwing with at least part of the equation is just plain wrong.

But Willy Taveras IS seeing more pitches this season…And IS reaching base more frequently, and IS stealing at a higher success rate, and IS reaching scoring position by himself more frequently and IS scoring runs at a greater clip than the average NL leadoff hitter.

And that still isn’t close to being enough. Perhaps not for a pre-judging perfectionist. But most fans wearing a red wishbone "C" are more than satisfied with how the season has gone to date.

Wonderful post.

texasdave
05-29-2009, 01:39 PM
I just clicked on that link and it turns out that Joe Veno writes about "all things Red Sox". Which helps explain a lot. Joe should know what he is talking about when it comes to wasting ABs on below-average hitters. Can you say "Big Papi"?

GOYA
05-29-2009, 01:40 PM
I've ripped that Veno guy enough in the comments to the Taveras article. Somebody want to take over?

Va Red Fan
05-29-2009, 01:42 PM
Willy T's job is to get on base. If he has to move a base-runner he can still get on base with a bunt. Power is not a big deal there. I've often advocated putting him at eight to aid the pitcher's AB. But first is all right.

Hannigan would be very good in the lead-off spot. Strikes out less than one in every thirty ab's. Has an OBP of over .400. Little bit of power and he knows how to work a count. Doesn't have speed, but you can't have everything.

Other than Taveras, Hannigan would be the best option at lead-off.

A problem that you may have putting Hannigan in the lead-off spot would be the fact that he normally does not start at all!

GIDP
05-29-2009, 01:51 PM
I am not saying they can't upgrade from Wily Taveras and it certainly would not bother me at all if they did. Two months from now I might be complaining long and loud about his production (or lack thereof). I just think that for the first 2 months of the season Taveras has done okay. Not great, but okay. And maybe he deserves a little slack. That's all I am saying.

I'm not trying to rail on him, but people hated last year, and im just trying to point out that its not really much different.

flash
05-29-2009, 02:29 PM
A problem that you may have putting Hannigan in the lead-off spot would be the fact that he normally does not start at all!

Doesn't mean he shouldn't be. Jose Morales is not even on the Twins roster, yet he is probably one of the best catchers is baseball right now.

big boy
05-29-2009, 04:04 PM
It's not hard to argue with this at all. Who is waiting in the wings to take those AB's? There is not a better option on the roster or in AAA.

The better option is Chris Dickerson. Tavares' OBP is league average today but does anyone think it is going to get better? Meanwhile, Dickerson gets on base almost 4 out of 10 times and sits on the bench.

GOYA
05-29-2009, 04:16 PM
Dickerson gets on base almost 4 out of 10 times and sits on the bench.

Let's be accurate. Dickerson gets on base 3.69 times out of 10. Taveras gets on 3.32 times out of 10. But ultimately, it's not about getting on base, it's about scoring runs. Is Dickerson better than Tavares at putting himself in a position to score a run?

big boy
05-29-2009, 04:25 PM
Let's be accurate. Dickerson gets on base 3.69 times out of 10. Taveras gets on 3.32 times out of 10. But ultimately, it's not about getting on base, it's about scoring runs. Is Dickerson better than Tavares at putting himself in a position to score a run?

Dickerson's OBP last year was .413. I think he has proven that he will get on base more than Tavares. I assume that is not debatable. Therefore, yes...if he had as many at-bats, he would have more runs scored than Tavares.

LouisvilleCARDS
05-29-2009, 04:27 PM
How many years has Dickerson played in the majors? Just wondering.

GOYA
05-29-2009, 04:33 PM
Dickerson's OBP last year was .413. I think he has proven that he will get on base more than Tavares.

Dickerson hit over .300 last year. He's around .220 this year. What does last year's OBP prove again?

schmidty622
05-29-2009, 04:34 PM
So Dickerson gets on base 3-4 more times per 100 at bats. How many extra runs is that worth? And, how many runs is Taveras' speed worth?

big boy
05-29-2009, 06:26 PM
Dickerson hit over .300 last year. He's around .220 this year. What does last year's OBP prove again?

This is all there for you to re-read but since you missed it the first time through...I said Dickerson gets on base 4 out of 10 times. You disputed that by using his current OBP. I was pointing out that you didn't look at last year and his career OBP demonstrates that he gets on base roughly 4 out of 10 times (.393 to be accurate).

Whew...now that we've got you caught up, do you see how if had as many plate appearances as Tavares that he would have been on base more often? Is it reasonable to say that since he would have been on base more, he would have had more chances to score? I can't see how it can be disputed. It is unlikely that Tavares will ever approach the OBP that Dickerson has shown he can put up. If you want evidence, look at his baseball card.

big boy
05-29-2009, 06:44 PM
So Dickerson gets on base 3-4 more times per 100 at bats. How many extra runs is that worth? And, how many runs is Taveras' speed worth?

We don't have to go far for a comparison. If you look at Tavares' first 102 plate appearances, he scored 17 runs. In Dickerson's 101 plate appearances, he has scored 11 runs. If Dickerson always batted leadoff and played every day, is it really a stretch to believe that he wouldn't have at least an additional 6 runs?

The point here is that there is an alternative to Tavares. He isn't the only legitimate leadoff option that Dusty has.

GOYA
05-29-2009, 07:26 PM
nope. nevermind

schmidty622
05-29-2009, 10:50 PM
We don't have to go far for a comparison. If you look at Tavares' first 102 plate appearances, he scored 17 runs. In Dickerson's 101 plate appearances, he has scored 11 runs. If Dickerson always batted leadoff and played every day, is it really a stretch to believe that he wouldn't have at least an additional 6 runs?

The point here is that there is an alternative to Tavares. He isn't the only legitimate leadoff option that Dusty has.

6 runs in 100 Abs seems like a lot to me.

schmidty622
05-29-2009, 10:50 PM
Are those additional 6 runs a product of Taveras' speed? Or just luck?

GIDP
05-30-2009, 02:28 AM
Are those additional 6 runs a product of Taveras' speed? Or just luck?

probably because of the guys hitting behind him.

Dude Rock
05-30-2009, 03:33 AM
I went bonkers when Dickerson hit into that double play tonight. I was already questioning him being at the plate and then he does that.