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View Full Version : Well, maybe Baker DOES know lineup construction...........



hebroncougar
06-25-2009, 05:43 PM
A quote from a Taveras article on MLB.com:

"It's really noticeable in two areas when guys don't hit," Baker said. "No. 1 is your leadoff man. If they're not getting walks as non at-bats, the at-bats mount up quicker than anybody else on the team.

He does get the idea that your leadoff man bats more often than anyone else, now if someone can convince him to put someone there that CAN hit or get on base...........

Homer Bailey
06-25-2009, 06:03 PM
A quote from a Taveras article on MLB.com:

"It's really noticeable in two areas when guys don't hit," Baker said. "No. 1 is your leadoff man. If they're not getting walks as non at-bats, the at-bats mount up quicker than anybody else on the team.

He does get the idea that your leadoff man bats more often than anyone else, now if someone can convince him to put someone there that CAN hit or get on base...........

Well, I don't ever believe the things Dusty says, so I seriously doubt he has come to any understanding about lineup construction.

redsfan4445
06-25-2009, 06:08 PM
I about choked reading that.. he says it then lets Taveras the out making machine bat leadoff again tonight.. GRRRRR

hebroncougar
06-25-2009, 06:12 PM
I about choked reading that.. he says it then lets Taveras the out making machine bat leadoff again tonight.. GRRRRR

I don't get it............I just don't. It's like beating your head against a wall night, after night, after night............... I remember reading a website that had a "calender" or a "timeline" of predicted decisions Baker would make his first year here (I think it was from a Cubs blogger or fan) and thinking, no one is that crazy. But I guess in hindsight............

traderumor
06-25-2009, 06:15 PM
Honestly, they get less than five hits a game with or without WT in the lineup. There is plenty of ineptitude to go around.

BRM
06-25-2009, 06:35 PM
Honestly, they get less than five hits a game with or without WT in the lineup. There is plenty of ineptitude to go around.

Yes there is and it's very sad.

BRM
06-25-2009, 06:39 PM
I about choked reading that.. he says it then lets Taveras the out making machine bat leadoff again tonight.. GRRRRR

LHP on the mound and it appears Dusty is moving towards a platoon. No surprise to see Willy in the lineup. Dickerson is still playing tonight though, he's just moved to LF.

GAC
06-25-2009, 06:45 PM
A quote from a Taveras article on MLB.com:

"It's really noticeable in two areas when guys don't hit," Baker said. "No. 1 is your leadoff man. If they're not getting walks as non at-bats, the at-bats mount up quicker than anybody else on the team.

Doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure that out when, in June, the guy is hitting .074 BA .074 OB% .074SLG% .148 OPS

Just takes Baker looonger.

RedsManRick
06-25-2009, 07:35 PM
I think Dusty's problem is less about understanding how things work than his stubborn unwillingness to deal with the reality of the skills of his players. He plays guys based on his idea of what they could potentially be, the generic roles in which he's slotted them, rather than the specifics of the level of performance they bring to bear.

Willy Taveras might be going good sometimes and struggling in others, but he's a "lead off guy". Ryan Hannigan might have a .400 OBP right now, but he's a slow catcher. You get the idea...

*BaseClogger*
06-25-2009, 07:55 PM
What happened to Laynce Nix?

mth123
06-25-2009, 08:07 PM
I think Dusty's problem is less about understanding how things work than his stubborn unwillingness to deal with the reality of the skills of his players. He plays guys based on his idea of what they could potentially be, the generic roles in which he's slotted them, rather than the specifics of the level of performance they bring to bear.

Willy Taveras might be going good sometimes and struggling in others, but he's a "lead off guy". Ryan Hannigan might have a .400 OBP right now, but he's a slow catcher. You get the idea...

Exactly. I picture Baker looking at a guy with top notch speed, closing his eyes and picturing him as Ralph Garr.

Open your eyes Dusty. He hits more like Terri Garr.

I also think Body type has something to do with it. Dickerson runs pretty fast too and was always known as a superior athlete, but at 6-4, 215 or so, he doesn't have that 5-11, 195 pound body that he seems to be looking for.

Chip R
06-25-2009, 09:08 PM
Exactly. I picture Baker looking at a guy with top notch speed, closing his eyes and picturing him as Ralph Garr.

Open your eyes Dusty. He hits more like Terri Garr.



You're probably not too far off the mark. Dusty came up with the Braves and that's how it was done then. Had to be a pretty big influence on him.

WebScorpion
06-26-2009, 02:53 AM
In a Tony Larussa lineup, Willy is a classic #9 hitter: Lots of speed, so if he gets on you want the meat of your order coming up next, but no OBP skills so you want him to have fewer plate appearances, thus #9. Bat the pitcher 8th...unless it's Owings who I'd bat 6th. :D

GAC
06-26-2009, 07:46 AM
I think Dusty's problem is less about understanding how things work than his stubborn unwillingness to deal with the reality of the skills of his players. He plays guys based on his idea of what they could potentially be, the generic roles in which he's slotted them, rather than the specifics of the level of performance they bring to bear.

Willy Taveras might be going good sometimes and struggling in others, but he's a "lead off guy". Ryan Hannigan might have a .400 OBP right now, but he's a slow catcher. You get the idea...

I think you pretty much nailed it. I really don't understand this guy's hangup with speed, in players, that seem to be devoid of other offensive abilities that matter. But you're right - he seems to be casting (playing) players based on an idea, rather then reality.

He's trying to put a square peg in a round hole.

Kc61
06-26-2009, 10:24 AM
I think you pretty much nailed it. I really don't understand this guy's hangup with speed, in players, that seem to be devoid of other offensive abilities that matter. But you're right - he seems to be casting (playing) players based on an idea, rather then reality.

He's trying to put a square peg in a round hole.

Look at every lineup with Taveras at Houston and at Colorado. I haven't, but I'm guessing he's hit leadoff or second the vast majority of the time. I guess all those managers were playing him based on an idea and not reality.

We saw last night how effective Taveras can be. He's had a terrible year and he can't hit very well, but if he puts the ball on the ground and goes to right field, he can occasionally get on base and then run the bases well.

Taveras was non-tendered last season. The Reds went for him instead of a more expensive free agent. They didn't trust Dickerson to be the lead guy in centerfield. So we have Taveras.

They are trying to make it work. They are platooning him more, even pinch hit Dickerson for him against a righty. Willy's been starting lately against lefties and has had two good games in the last several, which is some improvement.

It's not Dusty. It's Willy, and hopefully he will improve because his numbers this year don't cut it.

jojo
06-26-2009, 10:52 AM
Baker is a people person and that is the prism he uses when making decisions. If anything, watching him seems to suggest that he tends to see the best in people and feels "It can be done". He also seems sensitive to the struggle of it all.

These aren't bad qualities, really, he'd be an ideal neighbor.

There are just times when the coldness of saber is going to conflict with the warmth of the heart.

BRM
06-26-2009, 10:54 AM
Look at every lineup with Taveras at Houston and at Colorado. I haven't, but I'm guessing he's hit leadoff or second the vast majority of the time. I guess all those managers were playing him based on an idea and not reality.

For his career:

Batting 1st: 1951 PA's
Batting 2nd: 323 PA's
All other spots: 154 PA's

bucksfan2
06-26-2009, 11:48 AM
I think Dusty's problem is less about understanding how things work than his stubborn unwillingness to deal with the reality of the skills of his players. He plays guys based on his idea of what they could potentially be, the generic roles in which he's slotted them, rather than the specifics of the level of performance they bring to bear.

Willy Taveras might be going good sometimes and struggling in others, but he's a "lead off guy". Ryan Hannigan might have a .400 OBP right now, but he's a slow catcher. You get the idea...

I think you nailed it on the head. Dusty didn't get to the place he is without a sound baseball mind. His problem is that he sees what he thinks player are. He sees Willy T as the player he was last night, every night. He writes his lineup with the best Willy T in it instead of the usual Willy T. IMO the only better option at leadoff is Dickerson. I think you will see him start to get more and more playing time. If he were to insert Hannigan and his high OBP in the leadoff roll I think Hannigan would get exposed. I think a smaller sample size as well as hitting lower in the order have inflated Hannigan's numbers at this stage in his career. I hope he proves me wrong, but the jury is still out on him.

traderumor
06-26-2009, 12:07 PM
Those explanations sound really good, except they make the assumption that the folks defining "reality" have correctly defined reality. And before you wail about the "reality" of WT, I am speaking of all Dusty's managerial duties, not just hitting WT leadoff.

For example, bucksfan2 has identified a wrench in the "reality" that Hanigan's high OBP in the 8 hole will translate to hitting in the 2 hole, although we know that pitchers rightfully have different approaches based on the part of the lineup they are pitching to. The "cold saber" "facts" cannot account for that decision at this point. I join bucksfan2 in my doubts about Hanigan in the 2 hole based on what his numbers show at this point because it would likely be a miscast, which is the very thing that folks criticize Dusty endlessly for doing. I love Hanigan's approach that gives rise to his good ABs, but he is a bottom of the order hitter in the grand scheme of things. Would I bat him 2 in a makeshift lineup? Occasionally. Regularly? No.

Of course, like a good weatherman who looks outside and predicts 100% rain on a rainy day, "cold saber" says "don't bat WT leadoff." Gee, thanks for the help.

jojo
06-26-2009, 03:08 PM
Those explanations sound really good, except they make the assumption that the folks defining "reality" have correctly defined reality. And before you wail about the "reality" of WT, I am speaking of all Dusty's managerial duties, not just hitting WT leadoff.

For example, bucksfan2 has identified a wrench in the "reality" that Hanigan's high OBP in the 8 hole will translate to hitting in the 2 hole, although we know that pitchers rightfully have different approaches based on the part of the lineup they are pitching to. The "cold saber" "facts" cannot account for that decision at this point. I join bucksfan2 in my doubts about Hanigan in the 2 hole based on what his numbers show at this point because it would likely be a miscast, which is the very thing that folks criticize Dusty endlessly for doing. I love Hanigan's approach that gives rise to his good ABs, but he is a bottom of the order hitter in the grand scheme of things. Would I bat him 2 in a makeshift lineup? Occasionally. Regularly? No.

Of course, like a good weatherman who looks outside and predicts 100% rain on a rainy day, "cold saber" says "don't bat WT leadoff." Gee, thanks for the help.

Lets be clear...cold saber looks at his OBP of .325 over 2428 previous major league PAs and argues that his below average on base skills suggest he'd be miscast as a lead off hitter. Cold saber looks at his minor league and major league performances and dips into history to build comparables based upon those and a host of other player characteristics to create a projected performance that looks into the future and argues that a projected OBP of .320 makes him a liability as a lead off hitter.

This notion that cold saber needed to see the last 4 months in order to argue that Taveras was a poor idea is a false one. No wet handed forecaster regarding this issue.....

BTW, it's simply a more compelling argument to profit that Hanigan is a better option for the two hole given the on base skills Hanigan has displayed over his entire professional career than Gonzo in the two hole given batting behind Taveras might help heat Gonzo up (Dusty's rationale)......

It seems to me that given the weather man analogy, one approach is using data to predict the weather and the other approach is, well, hoping for good weather despite storm clouds overhead.

Big Klu
06-26-2009, 03:56 PM
It seems to me that given the weather man analogy, one approach is using data to predict the weather and the other approach is, well, hoping for good weather despite storm clouds overhead.


I'd keep playin'. I don't think the heavy stuff's gonna come down for quite a while.

http://espn.go.com/media/pg2/2002/0225/photo/wb_spackler_si.jpg

_Sir_Charles_
06-26-2009, 04:33 PM
Baker is a people person and that is the prism he uses when making decisions. If anything, watching him seems to suggest that he tends to see the best in people and feels "It can be done". He also seems sensitive to the struggle of it all.

These aren't bad qualities, really, he'd be an ideal neighbor.

There are just times when the coldness of saber is going to conflict with the warmth of the heart.

Fantastic post Jojo. Cut's right to the heart of it IMO.

While fans look pretty much only at the good of the team and stats, Baker also looks at things for the good of the individual as well. Those don't mesh always.

REDREAD
06-26-2009, 04:38 PM
Doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure that out when, in June, the guy is hitting .074 BA .074 OB% .074SLG% .148 OPS

Just takes Baker looonger.


I think it's just a matter that the entire lineup stinks now. There's really no good person to put in the #1 or #2 hole.

Wily had a nice first month. I'm guessing that Baker is hoping that if Wily stays in the leadoof spot, that he'll eventually play like a leadoff hitter. Remember, Baker is a lot more tuned to the human side of players. He doesn't see each at bat as a random number generator which decides if a player reaches base or not.

In the end, if a guy is hitting .074, he's going to hurt you even if he bats #8.

Bruce has had the majority of his at bats in the #3-#5 spot. He's only hitting .213 with a 298 OBP, yet I have yet to see a single complaint about Dusty batting Bruce in the meat of the order.. I think that's because RZer's agree that Bruce's role is a middle of the lineup hitter, and we have little choice but to keep putting him there and hope he gets things together.

Sure Wily has stunk worse than Bruce, but the bigger point still stands. Until Dusty gets reinforcements (if), he's forced to use the hand he's been dealt.

BRM
06-26-2009, 04:52 PM
Sure Wily has stunk worse than Bruce, but the bigger point still stands. Until Dusty gets reinforcements (if), he's forced to use the hand he's been dealt.

And the hand he's been dealt contains a better centerfielder than the one he's been playing. It does appear Dusty has warmed to the idea of at least platooning the two in CF for awhile. We'll see how it works out.

traderumor
06-26-2009, 05:11 PM
Lets be clear...cold saber looks at his OBP of .325 over 2428 previous major league PAs and argues that his below average on base skills suggest he'd be miscast as a lead off hitter. Cold saber looks at his minor league and major league performances and dips into history to build comparables based upon those and a host of other player characteristics to create a projected performance that looks into the future and argues that a projected OBP of .320 makes him a liability as a lead off hitter.

This notion that cold saber needed to see the last 4 months in order to argue that Taveras was a poor idea is a false one. No wet handed forecaster regarding this issue.....

BTW, it's simply a more compelling argument to profit that Hanigan is a better option for the two hole given the on base skills Hanigan has displayed over his entire professional career than Gonzo in the two hole given batting behind Taveras might help heat Gonzo up (Dusty's rationale)......

It seems to me that given the weather man analogy, one approach is using data to predict the weather and the other approach is, well, hoping for good weather despite storm clouds overhead.And your argument is a strawman, since I wasn't only speaking to "the last 4 months."

RedsManRick
06-26-2009, 05:12 PM
I think it's just a matter that the entire lineup stinks now. There's really no good person to put in the #1 or #2 hole.

Wily had a nice first month. I'm guessing that Baker is hoping that if Wily stays in the leadoof spot, that he'll eventually play like a leadoff hitter. Remember, Baker is a lot more tuned to the human side of players. He doesn't see each at bat as a random number generator which decides if a player reaches base or not.

In the end, if a guy is hitting .074, he's going to hurt you even if he bats #8.

Bruce has had the majority of his at bats in the #3-#5 spot. He's only hitting .213 with a 298 OBP, yet I have yet to see a single complaint about Dusty batting Bruce in the meat of the order.. I think that's because RZer's agree that Bruce's role is a middle of the lineup hitter, and we have little choice but to keep putting him there and hope he gets things together.

Sure Wily has stunk worse than Bruce, but the bigger point still stands. Until Dusty gets reinforcements (if), he's forced to use the hand he's been dealt.

For the season here are his breakdowns of games started by batting order spot:

2nd: 1
3rd: 11
4th: 6
5th: 29
6th: 16
7th: 3

Since June 5th, Bruce has started 17 games. He has not batted 3-5 a single time. He's batted 6th 14 times, and 7th 3 times. Clearly Dusty has adjusted his use of Bruce based on his performance so far.

The reality is that even if Taveras were putting up his career line and even given the talent currently on the roster, he'd be a poor choice to leadoff. Giving the most at bats to offensive players who don't get on base or hit for power is a bad idea, period. In fact, just about any other starting position player is a better candidate to lead off.

Dusty bats Taveras lead off because he believes he's capable of getting on base a reasonable clip, believes in not "clogging the bases" with slow runners, and perhaps most importantly, he is very sensitive to players' feelings and does not want to discourage Taveras by "demoting" him. With a guy like Dickerson or Bruce, Baker can make the case that they haven't earned hitting higher. But because Taveras has hit at the top of lineup for most of his career, Dusty is deferential to that "proven" "ability". No doubt in Dusty's mind, Taveras has earned the right to stay at the top of the lineup whenever he's in the game.

jojo
06-26-2009, 05:23 PM
And your argument is a strawman, since I wasn't only speaking to "the last 4 months."

It's not a strawman. The argument was against the notion that cold saber simply states the obvious but lacks the resolution necessary to dig deeper because it ignores complexities.

traderumor
06-26-2009, 05:30 PM
It's not a strawman. The argument was against the notion that cold saber simply states the obvious but lacks the resolution necessary to dig deeper because it ignores complexities.As the author of the argument, the argument was that "cold saber" couldn't take into account the impact of a change the magnitude of moving an historically bottom of the order player into the top of the order because the history is not there.

It is a strawman because I was never arguing on the basis of 4 months (this season) of history.

nate
06-26-2009, 05:32 PM
I think it's just a matter that the entire lineup stinks now. There's really no good person to put in the #1 or #2 hole.


1. BP
2. Votto

Variation

1. Votto
2. BP

jojo
06-26-2009, 05:43 PM
As the author of the argument, the argument was that "cold saber" couldn't take into account the impact of a change the magnitude of moving an historically bottom of the order player into the top of the order because the history is not there.

Which begs a whole series of questions......


It is a strawman because I was never arguing on the basis of 4 months (this season) of history.

The 4 months is irrelevant because the counterargument is clearly aimed at your central point. A strawman seeks to misrepresent the opposing position which my comments in no way did....

traderumor
06-26-2009, 05:46 PM
Which begs a whole series of questions......



The 4 months is irrelevant because the counterargument is clearly aimed at your central point. A strawman seeks to misrepresent the opposing position which my comments in no way did....As to your first comment, so go for it. As for your last comment, I'm moving on.

jojo
06-26-2009, 05:56 PM
As to your first comment, so go for it.

ok....


As the author of the argument, the argument was that "cold saber" couldn't take into account the impact of a change the magnitude of moving an historically bottom of the order player into the top of the order because the history is not there.

Uhhh....Dusty can?

GAC
06-27-2009, 07:18 AM
We saw last night how effective Taveras can be. He's had a terrible year and he can't hit very well, but if he puts the ball on the ground and goes to right field, he can occasionally get on base and then run the bases well. Taveras was non-tendered last season.

Those points (above) were sound warning signs as to why they should have avoided this guy altogether. A lead-off guy who won't walk, and follows the idea of "If you throw it, I will swing" is a bad idea. Pitchers know this.


It's not Dusty. It's Willy, and hopefully he will improve because his numbers this year don't cut it.

Respectfully - No. It's Dusty. He's the manager. He's the guy that has this hangup with clumping these speed guys at the top of the order, with a total disregard of one's ability to get on base.

And you can also blame Jocketty. No one, including me, denies Walt's contributions and successes while the Card's GM. But IMO, the game continues to change/evolve, and Walt wasn't. And the Card's ownership also changed in philosophy that produced a difference of opinion with Jocketty, who, along with Baker, is a staunch traditionalist. And current Card's GM (Mozeliak) is more stats analysis oriented.

So we currently have two old time traditionalists heading up this team.

Take last night's game, which is typical of a Baker lineup. He has batting, 1-3, three guys whose OB% is.... (1) Taveras (.276) (2) Hairston (.302) (3) Phillips (.337). Phillips has shown improvement this year; but overall, this is unacceptable at the top of the order.

That's Baker's problem.... he's hard-headed, stubborn and set in his ways. Again - "square peg in round hole".

And now that Votto is back, Baker benches on of the best hitters on this team so far in '09 in Hanigan. In 43 games, this guy has not only done it behind the plate, but has a ....325 BA .415 OB% .812 OPS. But you'll see .665 OPS Ramon consistently behind the plate far more the Hanigan. And why? Because of his contract.

And then there is Jay Bruce. Yes, he is still young (22); but he ain't getting it done. The kid can't hit LH'd pitching right now if his life depended on it. I don't know if the answer is just showing more patience, or possibly sending him back to Louisville for a spell.

But Jocketty and Baker have constructed a very un-exciting team that, in the NL, cannot hit for average (.244 = 14th), cannot walk (246 = 14th) , and carries a .390 SLG% (13th) to boot.

Walt is now saying they are looking for a "bat".

So am I..... but it's not to hit balls with. :D

Raisor
06-27-2009, 09:13 AM
I think it's just a matter that the entire lineup stinks now. There's really no good person to put in the #1 or #2 hole.



.276 .385 .393 .778, 2009
.287 .397 .482 .879, career


NL Average Leadoff: .263 .325 .384 .709

Sure wouldn't want this guy leading off.

Highlifeman21
06-27-2009, 01:39 PM
1. BP
2. Votto

Variation

1. Votto
2. BP

BP's having a good season so far, and I fear that if we move him up in the lineup, his production will plummet, which none of us want...

He's hacktastic, and IMO we don't need that type of approach at the top of the lineup, however the approaches we continually run out there at the top of the lineup isn't working either...

nate
06-27-2009, 02:03 PM
BP's having a good season so far, and I fear that if we move him up in the lineup, his production will plummet, which none of us want...

He's hacktastic, and IMO we don't need that type of approach at the top of the lineup, however the approaches we continually run out there at the top of the lineup isn't working either...

Not ideal, no. But as far as what we've got, I think it might be best.

*BaseClogger*
06-27-2009, 06:26 PM
1. BP
2. Votto

Variation

1. Votto
2. BP

I always bat Votto 2nd in my OOTP Dynasty, if that means anything. I go Dickerson, Votto, Encarnacion, Bruce, Phillips, Nix, Hernandez, Gonzalez...

Highlifeman21
06-27-2009, 06:41 PM
Not ideal, no. But as far as what we've got, I think it might be best.

Given this crappy offense, worth a shot.

The status quo isn't plating many runs, so let's try something different.