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VR
03-23-2010, 11:41 PM
A very nice piece on the Reds. Larkin and John Hart gave most of the commentary, and did a good job pointing out the talent and potential of the team. I'm sure Larkin was wondering where all this pitching was the last few years of his career.....but it is really amazing to look at the talented staff the team is putting out there now, and the talent they have from a pitching perspective in the minors.

Honestly, I've been wondering if I should pony up the $ again this year for MLB Extra Innings to watch the games. I will now do that first thing tomorrow. (My 8 yr old watched it with me....I asked him if I should pay the money to get the games. "Oh, you'll pay the money dad...they look great")

Homer Bailey
03-23-2010, 11:44 PM
I've recently decided to pony up the money again as well.

*sigh*

Here we go again....

OnBaseMachine
03-23-2010, 11:56 PM
I thought they did a good job. I really enjoyed the Prime 9 top Reds moments of all-time and the All-Homegrown team. I loved hearing Al Michaels' call of Johnny Bench's ninth-inning, game-tying home run against the Pirates in the 5th and deciding game of the 1972 NLCS at Riverfront. That call sends chills down my spine, as does his call of the wild pitch to win the game. I wish he still announced baseball games.

Both Barry Larkin and John Hart have the Reds making a playoff push but finishing second to the Cardinals.

Here is the MLB Network's version of the Reds All-Homegrown team.

C Johnny Bench
1B Ted Kluszewski
2B Pete Rose
SS Barry Larkin
3B Tony Perez
LF Adam Dunn
CF Eric Davis
RF Frank Robinson
SP Jim Maloney
RP John Franco

George Anderson
03-24-2010, 12:11 AM
I loved hearing Al Michaels' call of Johnny Bench's ninth-inning, game-tying home run against the Pirates in the 5th and deciding game of the 1972 NLCS at Riverfront. That call sends chills down my spine,

I have Michael's call as the ring tone to my phone.

Btw did I hear Arroyo right when he said his dad had him working out in the gym since he was 5??? LOL

Something tells me Bronson didn't hit the weights to hard.

RBA
03-24-2010, 12:15 AM
I'll take George Foster over Adam Dunn.

OnBaseMachine
03-24-2010, 12:16 AM
I'll take George Foster over Adam Dunn.

George Foster wasn't homegrown. He was acquired from the Giants.

TheNext44
03-24-2010, 12:19 AM
I thought they did a good job. I really enjoyed the Prime 9 top Reds moments of all-time and the All-Homegrown team. I loved hearing Al Michaels' call of Johnny Bench's ninth-inning, game-tying home run against the Pirates in the 5th and deciding game of the 1972 NLCS at Riverfront. That call sends chills down my spine, as does his call of the wild pitch to win the game. I wish he still announced baseball games.

Both Barry Larkin and John Hart have the Reds making a playoff push but finishing second to the Cardinals.

Here is the MLB Network's version of the Reds All-Homegrown team.

C Johnny Bench
1B Ted Kluszewski
2B Pete Rose
SS Barry Larkin
3B Tony Perez
LF Adam Dunn
CF Eric Davis
RF Frank Robinson
SP Jim Maloney
RP John Franco

I didn't see it, but did they acknowledge that Franco was drafted by the Dodgers and acquired by the Reds for Rafeal Landestoy? Why not Dibble, who was completely home grown.

RBA
03-24-2010, 12:19 AM
George Foster wasn't homegrown. He was acquired from the Giants.

Okay, I get it now.

RED VAN HOT
03-24-2010, 12:22 AM
Not sure what constitutes home grown. John Franco started in the Dodger organization. Shortly after he made it to the Reds, it was said that the Dodgers were building a fine bull pen. The only problem was that they were building it in Cincinnati.

OnBaseMachine
03-24-2010, 12:28 AM
I didn't see it, but did they acknowledge that Franco was drafted by the Dodgers and acquired by the Reds for Rafeal Landestoy? Why not Dibble, who was completely home grown.

Nope. In order to qualify for the list the player had to have been signed or drafted by the team he appears on. It looks like they overlooked John Franco. I gotta admit, I didn't know Franco was orginally drafted by the Dodgers until you mentioned it.

When I was watching the Astros version of 30/30, they mentioned the reason Jimmy Wynn was left off the Astros All-Homegrowm team because he was orginally signed by the Reds, despite spending only one season in the Reds organization, and that was in Single-A.

TheNext44
03-24-2010, 12:34 AM
I've recently decided to pony up the money again as well.

*sigh*

Here we go again....

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UPw-3e_pzqU

OnBaseMachine
03-24-2010, 12:35 AM
Speaking of Jimmy Wynn, how come the Reds let him get away? I know they already had Vada Pinson and Frank Robinson at the time, but why not put him in left field? I had never really heard much of him until I looked him up a few days ago. 1,665 hits, 291 homers, a .366 OBP/.436 SLG - .802 OPS. Led the league in 1969 with an amazing 148 walks. It looks like he had a great career.

George Anderson
03-24-2010, 01:24 AM
Speaking of Jimmy Wynn, how come the Reds let him get away? .

I think it was similar to the Trevor Hoffman deal. The Reds left him unprotected.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jimmy_Wynn

RedsManRick
03-24-2010, 01:30 AM
Considering they had an hour, I was quite underwhelmed. It would be great to see them to get some professional analysts in there. Actually dissect Bruce's struggles last year. Talk about Harang's mechanics. Heck, mention park effects just once.

Hart is painful to watch, and while I love Barry and would take him over Kruk or Reynolds, he's still an ex-player who strings together platitude after platitude. MLB network simply isn't delivering much in the way of interesting content right now. I can't wait until the Fantasy 411 show goes live -- Mike, Cory and the gang talk more about actual baseball during their hour of fantasy chat than most of the other coverage does...

Ron Madden
03-24-2010, 04:12 AM
Speaking of Jimmy Wynn, how come the Reds let him get away? I know they already had Vada Pinson and Frank Robinson at the time, but why not put him in left field? I had never really heard much of him until I looked him up a few days ago. 1,665 hits, 291 homers, a .366 OBP/.436 SLG - .802 OPS. Led the league in 1969 with an amazing 148 walks. It looks like he had a great career.

Jimmy Wynn (The Toy Cannon) attended the same High School that I graduated from. He was gone before I got there though. ;)

RedFanAlways1966
03-24-2010, 07:10 AM
Considering they had an hour, I was quite underwhelmed. It would be great to see them to get some professional analysts in there. Actually dissect Bruce's struggles last year. Talk about Harang's mechanics. Heck, mention park effects just once.

I am with ya. I watched about 30 minutes of the show and was done with it.

Nasty_Boy
03-24-2010, 07:18 AM
Considering they had an hour, I was quite underwhelmed. It would be great to see them to get some professional analysts in there. Actually dissect Bruce's struggles last year. Talk about Harang's mechanics. Heck, mention park effects just once.

Hart is painful to watch, and while I love Barry and would take him over Kruk or Reynolds, he's still an ex-player who strings together platitude after platitude. MLB network simply isn't delivering much in the way of interesting content right now. I can't wait until the Fantasy 411 show goes live -- Mike, Cory and the gang talk more about actual baseball during their hour of fantasy chat than most of the other coverage does...

I agree... I wasn't that impressed. It's nice to see Reds content and time being devoted to the Reds but some of the information was inaccurate and too shallow. It just seemed like it was dumbed down too much, but maybe that's for the casual fan and not Redszoner's. lol

I kind of got a laugh out of the projected lineup with Bruce hitting 5th and Rolen hitting 6th, because Dusty respects Scott too much to hit him there... And Greg (the host) was talking about how the offense looks pretty good on paper, and then they flash up last year's rankings and they weren't so good.

bucksfan2
03-24-2010, 08:11 AM
Btw did I hear Arroyo right when he said his dad had him working out in the gym since he was 5??? LOL


I don't know if it was 5 but he has been pretty open about working out at a young age and taking supplements. His dad was in the fitness industry and it carried over to Bronson. He isn't what you would expect from a life long weight room rat, but it has worked for him.

blumj
03-24-2010, 08:15 AM
IMO, Vasgergian's MLBN's best host, Leiter and Verducci are their best analysts, and all their shows suffer for it when none of those 3 is involved.

macro
03-24-2010, 08:22 AM
...but some of the information was inaccurate and too shallow. It just seemed like it was dumbed down too much, but maybe that's for the casual fan and not Redszoner's. lol


I think you hit upon it right there. They'd probably lose more viewers by going too deep than by keeping it shallow. I'm among those who would prefer they keep it at the macro level.

I didn't watch it intently, as it was playing in the background while I was working on the computer. But it seemed like they devoted a disproportionate amount of time to talking about Chapman.

cincinnati chili
03-24-2010, 10:15 AM
I love Barry, but he convinced me that he has no business being a higher-up in the Reds front office. If there's ever a movement afoot to give him an influential position, we should resist. He suggested batting Orlando Cabrera leadoff (.316 on base percentage last year and .322 in career... at least Willy T could steal bases) and called Jay Bruce (and I think Ramon Hernandez too) a legitimate "stud" at his position. He intimated that Mike Leake and Travis Wood were the best athletes on the team.

The show was still fun. I don't expect high sabermetrics from MLB's signature spring feature show. To me, it's a step in the right direction that they utilize Baseball Prospectus' pecota-generated standings projections. I enjoyed the Reds' top 9 moments, but I think even Pete Rose would agree that the Reds' world series victories were a bigger deal than 4192.

bucksfan2
03-24-2010, 11:02 AM
I love Barry, but he convinced me that he has no business being a higher-up in the Reds front office. If there's ever a movement afoot to give him an influential position, we should resist. He suggested batting Orlando Cabrera leadoff (.316 on base percentage last year and .322 in career... at least Willy T could steal bases) and called Jay Bruce (and I think Ramon Hernandez too) a legitimate "stud" at his position. He intimated that Mike Leake and Travis Wood were the best athletes on the team.

The show was still fun. I don't expect high sabermetrics from MLB's signature spring feature show. To me, it's a step in the right direction that they utilize Baseball Prospectus' pecota-generated standings projections. I enjoyed the Reds' top 9 moments, but I think even Pete Rose would agree that the Reds' world series victories were a bigger deal than 4192.

Interesting that you said that. I only watched the first 20 minutes of the show wishing Larkin would be the next Reds manager. Just a couple of thoughts based upon your comment.

As for Cabrera at lead off, who would be better? Lets assume that Dickerson is the 4th OF. Votto, Bruce, Gomes and Rolen are middle of the order hitters. BP isn't a lead off hitter and neither is Hernandez. That basically leaves you with Stubbs and Cabrera. You could make an argument for Hanigan when he starts, but I think his high OBP is based on hitting in front of the pitchers.

I have heard reports of Leake being a tremendous athlete. So I wouldn't doubt that report.

Bruce could be a legit stud.

I do think Larkin looks at a catchers game a little differently that we do. That may explain that comment.

RedsManRick
03-24-2010, 11:28 AM
As for Cabrera at lead off, who would be better? Lets assume that Dickerson is the 4th OF. Votto, Bruce, Gomes and Rolen are middle of the order hitters. BP isn't a lead off hitter and neither is Hernandez. That basically leaves you with Stubbs and Cabrera. You could make an argument for Hanigan when he starts, but I think his high OBP is based on hitting in front of the pitchers.


Rolen is a middle of the order hitter? Over the last 3 years, he's hit a combined .279/.351/.430. His power has significantly diminished. There's no way on earth it happens because perception trumps reality, but Rolen would make a fine leadoff hitter. Of course, that's if you believe that OBP > SB, which our current manager does not. With the 8 starters you mentioned, I'd go:

Rolen
Votto
Phillips
Bruce
Gomes
Cabrera
Hernandez
Stubbs

nate
03-24-2010, 11:34 AM
Rolen is a middle of the order hitter? Over the last 3 years, he's hit a combined .279/.351/.430. His power has significantly diminished. There's no way on earth it happens because perception trumps reality, but Rolen would make a fine leadoff hitter. Of course, that's if you believe that OBP > SB, which our current manager does not. With the 8 starters you mentioned, I'd go:

Rolen
Votto
Phillips
Bruce
Gomes
Cabrera
Hernandez
Stubbs

I like it.

OnBaseMachine
03-24-2010, 11:34 AM
I have heard reports of Leake being a tremendous athlete. So I wouldn't doubt that report.

Bruce could be a legit stud.


Yep. Leake was a two-way player in college. I've read quite a few scouting reports that praise his athleticism.

I also have no problem with referring to Bruce as a stud. He hasn't reached that level yet but he certainly has the potential to, and a lot of folks think he'll reach that level soon.

osuceltic
03-24-2010, 12:00 PM
Rolen is a middle of the order hitter? Over the last 3 years, he's hit a combined .279/.351/.430. His power has significantly diminished. There's no way on earth it happens because perception trumps reality, but Rolen would make a fine leadoff hitter. Of course, that's if you believe that OBP > SB, which our current manager does not. With the 8 starters you mentioned, I'd go:

Rolen
Votto
Phillips
Bruce
Gomes
Cabrera
Hernandez
Stubbs

If both Rolen and Stubbs get 600 plate appearances, and Rolen's OBP is .350 and Stubbs's is .330, you're talking about Rolen reaching base about a dozen more times. So Rolen would reach base, say 210 times, compared to 198 or so for Stubbs (quick and dirty calculations). Obviously these numbers change based on batting order position, but here we're just debating the merits of Rolen as a leadoff hitter compared to Stubbs. Anyway, we're talking roughly two extra times reaching base per month, scattered randomly throughout the season.

That being the case, you're arguing that those dozen additional times on base
provide more value than the Stubbs speed/baserunning advantage (I don't consider Rolen a bad baserunner, FWIW) does during those other 198 times on base (minus HRs, of course). Correct? If that's the case, I would respectfully disagree, but I recognize I'll be in the minority on this one.

bucksfan2
03-24-2010, 12:55 PM
Rolen is a middle of the order hitter? Over the last 3 years, he's hit a combined .279/.351/.430. His power has significantly diminished. There's no way on earth it happens because perception trumps reality, but Rolen would make a fine leadoff hitter. Of course, that's if you believe that OBP > SB, which our current manager does not. With the 8 starters you mentioned, I'd go:

Rolen
Votto
Phillips
Bruce
Gomes
Cabrera
Hernandez
Stubbs

I just can't buy this lineup. I do think that I look at lineup and slots different than how you do. So these are my thoughts.

I think there is more to batting order slots, and even more so situations, than strictly numbers. I remember when Larkin was at his prime he would adjust his batting style due to where he was hitting and the situation. For a lead off hitter getting on base is important, but so is making pitchers work and taking pitches. It may sound contrary but sometimes a 10 pitch at bat that results in an out is better than a one pitch hit. I think Larkin does value good bat handlers high in his lineup.

As for Rolen I do agree that he isn't a middle of the order bat anymore. He doesn't have the pop that he used to. Although I do think playing at GABP will help out his power numbers this season. I probably would hit him 5th or 6th because I think he is a professional hitter. He is a guy who handles the bat well and has a firm understanding of situational baseball.

I wouldn't hit Stubbs in the 8th spot. I think if you do you waste a lot of his speed. I do think he will see a high OBP, based upon his minor league plate presence, with pitchers avoiding the strike zone wanting to face the pitcher. I also don't want Stubbs to get on base with basically an automatic out (bunt) behind him. At this point I do hit him high in the order, probably 1 or 2, but drop him if his power continues and is legit.

BP is problematic in that he is one of the best Reds hitters against LHP, but poor against RHP. There is no way I put him in the 3 hole, ever. I leave that to the Reds best hitter, who has shown the ability to hit all pitchers at a similar rate.

I don't think that jockeying a lineup based upon opposing pitchers. I think there is something to be said for stability in a lineup, especially with some young, hopefully impact type players. So if I were make a lineup it would be as follows.

With Dickerson in the lineup.
Dickerson
Stubbs
Votto
Bruce
Rolen
Phillips
Cabrera
Hanigan/Hernandez

I would be fine with swapping Dickerson and Stubbs to keep him in a familiar line ups slot game in game out.

With Gomes in the lineup
Stubbs
Rolen
Votto
Gomes
Bruce
Phillips
Cabrera
Hernandez/Hanigan

OnBaseMachine
03-24-2010, 01:21 PM
Here's video of the Prime 9: All-time Reds moments

http://cincinnati.reds.mlb.com/media/video.jsp?content_id=7219305

Sea Ray
03-24-2010, 02:23 PM
That being the case, you're arguing that those dozen additional times on base
provide more value than the Stubbs speed/baserunning advantage (I don't consider Rolen a bad baserunner, FWIW) does during those other 198 times on base (minus HRs, of course). Correct? If that's the case, I would respectfully disagree, but I recognize I'll be in the minority on this one.

Then I'm in the minority too. I doubt any manager in the major leagues would bat Rolen leadoff. He'd clog up the bases like crazy at the top of the order.

I'd want him in the middle to lower third giving "professional ABs". He doesn't have to hit HRs to drive in runs. Often times I'll take a SF or a ground out to get a run home. Anyone who really wants to see Rolen hit leadoff makes too much of the OBP stat and loses sight of other factors

jmcclain19
03-24-2010, 02:41 PM
After watching a dozen of these, when John Hart is on it's pretty much the same plaudits on each team, just switch around the team name and player names.

Sad but they have a template and rigidly follow it.

As another poster mentioned, when Verducci or Leiter or Joe Magrane aren't on, there is little in the way of real analysis.

TheNext44
03-24-2010, 03:23 PM
I agree... I wasn't that impressed. It's nice to see Reds content and time being devoted to the Reds but some of the information was inaccurate and too shallow. It just seemed like it was dumbed down too much, but maybe that's for the casual fan and not Redszoner's. lol

I kind of got a laugh out of the projected lineup with Bruce hitting 5th and Rolen hitting 6th, because Dusty respects Scott too much to hit him there... And Greg (the host) was talking about how the offense looks pretty good on paper, and then they flash up last year's rankings and they weren't so good.

He kept making dumb comments like that the whole show. Things like...

The Reds clearly have the offensive, but the key is whether or not they have enough pitching...

Gotta love the Reds outfield, but what about the rest of the team..?

I think someone even asked Bruce if the Reds have the best outfield in baseball.


It's like they did no research and just applied standard cliche's that don't apply this year to the Reds.

Really disappointing.

RedsManRick
03-24-2010, 04:26 PM
I just can't buy this lineup. I do think that I look at lineup and slots different than how you do. So these are my thoughts.

I think there is more to batting order slots, and even more so situations, than strictly numbers. I remember when Larkin was at his prime he would adjust his batting style due to where he was hitting and the situation. For a lead off hitter getting on base is important, but so is making pitchers work and taking pitches. It may sound contrary but sometimes a 10 pitch at bat that results in an out is better than a one pitch hit. I think Larkin does value good bat handlers high in his lineup.

In what way does Rolen not fit this profile? Rolen averages nearly a .5 more pitches per PA than Cabrera does. Stubbs and Dickerson are both pretty good in this regard as well. If they can sustain an OBP in the .350 or higher range, I'd be perfectly fine with them up there. In fact, with Dickerson in the lineup, he's my leadoff guy. My lineup assumed Gomes was playing. I don't think Stubbs is going to hit for a high enough average to sustain a good OBP.



As for Rolen I do agree that he isn't a middle of the order bat anymore. He doesn't have the pop that he used to. Although I do think playing at GABP will help out his power numbers this season. I probably would hit him 5th or 6th because I think he is a professional hitter. He is a guy who handles the bat well and has a firm understanding of situational baseball.

Why does this qualify him for batting 5th or 6th? (and isn't 5th the middle of the lineup?) For each spot lower in the lineup you hit you get ~20 fewer plate appearances over the course of the season. If he's a "professional hitter" shouldn't you want him to get more at bats? And what about the 5th/6th spot make them more important for guys who are good situational players?



I wouldn't hit Stubbs in the 8th spot. I think if you do you waste a lot of his speed. I do think he will see a high OBP, based upon his minor league plate presence, with pitchers avoiding the strike zone wanting to face the pitcher. I also don't want Stubbs to get on base with basically an automatic out (bunt) behind him. At this point I do hit him high in the order, probably 1 or 2, but drop him if his power continues and is legit.

In what way is speed wasted in front of the pitcher. If you steal second, then the pitcher can bunt you to 3rd for a sac fly opportunity. And if he just bunts you from 1st to 2nd, it's nice to have that guy able to score on a single rather than have a plodding catcher who needs an extra base hit to score. And since the pitcher is a likely out, the value of baserunners is lessened -- meaning the cost of getting thrown out stealing is less. And given that your best hitters are batting 2nd-4th, why should you need to be fast? Those guys are going to advance you via hits. If you have Joey Votto smacking doubles, you don't need to be extra speedy, just at least average. Speed is at its most valuable when the other methods of base advancement are harder to come by (like when a crappy hitter is behind you).



BP is problematic in that he is one of the best Reds hitters against LHP, but poor against RHP. There is no way I put him in the 3 hole, ever. I leave that to the Reds best hitter, who has shown the ability to hit all pitchers at a similar rate. I don't think that jockeying a lineup based upon opposing pitchers. I think there is something to be said for stability in a lineup, especially with some young, hopefully impact type players.

Do you believe that being in a specific spot in the lineup everyday leads to players performing better, even if it means facing pitchers against whom they tend to struggle due to handedness more often?

I don't mean for any of these comments/questions to come across as snarky, I'm just curious about your thought process. A lot of it seems based on familiarity with what "the book" says, backed up with some hypothesis about why the book might be right. Maybe the book is right in some cases, but I think we could probably test the hypothesis a bit, at least play out the assumptions a bit more if not bringing in actual performance data.

westofyou
03-24-2010, 04:48 PM
Sad but they have a template and rigidly follow it.

That's because they are making hamburgers not steak with these shows, anyone expecting steak in these incidents are just setting themselves up for either a Wow, I'm smarter than they are moment or a realization that basic baseball programing is exactly what it is advertised to be, basic baseball programing.

Since I know I'm not the former I'll stick to the later and move on.

TheNext44
03-24-2010, 04:54 PM
That's because they are making hamburgers not steak with these shows, anyone expecting steak in these incidents are just setting themselves up for either a Wow, I'm smarter than they are moment or a realization that basic baseball programing is exactly what it is advertised to be, basic baseball programing.

Since I know I'm not the former I'll stick to the later and move on.

I expected hamburger and was still disappointed. It was like a burger you get out of a vending machine and put into your microwave at work.

Even the casual Reds fan knows that the Reds have problems with their offense, especially their outfield. I would expect that a network run by Major League Baseball would have done that minimum amount of research to get that right.

VR
03-24-2010, 04:57 PM
I expected hamburger and was still disappointed. It was like a burger you get out of a vending machine and put into your microwave at work.

Even the casual Reds fan knows that the Reds have problems with their offense, especially their outfield. I would expect that a network run by Major League Baseball would have done that minimum amount of research to get that right.

When I look at a full season of Rolen at 3rd, an upgrade at SS of Cabrera, a healthy Bruce and Votto....and another year of maturity for CDick, Stubbs et al....I think it's fair to expect the offense to be better this year. Much better.

bucksfan2
03-24-2010, 04:57 PM
In what way does Rolen not fit this profile? Rolen averages nearly a .5 more pitches per PA than Cabrera does. Stubbs and Dickerson are both pretty good in this regard as well.

Why does this qualify him for batting 5th or 6th. For each spot lower in the lineup you hit you get ~20 fewer plate appearances over the course of the season. If he's a "professional hitter" should you want him to get more at bats?

RMR sometimes I think you look at a number rather than the player. Sure Rolen probably could hit lead off, and do a decent job in doing so, but would that be where he would be best? Would that be where he has the most value? He has spent the vast majority of his career hitting in the middle of the order. He knows how to "hit" in that role, and I do place some value in that.


In what was is speed wasted in front of the pitcher. If you steal second, then the pitcher can bunt you to 3rd for a sac fly opportunity. And since he's a likely out, the cost of getting thrown out is less. I mean, why should you need to be fast if you have Joey Votto smacking extra-base hits behind you? Speed is most valuable when the other methods of base advancement are less common (like when a crappy hitter is behind you).

Speed is wasted in front of a pitcher. I would want Stubbs on base in front of Votto for a number of reasons. First off if he steals a base than a single scores him, not only an extra-base hit. Second off with Votto at the plate a pitcher is less likely to pitch out giving Votto an extra ball to work with. Also with Stubbs on first base he will create more of a distraction for the pitcher. More fastballs will be thrown, a pitcher may resort to a slide step, a pitcher may become more occupied with the runner on first.

With a guy like Stubbs on 1b, or 2b for that matter I want a team to give him an opportunity to take a base. With the P hitting behind him that will likely be nullified because the team would be willing to sacrifice that out.



Analysis has shown that the #3 hitter isn't the best place to bat your best bat -- the #2 spot is. That's because in ~50% of games, the #3 hitter comes up with 2 outs and nobody on in the first -- a guaranteed bad opportunity. Putting your best hitter there gives him fewer chances to do good.

I haven't seen that analysis and is that analysis for all of MLB or for the NL only? To be honest after the first inning passes lineups are basically a crap shoot. You don't know who is going to come up at the important moments in the game and who won't. There are games where the 3rd hole hitter can have a monster game but figure little into the outcome.

As for the 3 hole I think that is where your best hitter belongs. In the NL I want two guys in front of him who have the ability to get on base, instead of having the 9 hitter one batter in front of my best hitter.

FWIW I don't think BP is the Reds second best hitter.


DO you believe that being in a specific spot in the lineup everyday leads to players performing better, even if it means facing pitchers against whom they tend to struggle due to handedness?

I do think that consistency does lead to success. Its not the over riding factor, probably a minor factor, but when you are talking with major league players it can matter. A given player may not like to lead off or hit without seeing a starting pitcher warm up. A batter may not like the psychology of hitting in different slots. I do think handedness can come into play, but I also think that can be taken out of context. You could have a game in which Jay Bruce struggles against a tough lefty, but the team runs the starting pitcher early. I think there is some merit to splitting lefties, especially lefties with bad LHP splits.


I don't mean for any of these comments/questions to come across as snarky, I'm just curious about your thought process. A lot of it seems based on familiarity with what "the book" says rather than an established logic about what leads to scoring runs.

Sure I may follow "the book" when setting my lineup. As I said above after the initial go around I think lineup formation is a crap shoot. If you could choose which situations you want your best hitter in that sure would be nice. It happens where your tied or down in the bottom of the 9th when you have 7,8,9 up and have used your best PH. Not an idea situation by any means.

TheNext44
03-24-2010, 05:10 PM
When I look at a full season of Rolen at 3rd, an upgrade at SS of Cabrera, a healthy Bruce and Votto....and another year of maturity for CDick, Stubbs et al....I think it's fair to expect the offense to be better this year. Much better.

I agree, but they never said anything like that. They said that the Reds have plenty of offense and need pitching.

There were many other examples, but it was clear to any Reds fan that besides Larkin, no one on that show knew anything about the Reds except the players names and what they were reading off some hastily compiled scouting report put together by an intern.

Oh and Chapman, they knew about him.

Roy Tucker
03-24-2010, 05:16 PM
I expected hamburger and was still disappointed. It was like a burger you get out of a vending machine and put into your microwave at work.

Even the casual Reds fan knows that the Reds have problems with their offense, especially their outfield. I would expect that a network run by Major League Baseball would have done that minimum amount of research to get that right.

Yeah. I'm not going to lose sleep over it, but I kind of assumed an MLB-specific network would have good in-depth content. Maybe not total geekery SABR-stuff, but something that is intelligent and meant for a baseball fan who knows something about the game. Your casual fan isn't going to dial up MLB Network.

Otherwise, I can see fluff stuff anywhere like on ESPN or CNN or the local news. MLB Network needs to differentiate itself.

RedsManRick
03-24-2010, 05:23 PM
If both Rolen and Stubbs get 600 plate appearances, and Rolen's OBP is .350 and Stubbs's is .330, you're talking about Rolen reaching base about a dozen more times. So Rolen would reach base, say 210 times, compared to 198 or so for Stubbs (quick and dirty calculations). Obviously these numbers change based on batting order position, but here we're just debating the merits of Rolen as a leadoff hitter compared to Stubbs. Anyway, we're talking roughly two extra times reaching base per month, scattered randomly throughout the season.

That being the case, you're arguing that those dozen additional times on base
provide more value than the Stubbs speed/baserunning advantage (I don't consider Rolen a bad baserunner, FWIW) does during those other 198 times on base (minus HRs, of course). Correct? If that's the case, I would respectfully disagree, but I recognize I'll be in the minority on this one.

I agree with your logic, and this particular case, your conclusion. But I disagree with your assumptions.

I believe Rolen's OBP will be something like 40-50 points higher than Stubbs'. So now you're talking about 30 times on base. At that point, yes, the difference easily trumps Stubbs' base-running advantage.

The missing piece of the math here is the difference in their likelihood of scoring once on base. Ignoring for the moment the question of slugging, the value of the batter advancing other base-runners and himself, the question comes down to: Given X number of times on base, who will score most often.

Runs Scored= Plate Appearances * OBP * Chances of scoring

Since we're holding plate appearance equal (which we shouldn't, since the guy with the higher OBP will produce fewer outs and thus get a few more PA when the lineup turns over a bit more often...) we just need those 2 numbers for each guy. Let's take a look.

For the sake of simplicity, the numbers are rounded. Choose your OBP, choose your chances of scoring and there's your runs in 600 PA. I'm not sure what the chance of scoring figures are like in reality, so I've given a pretty wide berth.



30% 35% 40% 45% 50% 55% 60%
.300 54 63 72 81 90 99 108
.310 56 65 74 84 93 102 112
.320 58 67 77 86 96 106 115
.330 59 69 79 89 99 109 119
.340 61 71 82 92 102 112 122
.350 63 74 84 95 105 116 126
.360 65 76 86 97 108 119 130
.370 67 78 89 100 111 122 133
.380 68 80 91 103 114 125 137

So what do you think? The chances of scoring are obviously mostly driven by the batters behind you. And since we haven't seen both guys in the same spot in the same lineup, we can't really compare apples to apples. Though interestingly, in their brief time with the Reds last year, Stubbs scored on 43% of his times on base, Rolen 42%. And guess which guy had better hitters behind him?

For the sake of argument, if we use the OBP PECOTA projects (.312 for Stubbs, .352 for Rolen). Stubbs needs to be 5% more likely to score from a time on base than Rolen. That actually doesn't seem too unreasonable. I think it could go either way. I'd love to see more data on the likelihood of scoring issue.

TheNext44
03-24-2010, 06:12 PM
Yeah. I'm not going to lose sleep over it, but I kind of assumed an MLB-specific network would have good in-depth content. Maybe not total geekery SABR-stuff, but something that is intelligent and meant for a baseball fan who knows something about the game. Your casual fan isn't going to dial up MLB Network.

Otherwise, I can see fluff stuff anywhere like on ESPN or CNN or the local news. MLB Network needs to differentiate itself.

Excellent analysis. MLB Network can do much better by attracting a smaller, more hardcore audience, than by trying to become the baseball version of ESPN.

Those casual fans that they are trying to attract will watch ESPN everytime when given a choice. It has more sports, and is easier to watch.

The key to being a successful basic cable network is to go after and capture a devoted niche audience, rather than broad diverse audience. Advertisers love these niche audiences. Makes their job easier too.

westofyou
03-24-2010, 06:21 PM
Excellent analysis. MLB Network can do much better by attracting a smaller, more hardcore audience, than by trying to become the baseball version of ESPN.

Those casual fans that they are trying to attract will watch ESPN everytime when given a choice. It has more sports, and is easier to watch.

The key to being a successful basic cable network is to go after and capture a devoted niche audience, rather than broad diverse audience. Advertisers love these niche audiences. Makes their job easier too.

Niche don't pay the bills, advertisers want accessable programing over niche products. Basically Fuse or MTV, TBS or NBC.

GADawg
03-24-2010, 06:46 PM
I like the "miked up" part when Gomes was acting like he had never heard of New Jersey....he either has more personality and a better sense of humor than I thought or maybe he just hadn't ever heard of New Jersey:)

TheNext44
03-24-2010, 07:02 PM
Niche don't pay the bills, advertisers want accessable programing over niche products. Basically Fuse or MTV, TBS or NBC.

Actually, in the basic cable world that is exactly who pays the bills. That's why networks like TLC, Animal Planet, The Food Network, The Golf Channel, CHILL (Horror movies), Comedy Central, etc all make as much or more % of profit as TBS, MTV and ESPN.

If I am selling pet food, I know I reach more people who want my product for less money by advertising on Animal Planet than on TBS. Which means that if I run Animal Planet, I can charge more than double per viewer than TBS, and still have advertisers lining up.

It's all about demographics, not raw numbers.

westofyou
03-24-2010, 07:14 PM
It's all about demographics, not raw numbers.
Yep and there are way more casual fans than us.

TheNext44
03-24-2010, 07:42 PM
Yep and there are way more casual fans than us.

And they watch ESPN or their local news for sports news.

I could be wrong, I don't know the basic cable baseball market, but if I was running MLB network, I would go after the untapped market of hardcore baseball fans, the ones who play in multiple fantasy leagues, who know who the top prospects of their team are, the ones wake up and check the web for the latest news on their team. That seems to be easier and more profitable than trying to steal viewers away from ESPN.

And once you get a strong niche audience, it's much easier to grow into a station for casual fans. Just look at MTV, Comedy Central, E!, The Food Network, and even ESPN. That is what they did, and it worked great for them.

HumnHilghtFreel
03-24-2010, 07:48 PM
As far as niche goes... a station dedicated just to baseball already IS a niche. I don't know just how far they want to pigeonhole themselves here. Some good programming for the hardcore fans here and there would be great, but you still have to have mass appeal

Sea Ray
03-24-2010, 08:15 PM
Seems to me that Rolen has played in over 1700 games and has yet to have a manager pencil him into the leadoff spot. Only on internet boards will you see serious talk of Rolen hitting leadoff.

HumnHilghtFreel
03-24-2010, 09:00 PM
Seems to me that Rolen has played in over 1700 games and has yet to have a manager pencil him into the leadoff spot. Only on internet boards will you see serious talk of Rolen hitting leadoff.

The thought of that is pretty ridiculous to me as well.

Jeremy Brown had all the makings of a superb leadoff man as well I suppose.

westofyou
03-24-2010, 09:56 PM
As far as niche goes... a station dedicated just to baseball already IS a niche. I don't know just how far they want to pigeonhole themselves here. Some good programming for the hardcore fans here and there would be great, but you still have to have mass appeal

Yep, niche is an all baseball channel, I for one can't ask for more over that.

blumj
03-24-2010, 11:13 PM
MLB Tonight can get pretty deep sometimes. 30/30 just isn't that.

fugowitribe
03-25-2010, 01:23 AM
When it comes to Rolen and Stubbs for the leadoff spot, I think it is a given that no manager will let Rolen Leadoff, but if you take into account what Larkin mentioned during the program that more often than we realize, the leadoff man has to be an RBI guy as well with the pitcher moving runners over and 1 or 2 outs. Also, if you have a veteran bat that can work a pitcher (Like Rolen or Cabrerra) it is beneficial throughout the game when they shorten the innings for the opposing starter. It is crazy to think it would happen with Dusty at the helm, but kind of interesting when you look at the opportunites that each player gives to the team, because do you think Stubbs or Dickerson are going to produce more run scoring chances from the leadoff than the pitcher moving runners?

Ron Madden
03-25-2010, 03:52 AM
I don't know but it seems to me that the MLB Network read everything written by John Fay, Hal McCoy and C. Trent and filmed an episode based on that information. That may be old news to us but it is news to Fans of other Teams.

Sure it could have been more in depth but I kinda enjoyed the show.

OnBaseMachine
03-25-2010, 04:00 AM
I love the MLB Network. It features baseball 24/7 365 days a year ... It's hard for me to complain about that.

Sea Ray
03-25-2010, 08:01 AM
When it comes to Rolen and Stubbs for the leadoff spot, I think it is a given that no manager will let Rolen Leadoff, but if you take into account what Larkin mentioned during the program that more often than we realize, the leadoff man has to be an RBI guy as well with the pitcher moving runners over and 1 or 2 outs. Also, if you have a veteran bat that can work a pitcher (Like Rolen or Cabrerra) it is beneficial throughout the game when they shorten the innings for the opposing starter. It is crazy to think it would happen with Dusty at the helm, but kind of interesting when you look at the opportunites that each player gives to the team, because do you think Stubbs or Dickerson are going to produce more run scoring chances from the leadoff than the pitcher moving runners?

It's not going to happen with any manager at the helm. It's not about Dusty. It wouldn't even happen with Bob Boone at the helm. It's a nutty idea

bucksfan2
03-25-2010, 08:21 AM
Actually, in the basic cable world that is exactly who pays the bills. That's why networks like TLC, Animal Planet, The Food Network, The Golf Channel, CHILL (Horror movies), Comedy Central, etc all make as much or more % of profit as TBS, MTV and ESPN.

If I am selling pet food, I know I reach more people who want my product for less money by advertising on Animal Planet than on TBS. Which means that if I run Animal Planet, I can charge more than double per viewer than TBS, and still have advertisers lining up.

It's all about demographics, not raw numbers.

I may be wrong here, but I thought each individual company negotiates a contract with you cable companies. For example, Disney (parent company of ABC, ESPN networks, etc.) could become upset that Turner has a more lucrative contract then them. They could use their programs as leverage to get a better contract from a given cable provider. I think it came down to the 11th hour with NBC and a NYC area cable provider right before the Oscars.

MLB Network needs to generate viewership and take that away from ESPN's Baseball Tonight first and foremost. Once they increase their viewership they can switch focus to a more hardcore baseball perspective.

nate
03-25-2010, 09:25 AM
It's not going to happen with any manager at the helm. It's not about Dusty. It wouldn't even happen with Bob Boone at the helm. It's a nutty idea

It's a nutty idea for those living inside the box where there's no innovation or freshness of thought with regard to strategy because it's all been "figured out." In this case, the strategy being "get the guy who makes fewer outs more ABs than the guy who makes more outs" instead of "let's play for the tactic of not 'wasting' our 'fast guy' because the 'RBI guy' might not get a chance to hit with the 'fast guy' on base if the 'fast guy' gets on base with two outs and the pitcher due up."

Yes...nutty indeed.

Spring~Fields
03-25-2010, 09:41 AM
It's a nutty idea for those living inside the box where there's no innovation or freshness of thought with regard to strategy because it's all been "figured out." In this case, the strategy being "get the guy who makes fewer outs more ABs than the guy who makes more outs" instead of "let's play for the tactic of not 'wasting' our 'fast guy' because the 'RBI guy' might not get a chance to hit with the 'fast guy' on base if the 'fast guy' gets on base with two outs and the pitcher due up."

Yes...nutty indeed.

I think I can understand what you are saying here. :confused:

I like "the managers" strategy of giving the two batters that get on the least amount of time the most PA/AB. Then in addition to that, giving them even more time to continue to not get on base for another month or two. :bowrofl:

Something about complaints that the team just can’t score runs is charming in a gullible and naïve way.

I adore the Baker comments throughout the season that goes something like this, “we just couldn’t get the big hit” …………………..I love it when he ignores the splits against right handed pitchers, and the fact that he gives his lowest OBP batters the most PA/AB while he and the media boast of his history and experience, yet he bristles against the idea of higher OBP getting most PA/AB and goes with nothing more than a superstition, like not stepping on the foul lines, by batting CF and SS one two regardless of their ability to create scoring chances. :lol:

And that cleanup batter against right handed pitching is to die for. :D

Sea Ray
03-25-2010, 09:57 AM
It's a nutty idea for those living inside the box where there's no innovation or freshness of thought with regard to strategy because it's all been "figured out." In this case, the strategy being "get the guy who makes fewer outs more ABs than the guy who makes more outs" instead of "let's play for the tactic of not 'wasting' our 'fast guy' because the 'RBI guy' might not get a chance to hit with the 'fast guy' on base if the 'fast guy' gets on base with two outs and the pitcher due up."

Yes...nutty indeed.

The most "out of the box" manager I've seen is Bob Boone. No thanks. I'll take Dusty.

nate
03-25-2010, 10:03 AM
I think I can understand what you are saying here. :confused:

I like "the managers" strategy of giving the two batters that get on the least amount of time the most PA/AB. Then in addition to that, giving them even more time to continue to not get on base for another month or two. :bowrofl:

Something about complaints that the team just can’t score runs is charming in a gullible and naïve way.

I adore the Baker comments throughout the season that goes something like this, “we just couldn’t get the big hit” …………………..I love it when he ignores the splits against right handed pitchers, and the fact that he gives his lowest OBP batters the most PA/AB while he and the media boast of his history and experience, yet he bristles against the idea of higher OBP getting most PA/AB and goes with nothing more than a superstition, like not stepping on the foul lines, by batting CF and SS one two regardless of their ability to create scoring chances. :lol:

And that cleanup batter against right handed pitching is to die for. :D

As I've said many times, I think Dusty is an asset but not in terms of managing the game. Rather, he's an asset in terms of managing the players.

nate
03-25-2010, 10:07 AM
The most "out of the box" manager I've seen is Bob Boone. No thanks. I'll take Dusty.

Strawman. The choice wasn't "Bob Boone" or "Dusty." The choice was "strategy" vs. "tactics." You seem to be OK with playing a tactical game. I'd rather play a strategic one.

westofyou
03-25-2010, 10:10 AM
Mark Belanger played for the most savvy manager in MLB and still batted 1st or 2nd over 1700 times.

Color me unsurprised by any lineup made in baseball.

Sea Ray
03-25-2010, 10:46 AM
Strawman. The choice wasn't "Bob Boone" or "Dusty." The choice was "strategy" vs. "tactics." You seem to be OK with playing a tactical game. I'd rather play a strategic one.

If you think Bob Boone is a straw man, fine. Name me another manager who you think would bat Rolen leadoff.

Spring~Fields
03-25-2010, 11:38 AM
Rather, he's an asset in terms of managing the players.

He is good at speaking positive reinforcement to the media, finding things right and good about a player and pointing that out in the media. He is a good spin doctor, well, unless one recalls his ambiguous comments, that are often reflective of some incongruity. He does what he knows, that is all that anyone can do.

Then he negates the benefits by your first point.


As I've said many times, I think Dusty is an asset but not in terms of managing the game.

This year the expectations are higher from their puffery regarding the youth and young prospects, the new found and old pitching that is going to be so much better, and the improvements at 3B and SS along with the hope in the outfielders, if he doesn’t get results this year, he will be exploited.

If he doesn't manage what it is all about, "the game", then he isn't managing the players right either.

I know that you see it and have, this year, "they" will see it too. Three years later.

nate
03-25-2010, 11:44 AM
If you think Bob Boone is a straw man, fine. Name me another manager who you think would bat Rolen leadoff.

I don't really care if such a manager exists or not. It would just be nice to see guys put in roles they're suited for rather than roles we wish they could fulfill. I sure wish Drew Stubbs was Rickey Henderson but he's not. Rolen's not an "ideal" leadoff hitter in the traditional sense but in the sense of "outs are precious when my offense isn't good," he could be. We'll, of course, never know because he's neither a CF or SS and therefore will likely not see many 1st inning PAs this year.

Maybe in terms of "conventional" baseball, it's nutty.

I don't care about "conventional" baseball, I care about "winning baseball."

VR
03-25-2010, 11:47 AM
Who's excited about Rolen batting leadoff, and why?

Sea Ray
03-25-2010, 03:00 PM
I don't really care if such a manager exists or not. It would just be nice to see guys put in roles they're suited for rather than roles we wish they could fulfill. I sure wish Drew Stubbs was Rickey Henderson but he's not. Rolen's not an "ideal" leadoff hitter in the traditional sense but in the sense of "outs are precious when my offense isn't good," he could be. We'll, of course, never know because he's neither a CF or SS and therefore will likely not see many 1st inning PAs this year.

Maybe in terms of "conventional" baseball, it's nutty.

I don't care about "conventional" baseball, I care about "winning baseball."

Rolen is not a leadoff man in the sense of "conventional" baseball or "winning" baseball and this is proven true as he's played on many winning teams yet he's never hit leadoff. I am of the opinion that there's not a manager in the game that would hit him leadoff and any of us "fans" who would do otherwise are in a sense saying that we know better. I don't agree with that.

nate
03-25-2010, 04:21 PM
Rolen is not a leadoff man in the sense of "conventional" baseball or "winning" baseball and this is proven true as he's played on many winning teams yet he's never hit leadoff.

Post hoc or false dichotomy...hmm...hard to decide!

I'll say post hoc to win.

Yet again, you are fixated on names. I'm talking about the strategy to avoid outs. This might just be me because I'm not "in the game" but I like the idea of Rolen and Votto getting more chances than Stubbs and Cabrera.

Actually, I'd probably like Dickerson/Rolen/Votto best. If only Rolen played SS, Dusty would be all over that! LRL and CF/SS/"RBI Man"...heaven!

Further, so what that he's never done it before? It's an intellectual exercise because, as I said before, it's never going to happen. If it did, success/failure would be declared long before any tangible evidence manifested, probably within the first 2 PAs.


I am of the opinion that there's not a manager in the game that would hit him leadoff and any of us "fans" who would do otherwise are in a sense saying that we know better. I don't agree with that.

Ah, the appeal to authority gambit!

I'll have to remember that one.

Sea Ray
03-25-2010, 04:37 PM
Post hoc or false dichotomy...hmm...hard to decide!

I'll say post hoc to win.

Yet again, you are fixated on names. I'm talking about the strategy to avoid outs. This might just be me because I'm not "in the game" but I like the idea of Rolen and Votto getting more chances than Stubbs and Cabrera.

Actually, I'd probably like Dickerson/Rolen/Votto best. If only Rolen played SS, Dusty would be all over that! LRL and CF/SS/"RBI Man"...heaven!

Further, so what that he's never done it before? It's an intellectual exercise because, as I said before, it's never going to happen. If it did, success/failure would be declared long before any tangible evidence manifested, probably within the first 2 PAs.



Ah, the appeal to authority gambit!

I'll have to remember that one.


OK, fair enough...:beerme:

RedsManRick
03-25-2010, 05:17 PM
If you think Bob Boone is a straw man, fine. Name me another manager who you think would bat Rolen leadoff.

Ironically enough, considering his announcing tendencies, Joe Morgan bat Wade Boggs leadoff for a few years on the Red Sox. Talk about a high OBP, mediocre SLG, not much speed guy. And he even played 3B to boot. It's not unprecedented.

The issue with Rolen is that the manager would have to see him as the hitter he is now and will be in the near future rather than the one from 2004. He's now a guy who can work the count a bit, put up a solid OBP, put up some pop, but not a ton, and run the bases well (good base-running isn't about speed -- speed is merely a multiplier, often for the worse).

The manager would also have to appreciate that OBP and SLG are more important than AVG, which is where most managers would get hung up on Rolen I imagine. Ironically, a walk is probably more valuable than a single to lead off the game since there are no base-runners to advance and it usually means the pitcher had to throw more pitches...

There is definitely a catch 22 with few managers having the cojones to defy "the book". LaRussa has done the pitcher batting 8th thing and gets constant razzing for it. I'm sure it helps to know you're secure in your job. But any manager who isn't willing to think for himself isn't somebody I'd want running the team. But I guess that's just me.

westofyou
03-25-2010, 05:42 PM
Ironically enough, considering his announcing tendencies, Joe Morgan bat Wade Boggs leadoff for a few years on the Red Sox. Talk about a high OBP, mediocre SLG, not much speed guy. And he even played 3B to boot. It's not unprecedented.

The issue with Rolen is that the manager would have to see him as the hitter he is now and will be in the near future rather than the one from 2004. He's now a guy who can work the count a bit, put up a solid OBP, put up some pop, but not a ton, and run the bases well (good base-running isn't about speed -- speed is merely a multiplier, often for the worse).

The manager would also have to appreciate that OBP and SLG are more important than AVG, which is where most managers would get hung up on Rolen I imagine. Ironically, a walk is probably more valuable than a single to lead off the game since there are no base-runners to advance and it usually means the pitcher had to throw more pitches...

There is definitely a catch 22 with few managers having the cojones to defy "the book". LaRussa has done the pitcher batting 8th thing and gets constant razzing for it. I'm sure it helps to know you're secure in your job. But any manager who isn't willing to think for himself isn't somebody I'd want running the team. But I guess that's just me.

Wrong Joe Morgan

Sea Ray
03-25-2010, 06:00 PM
I don't recall Joe Morgan ever managing in the big leagues but I know it is happy hour time...

Scott Rolen is not Wade Boggs

Spring~Fields
03-25-2010, 08:04 PM
I don't care about "conventional" baseball, I care about "winning baseball."

:thumbup:

RedsManRick
03-25-2010, 08:18 PM
Wrong Joe Morgan

Really? My bad. Could've sworn Joe managed at some point... anyways, the point regarding Boggs leading off still stands. It makes more sense that it wasn't Little Joe.

RedsManRick
03-25-2010, 08:21 PM
I don't recall Joe Morgan ever managing in the big leagues but I know it is happy hour time...

Scott Rolen is not Wade Boggs

Doesn't mean it's not a bad idea regardless. To Nate's point, I couldn't care less about what's traditionally done -- I just want to win baseball games.

mth123
03-25-2010, 08:30 PM
Put me down as a fan of OBP with Moderate power at the top of the order and the running game guys, also with moderate power, in the 6 and 7 holes. No reason at all for pure running game guys to even be on the roster. Big power guys should hit 3, 4, 5. Rolen is more the OBP with moderate power guy these days. He's definitely not middle of the line-up material IMO.

Dickerson/Stubbs CF
Rolen 3B
Votto 1B
Bruce RF
Gomes LF
Phillips 2B
Cabrera SS
Hernandez/Hanigan C

Will M
03-25-2010, 08:42 PM
Put me down as a fan of OBP with Moderate power at the top of the order and the running game guys, also with moderate power, in the 6 and 7 holes. No reason at all for pure running game guys to even be on the roster. Big power guys should hit 3, 4, 5. Rolen is more the OBP with moderate power guy these days. He's definitely not middle of the line-up material IMO.

Dickerson/Stubbs CF
Rolen 3B
Votto 1B
Bruce RF
Gomes LF
Phillips 2B
Cabrera SS
Hernandez/Hanigan C

IMO Rolen would be a very good #2 hitter. Patient. Doubles power. Good OBP. Would be a much better choice than Cabrera to hit between Dickerson/Stubbs & Votto.

Phillips was very exciting when he hit 6th. He created a lot of havoc on the bases & created some runs this way. Ever since he was moved up in the order he has tried to be Babe Ruth & this is not his strength.

pedro
03-25-2010, 11:54 PM
Ironically enough, considering his announcing tendencies, Joe Morgan bat Wade Boggs leadoff for a few years on the Red Sox. Talk about a high OBP, mediocre SLG, not much speed guy. And he even played 3B to boot. It's not unprecedented.



This is either the funniest or saddest thing I have ever read on RZ.

I can't decide which.

cincinnati chili
03-26-2010, 01:43 AM
Interesting that you said that. I only watched the first 20 minutes of the show wishing Larkin would be the next Reds manager. Just a couple of thoughts based upon your comment.

As for Cabrera at lead off, who would be better? Lets assume that Dickerson is the 4th OF. Votto, Bruce, Gomes and Rolen are middle of the order hitters. BP isn't a lead off hitter and neither is Hernandez. That basically leaves you with Stubbs and Cabrera. You could make an argument for Hanigan when he starts, but I think his high OBP is based on hitting in front of the pitchers.

Bruce could be a legit stud.


A fair point that the Reds aren't exactly brimming with prototypical leadoff guys. Still, I'd like to see Dickerson play quite a bit and lead off in the games he starts. Otherwise, I'm fine with Stubbs in the leadoff spot. Cabrera has proven he can't get on base at the major league level. Stubbs hasn't given us enough data to prove that he's incapable.

Barry said that Bruce IS a stud, not that he might become one. Perhaps injuries were the reason, but he was an offensive liability as a corner outfielder last year. The antithesis of stud. He has never been a dominant major league player, and this is a big year for him.

Sea Ray
03-26-2010, 10:13 AM
Doesn't mean it's not a bad idea regardless. To Nate's point, I couldn't care less about what's traditionally done -- I just want to win baseball games.

I don't think you want to win games any more than any manager in MLB. They all want to win. That's a given.

Do you think managers would prefer "going by the book" to winning? I don't think so. I think they'd put out any lineup if they thought it'd help their chances of winning the game. So what is it that you know that they don't?

RedsManRick
03-26-2010, 10:26 AM
I don't think you want to win games any more than any manager in MLB. They all want to win. That's a given.

Do you think managers would prefer "going by the book" to winning? I don't think so. I think they'd put out any lineup if they thought it'd help their chances of winning the game. So what is it that you know that they don't?

Fair point; I understand that managers want win. However, I think managers mostly developed their understanding of what kind of lineups worked best based on their experience as players in decades past. Few are willing to be open to the possibility that what they learned may not be correct.

While I certainly appreciate that I don't have perfect knowledge, I hardly think it's groundbreaking to suggest that the baseball community in general is slow to accept ideas that run counter to ego and convention, even when those ideas clearly serve the interests of winning ballgames.

And I think the biggest issue is that of inertia and perception. Even if a manager was completely on board with the idea, he has more to lose (his job) by bucking convention and getting heavily scrutinized by the media and perhaps his own players than he has to gain from the admittedly modest benefit (a few wins for which his lineup machinations won't be given credit) of putting the most efficiently lineup out there.

osuceltic
03-26-2010, 10:35 AM
... even when those ideas clearly serve the interests of winning ballgames ...

This is where you get in trouble. Your point of view is no more "clearly" right than the 100-plus years of accrued baseball knowledge. Can you make a case on paper? Sure. But there's a lot more to it than what you see in your paper argument. Arguing that you've "clearly" figured it out and pretty much every manager in the history of the game had it wrong is beyond arrogant.

nate
03-26-2010, 11:59 AM
I don't think you want to win games any more than any manager in MLB. They all want to win. That's a given.

I'm not talking about desire.


Do you think managers would prefer "going by the book" to winning?

I think Dusty goes with what he knows based on experience. To me, I think he could squeeze more production out of the lineup. As Bullwinkle said, "this time for sure" - it might actually make a difference this season.



I don't think so. I think they'd put out any lineup if they thought it'd help their chances of winning the game.

I think Dusty makes lineups based on what his ideal vision is, not the one that best suits his players.


So what is it that you know that they don't?

It's just an opinion. If we're not allowed to express our opinion because every argument will be rebutted with an appeal to authority, we might as well close down Redszone or ensure that every post simply says "right on, Dusty!" or "we'll get 'em tomorrow/next year!"

nate
03-26-2010, 12:00 PM
Even if a manager was completely on board with the idea, he has more to lose (his job) by bucking convention and getting heavily scrutinized by the media and perhaps his own players than he has to gain from the admittedly modest benefit (a few wins for which his lineup machinations won't be given credit) of putting the most efficiently lineup out there.

I don't think any "radical" lineup construction would be given a long of chance to actually determine whether it worked or not.

westofyou
03-26-2010, 01:03 PM
I don't think any "radical" lineup construction would be given a long of chance to actually determine whether it worked or not.

Bobby Bragen tried one.



As manager of the Pirates, Bragan sometimes batted his best hitter first (instead of the more traditional spot of third in the order) and his pitcher seventh (instead of ninth). Under Bragan’s theory, once he cleared out the pitcher’s spot the first time through, the eighth and ninth-place hitters would become the tablesetters for the top of the order. Bragan also employed a lineup based primarily on batting average. He batted Dale Long, his leading slugger, in the leadoff spot, and then followed up with Bill Virdon and Roberto Clemente, his two best hitters for average. Bragan continued to arrange his order by batting average, with the highest averages followed by lower ones.

Critics derided the non-traditional lineup as “Bragan’s Brainstorm,” but the unorthodox batting orders actually seemed to help. In 1956, the Pirates improved by six games over their 1955 record. Unfortunately, a poor start to the following season resulted in Bragan being fired and replaced by Danny Murtaugh.



http://www.hardballtimes.com/main/article/cooperstown-confidential-bobby-bragans-remarkable-life/

TheNext44
03-26-2010, 02:40 PM
Bobby Bragen tried one.




http://www.hardballtimes.com/main/article/cooperstown-confidential-bobby-bragans-remarkable-life/

Very interesting. I guess he was the father of the "get your best hitters the most AB's" philosophy. Funny he was still working with BA, but that probably the only thing people knew back then.

Sea Ray
03-26-2010, 05:03 PM
It's just an opinion. If we're not allowed to express our opinion because every argument will be rebutted with an appeal to authority, we might as well close down Redszone or ensure that every post simply says "right on, Dusty!" or "we'll get 'em tomorrow/next year!"


You were doing fine until this paragraph where you lost me. Where did you get the impression that you can't express your opinion? I for one love varying views on things. It's boring otherwise. In this case I advanced the discussion with questions designed to discern why you feel the way you do.

nate
03-26-2010, 05:30 PM
You were doing fine until this paragraph where you lost me. Where did you get the impression that you can't express your opinion? I for one love varying views on things. It's boring otherwise. In this case I advanced the discussion with questions designed to discern why you feel the way you do.

I'm not saying I "know better." I'm saying that I "think different." My impression of your comment was that because no MLB manager would consider doing this (even though I'm not even sure that's correct) that the idea was invalid. Thus, the appeal to authority.

Sea Ray
03-26-2010, 06:11 PM
I'm not saying I "know better." I'm saying that I "think different." My impression of your comment was that because no MLB manager would consider doing this (even though I'm not even sure that's correct) that the idea was invalid. Thus, the appeal to authority.


I don't think anyone idea is invalid. I may think it's misguided but validity isn't in question. It's not up to me to decide validity. I do think it'd be extremely rare if us fans came up with an idea before anyone in the game did.

As for Dusty in particular, I've never been a big fan of his and I do criticize him but I respect that he's spent a lot more time in the game than I ever have.

In the case of batting Rolen leadoff, he's never had a manager do it before and he's played for some very good ones so I don't think criticism here is warranted. To the contrary, the fact that folks answer "Rolen" to the question of "if not Stubbs then who?" makes Dusty's decision look pretty good.

Ron Madden
03-27-2010, 02:46 AM
I myself am a creature of habit. Lots of times I'll resist change.

Then again, I'll often ask myself why some things remain the same just because "that's the way it's always been"?


:confused:

Maybe, just maybe I've been blessed with an open mind and never really knew it. LOL

nate
03-27-2010, 09:31 AM
I don't think anyone idea is invalid. I may think it's misguided but validity isn't in question. It's not up to me to decide validity. I do think it'd be extremely rare if us fans came up with an idea before anyone in the game did.

As for Dusty in particular, I've never been a big fan of his and I do criticize him but I respect that he's spent a lot more time in the game than I ever have.

I do too.


In the case of batting Rolen leadoff, he's never had a manager do it before and he's played for some very good ones so I don't think criticism here is warranted.

To borrow your phrase, "you were doing OK until here." To me, this isn't a reason not to do it nor does it further discussion of the idea no matter if it's realistic or not. I don't care if it's realistic or never been done because Rolen's never been a 35 year old declining thirdbaseman with decent on-base skills on this particular Reds team before. If he's such a "professional hitter," he should be able to hit at the top of the order as well as he hits in the middle of the order.

I think ideally, the best order would be Dickerson/Rolen/Votto.

Sea Ray
03-27-2010, 03:31 PM
I think ideally, the best order would be Dickerson/Rolen/Votto.

Are you including Stubbs in this lineup? I can't tell since you only gave three names?

nate
03-27-2010, 03:57 PM
Are you including Stubbs in this lineup? I can't tell since you only gave three names?

Maybe something like this:

Dickerson
Rolen
Votto
Bruce
Phillips
Stubbs
Cabrera
Hernanigan
Pitcher

Sea Ray
03-27-2010, 04:56 PM
Maybe something like this:

Dickerson
Rolen
Votto
Bruce
Phillips
Stubbs
Cabrera
Hernanigan
Pitcher


I'd be willing to try that lineup. Te only problem I have is bunching up the left handers. You've got all three of your lefty batters in a span of 4 hitters. Opposing managers will love that. Bruce hasn't really hit well enough to warrant a cleanup spot either. So I think I'd swap Bruce and Phillips

nate
03-27-2010, 05:32 PM
I'd be willing to try that lineup. Te only problem I have is bunching up the left handers. You've got all three of your lefty batters in a span of 4 hitters. Opposing managers will love that.

Why? Rolen doesn't have a terrible career platoon split nor does Votto. The time for Bruce to get OJT is now. His minor league splits look a lot like Votto's.

Time to figure it out, big fella.


Bruce hasn't really hit well enough to warrant a cleanup spot either.


Nor has Phillips who's basically a lower order hitter when not facing lefties.


So I think I'd swap Bruce and Phillips

I wouldn't. I'd swap Rolen and Votto before I did that.

vs. RHP
Dickerson
Votto
Rolen
Bruce
Phillips
Stubbs
Cabrera
Hernanigan

vs. LHP, I'd go crazy:
Phillips
Votto
Rolen
Gomes
Bruce
Stubbs
Cabrera
Hernanigan

Ron Madden
03-27-2010, 05:35 PM
Why? Rolen doesn't have a terrible career platoon split nor does Votto. The time for Bruce to get OJT is now. His minor league splits look a lot like Votto's.

Time to figure it out, big fella.



Nor has Phillips who's basically a lower order hitter when not facing lefties.



I wouldn't. I'd swap Rolen and Votto before I did that.

vs. RHP
Dickerson
Votto
Rolen
Bruce
Phillips
Stubbs
Cabrera
Hernanigan

vs. LHP, I'd go crazy:
Phillips
Votto
Rolen
Gomes
Bruce
Stubbs
Cabrera
Hernanigan

Good post Nate. :thumbup:

nate
03-27-2010, 06:34 PM
Good post Nate. :thumbup:

Thanks! I'm now 1 for 4,863!

:cool:

Sea Ray
03-27-2010, 07:04 PM
Why? Rolen doesn't have a terrible career platoon split nor does Votto. The time for Bruce to get OJT is now. His minor league splits look a lot like Votto's.

Time to figure it out, big fella.



Nor has Phillips who's basically a lower order hitter when not facing lefties.



I wouldn't. I'd swap Rolen and Votto before I did that.

vs. RHP
Dickerson
Votto
Rolen
Bruce
Phillips
Stubbs
Cabrera
Hernanigan

vs. LHP, I'd go crazy:
Phillips
Votto
Rolen
Gomes
Bruce
Stubbs
Cabrera
Hernanigan


The issue isn't Rolen. It's bunching up all those lefties. An opposing team needs only to bring in Ray King and he'll make mincemeat out of Dickerson and Bruce and have the advantage vs Votto. I'd like to see that lefty have to deal with Phillips in that mix or in the case of LaRussa, make a pitching change.

Spring~Fields
03-27-2010, 07:14 PM
Good post Nate. :thumbup:

We need to get Nate a uniform to manage and promote DB up with Bavasi.

Nate might win 88 or 89 games this year! As long as the pitching held up.

Spring~Fields
03-27-2010, 07:22 PM
The issue isn't Rolen. It's bunching up all those lefties. An opposing team needs only to bring in Ray King and he'll make mincemeat out of Dickerson and Bruce and have the advantage vs Votto. I'd like to see that lefty have to deal with Phillips in that mix or in the case of LaRussa, make a pitching change.

How many innings are those left handed batters who hit right handed pitching very well, going to be facing the starter? Is it better to put inferior batters against right handed pitching in between them to make outs?

Big Klu
03-27-2010, 07:57 PM
It wouldn't be a big problem, because you could always pinch-hit for Dickerson (and even for Bruce, if necessary). Gomes and Balentien are likely going to be on the bench in that scenario.

nate
03-27-2010, 08:02 PM
The issue isn't Rolen. It's bunching up all those lefties. An opposing team needs only to bring in Ray King and he'll make mincemeat out of Dickerson and Bruce and have the advantage vs Votto.

So you counter with Gomes if you're in that position. Gomes/Rolen/Votto should outlast a Ray King.


I'd like to see that lefty have to deal with Phillips in that mix or in the case of LaRussa, make a pitching change.

I'd like to see that lefty deal with Gomes/Rolen/Votto.

Actually, I'd like to not be playing behind because I put my best hitters at the top of the lineup for the entire game rather than playing for this "maybe" occurrence.

WebScorpion
03-28-2010, 12:36 AM
...
Hernanigan

I love that Rymon Hernanigan! He is da bomb! Best two-headed catcher in the league! :thumbup::D

Degenerate39
03-28-2010, 09:11 AM
We need to get Nate a uniform to manage and promote DB up with Bavasi.

Nate might win 88 or 89 games this year! As long as the pitching held up.

Nate has a bad rap for abusing his pitching staff. And I don't mean by leaving them in the game for too long

Sea Ray
03-28-2010, 02:14 PM
How many innings are those left handed batters who hit right handed pitching very well, going to be facing the starter? Is it better to put inferior batters against right handed pitching in between them to make outs?

If the dropoff was dramatic I'd agree with you. What is dramatic is the dropoff in production from Dickerson and Bruce vs LOOGYs and I cringe when I see them up with the game on the line vs the other team's lefty specialist.

Ron Madden
03-28-2010, 02:55 PM
I believe too much is made of separating LH hitters in the lineup.

I believe you should try to get your most productive hitters more PAs than your less productive hitters. No matter if they hit RH or LH.

Lou Gherig and Babe Ruth hit back to back. The Phillies won the 2008 World Series with Chase Utley and Ryan Howard. I doubt very many opposing Managers loved that.

Spring~Fields
03-28-2010, 03:11 PM
If the dropoff was dramatic I'd agree with you.
I am not sure what your definition of dramatic dropoff is.



Against Left Handed Against Right Handed
Brandon Phillips Brandon Phillips
Vs. Left OPS Vs. Right OPS
2008 .944 2008 .676
2009 .883 2009 .740

Drew Stubbs Drew Stubbs
Vs. Left OPS Vs. Right OPS
2009 .833 2009 .740

Orlando Cabrera Orlando Cabrera
Vs. Left OPS Vs. Right OPS
2008 .754 2008 .688
2009 .689 2009 .711

Scott Rolen Scott Rolen
Vs. Left OPS Vs. Right OPS
2008 .760 2008 .787
2009 1.050 2009 .749

Johnny Gomes Johnny Gomes
Vs. Left OPS Vs. Right OPS
2008 .705 2008 .595
2009 .914 2009 .859

R. Hernandez R. Hernandez
Vs. Left OPS Vs. Right OPS
2008 .688 2008 .726
2009 .748 2009 .680

R. Hanigan R. Hanigan
Vs. Left OPS Vs. Right OPS
2008 .635 2008 .804
2009 .745 2009 .676

Jay Bruce Jay Bruce
Vs. Left OPS Vs. Right OPS
2008 .562 2008 .869
2009 .643 2009 .826

Wladimir Balentien Wladimir Balentien
Vs. Left OPS Vs. Right OPS
2008 .620 2008 .578
2009 .530 2009 .758

Chris Dickerson Chris Dickerson
Vs. Left OPS Vs. Right OPS
2008 .852 2008 1.065
2009 .623 2009 .763

Career MLB Stats OBP SLG OPS GPA
Joey Votto .388 .536 .924 0.3086
Scott Rolen .370 .498 .868 0.2910
Chris Dickerson .383 .440 .823 0.2823
Jonny Gomes .330 .471 .801 0.2662
Jay Bruce .309 .460 .769 0.2540
Drew Stubbs .323 .439 .762 0.2551
Ramon Hernandez .327 .417 .744 0.2514
Brandon Phillips .312 .430 .742 0.2479
Ryan Hanigan .363 .341 .704 0.2486
Laynce Nix .277 .421 .698 0.2299
Wladimir Balentien .281 .374 .655 0.2199
Drew Sutton .297 .348 .645 0.2206
Paul Janish .290 .292 .582 0.2035

Career Minor League Stats due to small samples above
Jay Bruce .366 .551 .917 0.3024 5 Seasons
Joey Votto .386 .477 .862 0.2929 7 Seasons
Wladimir Balentien .345 .526 .871 0.2867 6 Seasons
Laynce Nix .346 .481 .827 0.2759 9 Seasons
Drew Sutton .378 .442 .820 0.2806 6 Seasons
Chris Dickerson .363 .414 .776 0.2668 7 Seasons
Drew Stubbs .364 .401 .765 0.2640 4 Seasons
Paul Janish .351 .382 .733 0.2534 5 Seasons
(OBP*1.8+SLG)/4 = GPA


What is dramatic is the dropoff in production from Dickerson and Bruce vs LOOGYs and I cringe when I see them up with the game on the line vs the other team's lefty specialist.

Doesn't the manager have right handed bats to pinch hit for these two against left handed pitching? That hit better or get on base better than those two against left handed pitching?

Of course I am not sure why a Phillips or a Bruce gets a free pass by the manager against the handed pitching that gives them fits. I guess Bruce gets a free pass because of the number behind his age, not sure why that is, when we think of standards, norms, guidelines, etc. I thought those were suppose to fit the rest too. Phillips is a cleanup hitter against right handed pitching, why? Stubbs is to lead off against right handed pitching, why? Cabrera is to bat second, why?

Sea Ray
03-28-2010, 08:27 PM
I believe too much is made of separating LH hitters in the lineup.

I believe you should try to get your most productive hitters more PAs than your less productive hitters. No matter if they hit RH or LH.

Lou Gherig and Babe Ruth hit back to back. The Phillies won the 2008 World Series with Chase Utley and Ryan Howard. I doubt very many opposing Managers loved that.

If your hitters are Hall of Famers then you're right, it really doesn't hurt if you hit them back to back.

In general I am a believer in breaking up the lefties. In this case two of the three lefties in question are pretty much doomed against a late inning left handed specialist.

I am with Dusty here

Ron Madden
03-28-2010, 08:32 PM
If your hitters are Hall of Famers then you're right, it really doesn't hurt if you hit them back to back.

In general I am a believer in breaking up the lefties. In this case two of the three lefties in question are pretty much doomed against a late inning left handed specialist.
I am with Dusty here

Then pinch hit for one of them against a leftie late in the game if you have to.

Sea Ray
03-28-2010, 08:34 PM
I am not sure what your definition of dramatic dropoff is.







Jay Bruce Jay Bruce
Vs. Left OPS Vs. Right OPS
2008 .562 2008 .869
2009 .643 2009 .826


Chris Dickerson Chris Dickerson
Vs. Left OPS Vs. Right OPS
2008 .852 2008 1.065
2009 .623 2009 .763





Doesn't the manager have right handed bats to pinch hit for these two against left handed pitching? That hit better or get on base better than those two against left handed pitching?



We can debate what constitutes dramatic but Dickerson and Bruce certainly do qualifyin my book. I also am of the opinion that late inning LH specialists will give LH hitters even lower OPS than the overall numbers you stated above.

Sure a manager can pinch hit and that's always an option however it's to his advantage if he doesn't have to.