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dougdirt
02-19-2011, 01:25 PM
From John Fay (http://cincinnati.com/blogs/reds/2011/02/19/where-to-put-bruce-in-the-lineup/):
Jay Bruce leading off? Jay Bruce hitting fourth?

Dusty Baker talked about both possibilities this morning.

Snip

“I’d rather not have two lefties in a row,” Baker said. “Unless you have lefties like (Ryan) Howard and (Chase) Utley who don’t have as much trouble hitting lefties. If you’re learning to hit lefties, they can bring in one lefty to take care of two guys. I’d rather split them up. Eventually they might. Jay is getting better at hitting lefties.

Ryan Howard vs LHP in 2010: .264/.333/.492
Jay Bruce vs LHP in 2010: .277/.352/.547

Don't let facts get in the way of a good argument Dusty.....

He also talks about Bruce batting leadoff. Go read the article. My brain hurts.

camisadelgolf
02-19-2011, 01:30 PM
Sure, it's confusing, but I love that he's at least open to the idea. The odds are probably slim to none that Bruce leads off more than a couple games throughout the season, but the way I see it, as long as he writes the correct names on the card, it shouldn't matter too much who bats where.

edit:
And Doug, you might want to be more selective about the stats you pick for your argument. One season doesn't really tell us much about platoon splits.

_Sir_Charles_
02-19-2011, 01:38 PM
From John Fay (http://cincinnati.com/blogs/reds/2011/02/19/where-to-put-bruce-in-the-lineup/):
Jay Bruce leading off? Jay Bruce hitting fourth?

Dusty Baker talked about both possibilities this morning.

Snip

“I’d rather not have two lefties in a row,” Baker said. “Unless you have lefties like (Ryan) Howard and (Chase) Utley who don’t have as much trouble hitting lefties. If you’re learning to hit lefties, they can bring in one lefty to take care of two guys. I’d rather split them up. Eventually they might. Jay is getting better at hitting lefties.

Ryan Howard vs LHP in 2010: .264/.333/.492
Jay Bruce vs LHP in 2010: .277/.352/.547

Don't let facts get in the way of a good argument Dusty.....

He also talks about Bruce batting leadoff. Go read the article. My brain hurts.

To be fair to Dusty, I think he's referring to Bruce not having much of a track record of success against lefties. One season does not a career make. Yes he made considerable improvement this past year, but Dusty probably wants to see it sustained over multiple years.

Plain and simple, I don't think anybody will ever be satisfied by his lineups, but if that's Dusty's biggest flaw...I can certainly live with it.

dougdirt
02-19-2011, 01:39 PM
Jay Bruce is 23 years old. What he did last season is incredibly more valuable than what he did anytime before that.

_Sir_Charles_
02-19-2011, 01:41 PM
Jay Bruce is 23 years old. What he did last season is incredibly more valuable than what he did anytime before that.

I agree with you...I was just pointing out what I though Dusty's thought process might be here. Personally, I wouldn't mind seeing Jay lead off.

Griffey012
02-19-2011, 01:42 PM
There is a difference between being able to hit the left handed starting pitcher and being able to hit the lefty specialist that comes out of the bullpen that tends to dominate lefties. That is a stat that is hard to generate numbers for because of the small sample size, but that could be what he is trying to justify.

The dumb quote was about the whats more important, OBP or a 1-0 lead? Aren't those correlated.

Chip R
02-19-2011, 01:43 PM
Is he moving Jay to CF? ;)

Griffey012
02-19-2011, 01:43 PM
Jay Bruce is 23 years old. What he did last season is incredibly more valuable than what he did anytime before that.

What about Justin Upton? He is 23. Does the standard still hold true?

Chip R
02-19-2011, 01:48 PM
There is a difference between being able to hit the left handed starting pitcher and being able to hit the lefty specialist that comes out of the bullpen that tends to dominate lefties. That is a stat that is hard to generate numbers for because of the small sample size, but that could be what he is trying to justify.

That depends on which lefty you're talking about. If that lefty starter is Cliff Lee.... We have to also remember that Jay hit that division clinching
HR off a lefty specialist who was pretty stingy against lefties. I just like to see Dusty thinking outside the box.

Orenda
02-19-2011, 01:50 PM
what is the logical argument for splitting up lefties anyway? I assumed it was a faux argument made by managers to shield themselves from second guessing. Bruce hitting leadoff wouldn't be a bad idea if the reds had more pop behind him, but imo he needs to be hitting in the middle of the lineup with their current roster.

dougdirt
02-19-2011, 01:54 PM
What about Justin Upton? He is 23. Does the standard still hold true?

Yes. Upton did most things similar last year as he did prior, except for the power. Given where scouts see his power, I would guess its more of an outlier than a trend. But, I would have to look more in depth at it all and don't really have the time to do so right now.

dougdirt
02-19-2011, 01:56 PM
what is the logical argument for splitting up lefties anyway? I assumed it was a faux argument made by managers to shield themselves from second guessing. Bruce hitting leadoff wouldn't be a bad idea if the reds had more pop behind him, but imo he needs to be hitting in the middle of the lineup with their current roster.

That you don't get killed in the 9th inning by a lefty reliever. Because those 2 at bats in that inning are apparently much more important than the 6-10 they will have in innings 1-8. :rolleyes:

edabbs44
02-19-2011, 02:01 PM
That you don't get killed in the 9th inning by a lefty reliever. Because those 2 at bats in that inning are apparently much more important than the 6-10 they will have in innings 1-8. :rolleyes:

The 9th isn't the only inning that you may get killed by that lefty specialist. The thought process is in those high leverage ABs towards the end of the game.

Griffey012
02-19-2011, 02:06 PM
That depends on which lefty you're talking about. If that lefty starter is Cliff Lee.... We have to also remember that Jay hit that division clinching
HR off a lefty specialist who was pretty stingy against lefties. I just like to see Dusty thinking outside the box.

Lee has been pretty even over his career and of late against lefties and righties, but I understand the point you are making. I was just trying to point out that even though Bruce and Howards numbers against lefties are similar, and Bruce did rock Byrdak for the clinching home run, it could be true that Bruce struggles mightily against the side arming slider type lefty specialists more so than other and Votto may as well. The problem is that is something very difficult to quantify and has to be judged more so with the eye than numbers. It could also be true that the opposite holds, i really have no idea.

As Doug pointed out, that 1 AB is pretty irrelevant compared to the other 6-10 in between. But at the same time is it always helpful to put your opponent at a disadvantage late in the game. I just felt like tossing the devil's advocate out there for discussion.

Brutus
02-19-2011, 02:09 PM
From John Fay (http://cincinnati.com/blogs/reds/2011/02/19/where-to-put-bruce-in-the-lineup/):
Jay Bruce leading off? Jay Bruce hitting fourth?

Dusty Baker talked about both possibilities this morning.

Snip

“I’d rather not have two lefties in a row,” Baker said. “Unless you have lefties like (Ryan) Howard and (Chase) Utley who don’t have as much trouble hitting lefties. If you’re learning to hit lefties, they can bring in one lefty to take care of two guys. I’d rather split them up. Eventually they might. Jay is getting better at hitting lefties.

Ryan Howard vs LHP in 2010: .264/.333/.492
Jay Bruce vs LHP in 2010: .277/.352/.547

Don't let facts get in the way of a good argument Dusty.....

He also talks about Bruce batting leadoff. Go read the article. My brain hurts.

Bruce did have a nice season this year against lefties, but it was a sample of 180 plate appearances. Prior to that, he had a .642 and .543 OPS against lefties in 2009 and 2008. His 3-year OPS is .719. Still work to be done.

Dusty did add that he's still learning to hit lefties. I think that's a fair assessment.

dougdirt
02-19-2011, 02:12 PM
The 9th isn't the only inning that you may get killed by that lefty specialist. The thought process is in those high leverage ABs towards the end of the game.

Well sure.... but what is more important, batting your two best hitters back to back 3-4 times a game, or worrying about what MAY happen once a game with them? Stacking your line up for what MAY happen once a game is working against yourself.

dougdirt
02-19-2011, 02:13 PM
Bruce did have a nice season this year against lefties, but it was a sample of 180 plate appearances. Prior to that, he had a .642 and .543 OPS against lefties in 2009 and 2008. His 3-year OPS is .719. Still work to be done.

Dusty did add that he's still learning to hit lefties. I think that's a fair assessment.

I agree that he is still learning, but even at that point, he hit them drastically better last season than Ryan Howard did. As I noted earlier, I think what Jay Bruce did in 2010 is much more important than what he did previously to that because of his age and his pedigree.

Brutus
02-19-2011, 02:25 PM
I agree that he is still learning, but even at that point, he hit them drastically better last season than Ryan Howard did. As I noted earlier, I think what Jay Bruce did in 2010 is much more important than what he did previously to that because of his age and his pedigree.

I'm extremely encouraged by what he did. It looked and felt like legitimate progress. And if it is/was, then his ceiling is scary high.

I just don't think Dusty is being irrational for proceeding with caution/trepidation.

edabbs44
02-19-2011, 02:36 PM
Well sure.... but what is more important, batting your two best hitters back to back 3-4 times a game, or worrying about what MAY happen once a game with them? Stacking your line up for what MAY happen once a game is working against yourself.

Why would batting your two best hitters back to back be better than another alternative? I get why its an issue of batting a good hitter 6 or 7 just because of the split, but I'm not sure how big of a deal it is in every instance.

kaldaniels
02-19-2011, 02:50 PM
I agree that he is still learning, but even at that point, he hit them drastically better last season than Ryan Howard did. As I noted earlier, I think what Jay Bruce did in 2010 is much more important than what he did previously to that because of his age and his pedigree.

Yeah, 2010 is the most important year if we are evaluating Bruce. But what people are trying to say is that his 180 AB from last season are not enough to come to any solid conclusion. That's all.

WebScorpion
02-19-2011, 02:58 PM
Ryan Howard was really a poor choice for that comparison by Dusty...the dude cannot hit lefties. His lifetime BA against righties (.303) is almost higher than his lifetime OBP against lefties (.314). His lifetime OPS splits are 1.038/.766 he's actually a good candidate for a platoon. :eek:

TheNext44
02-19-2011, 04:18 PM
To be honest, while very confusing, this was one of the least confusing statements that Dusty has made as manager of the Reds. I'm pretty used to it by now.

dougdirt
02-19-2011, 04:44 PM
Why would batting your two best hitters back to back be better than another alternative? I get why its an issue of batting a good hitter 6 or 7 just because of the split, but I'm not sure how big of a deal it is in every instance.

I want my best two hitters batting next to each other because if there is such a thing as protection, that is how you would do it. And if there isn't such a thing as protection, at least one of your best two hitters is going to get a lot more at bats with a runner on base than if he weren't hitting behind the other best hitter on the team. It extends innings and creates more run scoring chances.

nemesis
02-19-2011, 05:26 PM
The thought process is in those high leverage ABs towards the end of the game.


So in the 8th inning, you'd rather see Gomes up against a lefty with men on the corners and 2 out rather than Bruce?

You should have the best hitters up there regardless of situation. By dropping Bruce to 5th (he wont lead off) vs RHP you get your second most talented player 3 to 6 less AB's a week. Or about 60 to 75 less AB's a year. He will bat 6th on days Gomes plays. This is where Dusty's old school mentality is a henderance on the team. Bruce should bat 4th. Period.

Save Rolen a few AB's a week instead.

VS LHP

Phillips
Janish
Votto
Bruce
Rolen
Gomes
Stubbs
Hanigan/Hernandez


VS RHP

Lewis
Phillips
Votto
Bruce
Rolen
Stubbs
Janish
Hanigan/Henandez

edabbs44
02-19-2011, 06:53 PM
So in the 8th inning, you'd rather see Gomes up against a lefty with men on the corners and 2 out rather than Bruce?

You should have the best hitters up there regardless of situation. By dropping Bruce to 5th (he wont lead off) vs RHP you get your second most talented player 3 to 6 less AB's a week. Or about 60 to 75 less AB's a year. He will bat 6th on days Gomes plays. This is where Dusty's old school mentality is a henderance on the team. Bruce should bat 4th. Period.

Save Rolen a few AB's a week instead.

VS LHP

Phillips
Janish
Votto
Bruce
Rolen
Gomes
Stubbs
Hanigan/Hernandez


VS RHP

Lewis
Phillips
Votto
Bruce
Rolen
Stubbs
Janish
Hanigan/Henandez

1) Gomes up vs a LHP is a fine situation. But all things being equal, if a LHP was brought in to face Votto with Gomes on deck and Bruce in the hole, the opposing manager would likely replace the LHP with a RHP to face Gomes.

2) You may want to check the math on that less PAs per week thing. Mathematically it will equate to one less PA per 9 games, give or take. Not 3-6 per week.

jmcclain19
02-19-2011, 06:59 PM
Bruce would be a pretty interesting 2 hitter in my opinion, but on the Reds that would mean he'd have to learn how to play SS.

IslandRed
02-19-2011, 08:09 PM
I think the "splitting the lefties" argument depends in large part on who the lefties are.

On average, a spot up or down in the batting order is worth 18 plate appearances. If the lefty is bumped down a slot in favor of a righty who's not as good overall, the better hitter gets 18 fewer PAs and the weaker hitter gets 18 more PAs. Over the course of a season, that's measurable... but it's not much. We're talking about the difference between two at-least-sorta comparable hitters over a sample of 36 plate appearances, which is less than the average number of team plate appearances in ONE GAME. If you extend it to saying, one game = 27 outs = invoke RC/27, what's the difference between those two hitters end up being? A run or two, spread out over the course of an entire season? (Multiply this by nine and it's the basis for the notion that even a completely sub-optimal batting order isn't costing a team more than a win or two.)

Let's also grant the obvious, the majority of pitchers are right-handed and left-handed hitters can get away with bigger platoon splits because of that. Which is why LOOGYs exist -- left-handed batters are more likely to have issues hitting same-handed pitchers.

Now, let's say we hit the two lefties back-to-back and either or both of them are susceptible to LOOGYs. In that case, the opposing manager won't have to choose which hitter will see the LOOGY -- they'll both see him, and they'll see him in any and virtually every late-game high-leverage situation. You could set your watch by it. How many plate appearances is that over the course of a season where one of the lefty hitters will have to face a lefty-killer he otherwise wouldn't have? What's the difference between the results he'd get against the lefty-killer versus facing someone else in those PAs? What's it worth in terms of runs and leverage and wins? I don't know the answer to that. But I'm pretty sure it could be at least a couple of runs' worth.

Now, if the lefty hitters can hit LOOGYs, then it's not worth worrying about.

Redsfan320
02-19-2011, 08:19 PM
Also in that article was, from Dusty, "He [Lewis] has to make the team first." He then mentions competition from Heisey and Hermida, and having to go off what he sees this spring. I had considered Lewis an absolute lock. Looks like I was wrong...

320

membengal
02-19-2011, 08:41 PM
Also in that article was, from Dusty, "He [Lewis] has to make the team first." He then mentions competition from Heisey and Hermida, and having to go off what he sees this spring. I had considered Lewis an absolute lock. Looks like I was wrong...

320

You cannot take Dusty literally at this point in the spring. He wants everyone playing hard and taking nothing for granted. That quote means nothing more and nothing less than that.

RED VAN HOT
02-19-2011, 08:47 PM
I think I have said this before, but with Bruce's improvement against lefties, I am in favor of back to back Votto/Bruce against tough RHP's. The Reds will see a bunch of them this year...Carpenter, Wainwright, Greinke, Halladay, Oswalt. That's probably 18-20 games right there. Batting Rolen, Phillips, or Gomes between V/B is doing these pitchers a favor. Being vulnerable against LHP in the late innings is the least of worries. Besides, it's not that bad to get to the ninth inning with the game still on the line against these starters. Further, in most cases, the opponent will still have a bull pen of arms available in their starts anyway. LaRussa would not hesitate to use 3 pitchers if he had to do so.

WebScorpion
02-20-2011, 01:02 AM
I think I have said this before, but with Bruce's improvement against lefties, I am in favor of back to back Votto/Bruce against tough RHP's. The Reds will see a bunch of them this year...Carpenter, Wainwright, Greinke, Halladay, Oswalt. That's probably 18-20 games right there. Batting Rolen, Phillips, or Gomes between V/B is doing these pitchers a favor. Being vulnerable against LHP in the late innings is the least of worries. Besides, it's not that bad to get to the ninth inning with the game still on the line against these starters. Further, in most cases, the opponent will still have a bull pen of arms available in their starts anyway. LaRussa would not hesitate to use 3 pitchers if he had to do so.

This may turn out to be a bigger key in 2011. All the top notch pitching added (Grienke, Marcum, Garza) and much of the existing top echelon (Gallardo, Carpenter, Wainwright, Zambrano, Myers)in our division is right-handed. We're going to need to stack the lineup with players who can mash against right-handers. I hope this will signal the end of Gomes as our regular left-fielder. If Dusty insists on running him out there against pitchers he can't hit, it may be the difference between a division title and a wild card or even no playoff berth. I hope Lewis catches on fire early and forces Dusty's hand, although really Heisey hits righties better than either of them. http://www.freesmileys.org/smileys/smiley-confused007.gif (http://www.freesmileys.org/smileys.php) This is the same reason I'm hoping Hermida does well and secures a bench spot. I think our offense would do well to pile on the lefties (or righties who can hit righties) wherever possible. :thumbup:

reds44
02-22-2011, 02:28 AM
So in the 8th inning, you'd rather see Gomes up against a lefty with men on the corners and 2 out rather than Bruce?

You should have the best hitters up there regardless of situation. By dropping Bruce to 5th (he wont lead off) vs RHP you get your second most talented player 3 to 6 less AB's a week. Or about 60 to 75 less AB's a year. He will bat 6th on days Gomes plays. This is where Dusty's old school mentality is a henderance on the team. Bruce should bat 4th. Period.

Save Rolen a few AB's a week instead.

VS LHP

Phillips
Janish
Votto
Bruce
Rolen
Gomes
Stubbs
Hanigan/Hernandez


VS RHP

Lewis
Phillips
Votto
Bruce
Rolen
Stubbs
Janish
Hanigan/Henandez
This is what you can pencil into the Reds lineup as fact, right now.

vs. RHP
1. Fred Lewis
2.
3. Joey Votto
4. Scott Rolen
5. Jay Bruce
6.
7. Catcher
8. Janish (when he plays)

vs. LHP
1.
2.
3. Joey Votto
4. Scott Rolen
5. Johnny Gomes
6. Jay Bruce
7. Catcher
8. Janish

I wish I had more faith in Dusty batting Bruce ahead of Gomes against LHP, but sadly I don't. After reading what I put it, it leads me to believe Phillips will bat 2nd all the time and Stubbs will flop from 6th/leadoff depending on the hand of the pitcher.

When Renteria plays, he will hit 1st or 2nd because of his "dude" (aka experience) factor.

edabbs44
02-22-2011, 09:24 AM
This is what you can pencil into the Reds lineup as fact, right now.

vs. RHP
1. Fred Lewis
2.
3. Joey Votto
4. Scott Rolen
5. Jay Bruce
6.
7. Catcher
8. Janish (when he plays)

vs. LHP
1.
2.
3. Joey Votto
4. Scott Rolen
5. Johnny Gomes
6. Jay Bruce
7. Catcher
8. Janish

I wish I had more faith in Dusty batting Bruce ahead of Gomes against LHP, but sadly I don't. After reading what I put it, it leads me to believe Phillips will bat 2nd all the time and Stubbs will flop from 6th/leadoff depending on the hand of the pitcher.

When Renteria plays, he will hit 1st or 2nd because of his "dude" (aka experience) factor.

In all honesty, I can't see why Gomes hitting ahead of Bruce vs LHP would bother you.

_Sir_Charles_
02-22-2011, 12:36 PM
I know it won't happen, but I'd STILL like to see Hanigan given a shot at the 2 hole. He doesn't have the power but he does handle the bat very well. His OBP should play well in that slot IMO.

Homer Bailey
02-22-2011, 01:03 PM
This is what you can pencil into the Reds lineup as fact, right now.

vs. RHP
1. Fred Lewis
2.
3. Joey Votto
4. Scott Rolen
5. Jay Bruce
6.
7. Catcher
8. Janish (when he plays)

vs. LHP
1.
2.
3. Joey Votto
4. Scott Rolen
5. Johnny Gomes
6. Jay Bruce
7. Catcher
8. Janish

I wish I had more faith in Dusty batting Bruce ahead of Gomes against LHP, but sadly I don't. After reading what I put it, it leads me to believe Phillips will bat 2nd all the time and Stubbs will flop from 6th/leadoff depending on the hand of the pitcher.

When Renteria plays, he will hit 1st or 2nd because of his "dude" (aka experience) factor.


I don't think we can pencil in Lewis as leadoff hitter just yet. Dusty didn't even mention him in a recent interview when asked about the leadoff spot.

camisadelgolf
02-22-2011, 01:28 PM
One thing to keep in mind about Hanigan is that he likely gets a spike on OBP due to batting in front of the pitcher. Obviously, his OBP would still be more than adequate despite that, but I just bring it up because I don't think it's reasonable to expect near-identical numbers from him if he were to consistently bat in the 2-hole.

bucksfan2
02-22-2011, 02:40 PM
One thing to keep in mind about Hanigan is that he likely gets a spike on OBP due to batting in front of the pitcher. Obviously, his OBP would still be more than adequate despite that, but I just bring it up because I don't think it's reasonable to expect near-identical numbers from him if he were to consistently bat in the 2-hole.

If it ain't broke don't fix it! Hanigan has been producing very well low in the order. It is still to be determined as to whether or not he could produce higher in the order. I am fine with him hitting 7th or 8th and continuing to put up the same numbers. I don't think that would be the case if he were hitting 2nd.

Griffey012
02-22-2011, 09:08 PM
If it ain't broke don't fix it! Hanigan has been producing very well low in the order. It is still to be determined as to whether or not he could produce higher in the order. I am fine with him hitting 7th or 8th and continuing to put up the same numbers. I don't think that would be the case if he were hitting 2nd.

Fully agree with you on this one.

Orenda
02-22-2011, 10:07 PM
If it ain't broke don't fix it! Hanigan has been producing very well low in the order. It is still to be determined as to whether or not he could produce higher in the order. I am fine with him hitting 7th or 8th and continuing to put up the same numbers. I don't think that would be the case if he were hitting 2nd.

maybe but there isn't any evidence to suggest he couldn't handle hitting higher in the order. His OBP has been above average at every stop of his professional journey so I think he should been given the leeway to fail. What is the alternative?

Ghosts of 1990
02-22-2011, 10:28 PM
I think a case can be made against Hanigan hitting second.

A traditional 2nd hitter in your order, you want a guy who moves the ball. Check. Hanigan does that pretty well. Good contact guy who can hit behind runners and adequately hit and run the dozen or so times at most he is called upon. But how well does he bunt? Should he reach base can he swipe a bag? Can he do anything except single and put himself in scoring position for the guys in the meat of the order.

WVRedsFan
02-23-2011, 02:11 AM
Dusty reminds me of a state senator we used to have (and recently passed away). One pundit said of him, "he never had an unuttered thought." Same with Dusty. He's talking and who knows what he will do. If he wins the division again this year, who cares where he bats certain players? He proved to me that he could do it last year, so I'll go with him until he falls on his face. And then, in the ResZone tradition, gripe, gripe, gripe (being very politically correct here).

dougdirt
02-23-2011, 02:17 AM
I think a case can be made against Hanigan hitting second.

A traditional 2nd hitter in your order, you want a guy who moves the ball. Check. Hanigan does that pretty well. Good contact guy who can hit behind runners and adequately hit and run the dozen or so times at most he is called upon. But how well does he bunt? Should he reach base can he swipe a bag? Can he do anything except single and put himself in scoring position for the guys in the meat of the order.

Why would you EVER want a guy hitting in front of your team's best hitter to risk an out trying to steal or waste an out trying to bunt someone over?

reds44
02-23-2011, 02:27 AM
Why would you EVER want a guy hitting in front of your team's best hitter to risk an out trying to steal or waste an out trying to bunt someone over?
The last thing you want is moving a guy up a base and leaving first base open hitting in front of Votto.

dougdirt
02-23-2011, 02:35 AM
The last thing you want is moving a guy up a base and leaving first base open hitting in front of Votto.

Eh, that depends on who is hitting behind Votto, but yeah, I am never wasting an out before the 8th inning.

reds44
02-23-2011, 02:40 AM
Eh, that depends on who is hitting behind Votto, but yeah, I am never wasting an out before the 8th inning.
Scott Rolen is hitting behind Votto.

bucksfan2
02-23-2011, 10:01 AM
maybe but there isn't any evidence to suggest he couldn't handle hitting higher in the order. His OBP has been above average at every stop of his professional journey so I think he should been given the leeway to fail. What is the alternative?

There is nothing really to say that he "can't" I guess. When I see Hanigan I see a very patient hitter who doesn't expand his strike zone. He is also a hitter who has little power to speak of and may just be the slowest position player on the Reds.

The issue I would have with him batting second is he would be pounded with strikes with Votto hitting behind him. It would take away one of his best assets because opposing teams would not want to walk him in front of Votto. In the 8 hole pitchers will pitch around him to get to the pitcher. Even if you assume the pitcher would be an easy out (tough considering the Reds could have Wood, Leake, Bailey or Arroyo who all can handle the bat) it turns the order over. He is a career .380 OBP guy with most of his damage coming late in the order. Nothing is saying he can't hit higher in the order, just saying he has been uber successful late in the order. Why change that?

His foot speed also would concern me a little. If he hits second in front of Votto I would want to make sure he could go 1st to 3rd on a single or score from 1st on a double. Hanigan isn't exactly the type of guy who can do that. I would be fine with BP hitting 2 in front of Votto. He is more of a free swinger which would play into pitchers pounding the zone in front of Votto.

edabbs44
02-23-2011, 12:57 PM
Why would you EVER want a guy hitting in front of your team's best hitter to risk an out trying to steal or waste an out trying to bunt someone over?

Because Votto is 2.5 times more likely to get a single than an XBH?

I understand your point, but if the odds are in our favor then I'd rather see a guy on 2nd than on 1st with Votto up. You'd also have to factor in a lot of other situational stuff (pitching matchup, inning, score, runner, etc). But if Stubbs is on 1st and feels like he can get a good jump, then good. Let him go for it.

It is all based on the situation.

Homer Bailey
03-06-2011, 12:18 PM
This isn't thread worthy, but I'll just put this here. It makes my ears bleed to hear Dusty talk sometimes.


“He didn’t have a little bit of a bad start – he had an extended bad start,” Baker said. “But he had an extremely good close. He hit the ball early. Then he started pressing a little. Then they started tricking. Then he went out of the zone. Then he found himself again.”

http://news.cincinnati.com/article/20110305/SPT04/303050068/Bruce-focused-more-big-moments?odyssey=mod|newswell|text|Sports|p

Really Dusty? This is an extended bad start?

April: .833
May: .827
June: .824
July: .504
August: 1.076
September: 1.025

An extended bad start? Really? An .800+ OPS after 3 months? I know it's just press talk, but at some point, is someone going to hold Dusty accountable for the things he says that just arent true?

Redsfan320
03-06-2011, 12:40 PM
An extended bad start? Really? An .800+ OPS after 3 months? I know it's just press talk, but at some point, is someone going to hold Dusty accountable for the things he says that just arent true?

IDK, but Dusty is starting to spew out a lot of incorrectness as fact, when it is, at best, a very weak opinion.

320

Ron Madden
03-06-2011, 12:45 PM
[QUOTE=Homer Bailey;2330821]This isn't thread worthy, but I'll just put this here. It makes my ears bleed to hear Dusty talk sometimes.



http://news.cincinnati.com/article/20110305/SPT04/303050068/Bruce-focused-more-big-moments?odyssey=mod|newswell|text|Sports|p

Really Dusty? This is an extended bad start?

April: .833
May: .827
June: .824
July: .504
August: 1.076
September: 1.025

An extended bad start? Really? An .800+ OPS after 3 months? I know it's just press talk, but at some point, is someone going to hold Dusty accountable for the things he says that just arent true? [/QUOT

Agreed. I thought the same thing when I read the article.

Redhook
03-06-2011, 12:47 PM
This isn't thread worthy, but I'll just put this here. It makes my ears bleed to hear Dusty talk sometimes.



http://news.cincinnati.com/article/20110305/SPT04/303050068/Bruce-focused-more-big-moments?odyssey=mod|newswell|text|Sports|p

Really Dusty? This is an extended bad start?

April: .833
May: .827
June: .824
July: .504
August: 1.076
September: 1.025

An extended bad start? Really? An .800+ OPS after 3 months? I know it's just press talk, but at some point, is someone going to hold Dusty accountable for the things he says that just arent true?

It is amazing what falls out of his mouth sometimes.

osuceltic
03-06-2011, 01:05 PM
This isn't thread worthy, but I'll just put this here. It makes my ears bleed to hear Dusty talk sometimes.



http://news.cincinnati.com/article/20110305/SPT04/303050068/Bruce-focused-more-big-moments?odyssey=mod|newswell|text|Sports|p

Really Dusty? This is an extended bad start?

April: .833
May: .827
June: .824
July: .504
August: 1.076
September: 1.025

An extended bad start? Really? An .800+ OPS after 3 months? I know it's just press talk, but at some point, is someone going to hold Dusty accountable for the things he says that just arent true?

After four months of the season, he was stuck at 10 home runs and 41 RBI and was wrapping up a July line of .200 / .245 / .263 for a .508 OPS. He had an OPS of .726 on Aug. 7 and probably was another bad week away from a trip to the minors to get his head straight. Fortunately, he got it turned around and had a monster August and September to make his season numbers look pretty good.

You may not like what Dusty was saying, but there was some truth to it. It's being revisionist to say otherwise.

westofyou
03-06-2011, 01:12 PM
You may not like what Dusty was saying, but there was some truth to it. It's being revisionist to say otherwise.
Yep, he was struggling and the 2nd half of the season really washed that away. I'm sure Dusty was leaning on how hard he was hitting the ball, where he was hitting it and how he was being handled by certain pitchers in certain situations.

I'm fairly certain he was not using OPS by month as what to base his opinion on.

Homer Bailey
03-06-2011, 01:17 PM
After four months of the season, he was stuck at 10 home runs and 41 RBI and was wrapping up a July line of .200 / .245 / .263 for a .508 OPS. He had an OPS of .726 on Aug. 7 and probably was another bad week away from a trip to the minors to get his head straight. Fortunately, he got it turned around and had a monster August and September to make his season numbers look pretty good.

You may not like what Dusty was saying, but there was some truth to it. It's being revisionist to say otherwise.

He had three well above average months, and one truly awful month. That does NOT mean he had an extended bad start. He actually had quite a solid start, just a bad month that followed the solid start. There's no truth at all in the statement. The one bad month was clearly an outlier.

And I've never heard it suggested anywhere other than RedZone that Bruce was close to being sent down to the minors. Even after his awful July, he was around a 2 win player, and that was only including a half a seasons worth of AB's.

kaldaniels
03-06-2011, 01:37 PM
Why are all the "Dusty is a fool" (I know, no one has used that exact term :D) people using 3 months as a benchmark.

On July 31st (4 months in) Jay's OPS was .749.

I get it, "bad" was a poor choice of words. Perhaps "underwhelming" or "disappointing" would have been better. I just can't judge Dusty too harshly on this one, because if you came to Redszone or any other Reds fan on July 31st, most would not be happy with the way Bruce's season was going.

westofyou
03-06-2011, 01:40 PM
Why are all the "Dusty is a fool" (I know, no one has used that exact term :D) people using 3 months as a benchmark.

On July 31st (4 months in) Jay's OPS was .749.

I get it, "bad" was a poor choice of words. Perhaps "underwhelming" or "disappointing" would have been better. I just can't judge Dusty too harshly on this one, because if you came to Redszone or any other Reds fan on July 31st, most would not be happy with the way Bruce's season was going.
Exactly, 5-29 he was here

.281/.380/.490

68 days later here:

.253/.320/.405

Homer Bailey
03-06-2011, 01:42 PM
Why are all the "Dusty is a fool" (I know, no one has used that exact term :D) people using 3 months as a benchmark.

On July 31st (4 months in) Jay's OPS was .749.

I get it, "bad" was a poor choice of words. Perhaps "underwhelming" or "disappointing" would have been better. I just can't judge Dusty too harshly on this one, because if you came to Redszone or any other Reds fan on July 31st, most would not be happy with the way Bruce's season was going.

Because three months is equal to about half of the baseball season? Hence the reason his one bad month (July) should not be considered an "extended bad start."

As long as we're using selective endpoints, on June 30 he had a .828 OPS. That's three months worth of baseball. It was absolutely, in no way a bad start to the baseball season. He had a horrific July, and all of a sudden it makes his first three months bad?

edabbs44
03-06-2011, 01:47 PM
Because three months is equal to about half of the baseball season? Hence the reason his one bad month (July) should not be considered an "extended bad start."

As long as we're using selective endpoints, on June 30 he had a .828 OPS. That's three months worth of baseball. It was absolutely, in no way a bad start to the baseball season. He had a horrific July, and all of a sudden it makes his first three months bad?

If Votto had an .828 OPS on 6/30/11, would you say that he was above average? I would bet DB is talking based on FO expectations and not on OPS. Bruce's talent level is above a low .800s OPS and we saw that in Aug/Sept.

Homer Bailey
03-06-2011, 01:50 PM
If Votto had an .828 OPS on 6/30/11, would you say that he was above average? I would bet DB is talking based on FO expectations and not on OPS. Bruce's talent level is above a low .800s OPS and we saw that in Aug/Sept.

I can agree with this, but how can you classify it as a bad start? I try not to think too much about things Dusty says in the press, because at the end of the day, its just coach speak for the most part, but if he truly thinks that Bruce had an "extended bad start" to the season, then I have to seriously question his ability gather facts before forming his opinions.

Again, its only coach speak, but it's the only thing us fans have to go off of.

Edit: I know you didnt mean it literally, but the Votto comp isn't really fair. There's 4ish years of age difference there, and Votto has already had a .900+ OPS major league season prior to last year.

edabbs44
03-06-2011, 02:06 PM
I can agree with this, but how can you classify it as a bad start? I try not to think too much about things Dusty says in the press, because at the end of the day, its just coach speak for the most part, but if he truly thinks that Bruce had an "extended bad start" to the season, then I have to seriously question his ability gather facts before forming his opinions.

Again, its only coach speak, but it's the only thing us fans have to go off of.

Edit: I know you didnt mean it literally, but the Votto comp isn't really fair. There's 4ish years of age difference there, and Votto has already had a .900+ OPS major league season prior to last year.

Understood about the Votto comp, but we are talking about a former #1 prospect in all of baseball who was starting his 3rd year in the league. Upton finished last year with a .799 OPS (only a little under Jay's first few 2010 months) and I'd think you'd hear similar descriptions of his output.

Homer Bailey
03-06-2011, 02:19 PM
Understood about the Votto comp, but we are talking about a former #1 prospect in all of baseball who was starting his 3rd year in the league. Upton finished last year with a .799 OPS (only a little under Jay's first few 2010 months) and I'd think you'd hear similar descriptions of his output.

True, but was anyone (aside from one ORG poster) really concerned with Bruce before the month of July? He was easily having the best season of his career, and showing signs of improvement across the board. He then has a bad month and all of a sudden some have complaints about the first three months.

jojo
03-06-2011, 02:24 PM
You may not like what Dusty was saying, but there was some truth to it. It's being revisionist to say otherwise.

I disagree and here's why:



BA OBP SLG OPS wOBA R/600 XBH% ISO BABIP K% BB% LD%
March-June 0.281 0.359 0.473 0.832 0.367 19 0.380 0.192 0.343 22 10.4 22
July 0.200 0.248 0.263 0.511 0.234 -50 0.316 0.063 0.284 28 5.9 12
Aug-Oct 0.338 0.421 0.699 1.120 0.474 75 0.378 0.361 0.375 25 12.3 22



Yep, he was struggling and the 2nd half of the season really washed that away. I'm sure Dusty was leaning on how hard he was hitting the ball, where he was hitting it and how he was being handled by certain pitchers in certain situations.

I'm fairly certain he was not using OPS by month as what to base his opinion on.

Through June, Bruce was on pace to be a 2 win above average bat (not above replacement----above major league average) which given his above average defense would've meant he was on track to be a 4.5 WAR player.

Jay had an apocalyptic 100+ PAs in July that drug his overall numbers down.

Now, I'm quite certain that Dusty wasn't using any of the above numbers either when he characterized Bruce's start as an extended bad start but on the face of it it, there is a disconnect between Dusty's statement and Bruce's production through June.

jojo
03-06-2011, 02:26 PM
Why are all the "Dusty is a fool" (I know, no one has used that exact term :D) people using 3 months as a benchmark.

On July 31st (4 months in) Jay's OPS was .749.

I get it, "bad" was a poor choice of words. Perhaps "underwhelming" or "disappointing" would have been better. I just can't judge Dusty too harshly on this one, because if you came to Redszone or any other Reds fan on July 31st, most would not be happy with the way Bruce's season was going.

Because the thing that really sticks out in Bruce's season is July.

kaldaniels
03-06-2011, 02:28 PM
So for future reference, an "extended _____ start" only refers to stats through the end of June?

On July 31st, the sum total of Bruce's season was disappointing, not bad. I don't see why that can't be acknowledged.

Homer Bailey
03-06-2011, 02:31 PM
So for future reference, an "extended _____ start" only refers to stats through the end of June?

On July 31st, the sum total of Bruce's season was disappointing, not bad. I don't see why that can't be acknowledged.

So if you were to divide up Bruce's season into, let's say, 3 parts (start, middle, end), you'd include up to July 31st as the start?? Or even two parts, (start, end), you'd include July 31st in the start??

Fact is, he did not have a bad start. He had a solid first half of the season, a horrific July, and MVP-esque finish. None of that is even opinion, it's fact.

jojo
03-06-2011, 02:33 PM
So for future reference, an "extended _____ start" only refers to stats through the end of June?

On July 31st, the sum total of Bruce's season was disappointing, not bad. I don't see why that can't be acknowledged.

Clearly Bruce had a very bad July. he did not struggle through a poor first 4 and half months of the season.... That's the point.

kaldaniels
03-06-2011, 02:35 PM
So had Dusty said "through the first 4 months we were disappointed with the sum total of Jay's play" would we be fine with that?

jojo
03-06-2011, 02:35 PM
He had a solid first half of the season, a horrific July, and MVP-esque finish.

Exactly.

edabbs44
03-06-2011, 02:41 PM
Should we be comparing Jay versus the rest of the league or versus the upper tiers of the league? Saying he was "above average" is kind of misleading, when some of the names he is being compared against in that respect include Willy Taveras and Juan Castro.

Jay was somewhat disappointing in the first half of last year at the plate. Not sure if anyone can dispute that. We all know that Dusty doesn't think his responses all the way through sometimes so taking him literally at times isn't exaxctly the best practice.

jojo
03-06-2011, 02:42 PM
So had Dusty said "through the first 4 months we were disappointed with the sum total of Jay's play" would we be fine with that?

This is what I said on 7/24 (one week before the arbitrary 7/31)

http://www.redszone.com/forums/showpost.php?p=2170866&postcount=465



Bruce is having a horrible July. Coming into the month he had a wOBA=.360 (mlb average=.330) and a UZR=3.0 (neutral= 0).

Over 600 PAs that's a 3.5 to 4 WAR player... I think it would've been pretty hard for anyone to criticize that or suggest he should be in Louisville.

If roughly a month's worth of PAs can dramatically change the ceiling/opinion about a player, then really the problem is more related to whiplash than than the player.

Bruce is in rightfield because he's a legitimate major league corner outfielder and he has zero to learn from destroying the Maloneys of AAA.

So I would've said one month does not a season make....much like I would've said for Gomes.

Homer Bailey
03-06-2011, 02:43 PM
So had Dusty said "through the first 4 months we were disappointed with the sum total of Jay's play" would we be fine with that?

Although I don't necessarily agree with it, I think most would. But that is very different from saying "He didn't just have a bad start, he had an extended bad start."

Even at the end of July, Bruce was on pace to be a 3+ win player if I remember correctly. The month of July was clearly an outlier, and overall, I was impressed with the improved plate discipline that Bruce had shown in earlier parts of the year, as I professed over and over again in the Jay Bruce Thread last year. If I saw his peripherals trending in the wrong direction, I may not have been so confident in him, but overall, I saw an improvement in approach from the prior year.

_Sir_Charles_
03-06-2011, 02:47 PM
Is it just me or are we dissecting this one statement to the point where the original intent is completely lost?

First half, .266 ba, 10 hr
Second half, .306 ba, 15 hr

To me, that says he started out slower than he finished. And as for the term "bad", we can make this as politically correct as we want, but I bet even Jay would say he started out badly compared to what he expects of himself (and what Dusty expects from Jay).

Much ado about nothing.

Orenda
03-06-2011, 02:49 PM
This was Fay's article, maybe he just went to Dusty looking for a quote. Fay and Dusty missed on this one.

jojo
03-06-2011, 02:49 PM
Should we be comparing Jay versus the rest of the league or versus the upper tiers of the league? Saying he was "above average" is kind of misleading, when some of the names he is being compared against in that respect include Willy Taveras and Juan Castro.

Jay was somewhat disappointing in the first half of last year at the plate. Not sure if anyone can dispute that. We all know that Dusty doesn't think his responses all the way through sometimes so taking him literally at times isn't exaxctly the best practice.

Clearly Dusty was comparing Bruce to the upper echelon.

Being a couple of wins above average is very telling by the way.

But the reality is that its tomato/tomato.... being a couple of wins above major league average or a couple of wins below Pujols is hardly starting the season in a prolonged struggle.

BTW, here's what an average NL rightfielder did last season: .264/.335/.443 OPS: .778

Homer Bailey
03-06-2011, 02:49 PM
Should we be comparing Jay versus the rest of the league or versus the upper tiers of the league? Saying he was "above average" is kind of misleading, when some of the names he is being compared against in that respect include Willy Taveras and Juan Castro.

I don't think its fair to compare a 23 year old to the upper tier of the league, especially before he ever showed that at the major league level. I constantly referred to his output as "above average" to counter points that others were making saying that he should go back to AAA. I think he was performing near the floor of his potential, and he was still above average. The entire point was that there was no way that AAA should have even been considered.


Jay was somewhat disappointing in the first half of last year at the plate. Not sure if anyone can dispute that. We all know that Dusty doesn't think his responses all the way through sometimes so taking him literally at times isn't exaxctly the best practice.

That absolutely is disputable. He had an .830 OPS at the halfway point last year. I don't think that is disappointing at all, especially considering he was 23 years old. At the age of 23, Joey Votto was putting up a .859 OPS in AAA.

And I've prefaced my comments by saying this may very well just be coach speak from Dusty, but it still makes me cringe to hear such foolish statements (IMO).

Homer Bailey
03-06-2011, 02:51 PM
Is it just me or are we dissecting this one statement to the point where the original intent is completely lost?

First half, .266 ba, 10 hr
Second half, .306 ba, 15 hr

To me, that says he started out slower than he finished. And as for the term "bad", we can make this as politically correct as we want, but I bet even Jay would say he started out badly compared to what he expects of himself (and what Dusty expects from Jay).

Much ado about nothing.

First half: .281 BA, .830 OPS

Total season: .281 BA, .846 OPS

TheNext44
03-06-2011, 02:51 PM
Wow. Thus is the most insulting and unneccessary nit picking of a Baker quote I have ever seen on this board. And that's saying something.

Technically what Baker said was inaccurate. But only because of semantics. Why would anyone care one way or the other?

TheNext44
03-06-2011, 02:56 PM
You want an upsetting Baker quote to discuss? Here's what he said today about a leadoff hitter.


“That guy is hard to find. On-base percentage is great but what if he can’t run, especially when you’ve got (Joey) Votto and those guys hitting double behind him.”

Homer Bailey
03-06-2011, 02:56 PM
Wow. Thus is the most insulting and unneccessary nit picking of a Baker quote I have ever seen on this board. And that's saying something.

Technically what Baker said was inaccurate. But only because of semantics. Why would anyone care one way or the other?

Technically? It really wasn't even close to being true, for many of the reasons I've already stated. Why would some of us not have an issue with Dusty saying something completely inaccurate?

Does it matter in the grand scheme of things? No. But the last few pages have shown its at least worthy of discussion.

TheNext44
03-06-2011, 03:04 PM
Technically? It really wasn't even close to being true, for many of the reasons I've already stated. Why would some of us not have an issue with Dusty saying something completely inaccurate?

Does it matter in the grand scheme of things? No. But the last few pages have shown its at least worthy of discussion.

Extended bad start is a very vague term that can be interpreted many different ways. Why hold anyone's feet to the fire over how to interpret it?

And the only reason why I am even responding is because I have seven more minutes before my pizza is ready. Had a chosen a microwave one, I would have already moved on. :)

Redsfan320
03-06-2011, 03:07 PM
And the only reason why I am even responding is because I have seven more minutes before my pizza is ready. Had a chosen a microwave one, I would have already moved on.

Good choice. Always better in the oven. Crispier.

320

_Sir_Charles_
03-06-2011, 03:15 PM
Good choice. Always better in the oven. Crispier.

320

Alright...finally a better topic. *grin* j/k Homer. I think everybody see's and understands your point regarding Bruce's season. I was only trying to show Dusty's thought process on it. He has higher expectations for Jay than his final line last year. And his second half SHOWED those expectations. Poor choice of words? Sure. Big deal? Not really. Remember it was spoken to Fayl. Not a whole lot of reason to choose your words carefully with Fayl...as he'll misspell them anyway. :O)

Homer Bailey
03-06-2011, 03:27 PM
Alright...finally a better topic. *grin* j/k Homer. I think everybody see's and understands your point regarding Bruce's season. I was only trying to show Dusty's thought process on it. He has higher expectations for Jay than his final line last year. And his second half SHOWED those expectations. Poor choice of words? Sure. Big deal? Not really. Remember it was spoken to Fayl. Not a whole lot of reason to choose your words carefully with Fayl...as he'll misspell them anyway. :O)

I agree with all said here. I even originally acknowledged (at least I thought I did), that it was not a big deal, and if it wasn't the offseason, I wouldn't have said anything. However, I did have a strong "WHAT!?!" reaction when I read that.

_Sir_Charles_
03-06-2011, 03:30 PM
I agree with all said here.

When talking to me...this is all you need to say. In fact, everyone's life would be much easier if they would just agree with me as a default position. *grin* I really need to get my wife on board with this theory. :O)

In a side note, MLB network is showing the Braves vs Nats and Todd Coffey is pitching. I'm pretty sure he's eaten the bottom half of the order. Good lord he's gotten big.

Quatitos
03-06-2011, 03:32 PM
I think his monthly splits do hide his rough start. It might not be what I would consider an extended bad start, but through the first 18 games Bruce had a line of .180/.261/.377/.638 in 69 PA before exploding over the next 5 games to make a respectable line for the whole month of .263/.333/.500/.833. So to say that Bruce had a solid first month isn't really true, he had a horrible first 18 games and an amazing 5 games at the end of the month. Once again, I don't know if Dusty would consider 18 games an extended bad start, but it obviously took Bruce awhile to get going.

Quatitos
03-06-2011, 03:34 PM
Alright...finally a better topic. *grin* j/k Homer. I think everybody see's and understands your point regarding Bruce's season. I was only trying to show Dusty's thought process on it. He has higher expectations for Jay than his final line last year. And his second half SHOWED those expectations. Poor choice of words? Sure. Big deal? Not really. Remember it was spoken to Fayl. Not a whole lot of reason to choose your words carefully with Fayl...as he'll misspell them anyway. :O)

Is it just me or does it it seem like Fay has been even worse at writing lately? It might just be because I am graduating after this quarter and I'm looking for any reason to not work so I'm reading his stuff more than usual, but it just seems really bad.

WebScorpion
03-06-2011, 03:40 PM
Is it just me or does it it seem like Fay has been even worse at writing lately? It might just be because I am graduating after this quarter and I'm looking for any reason to not work so I'm reading his stuff more than usual, but it just seems really bad.
I think he drinks more Tequila in Phoenix than he did in Florida... http://www.freesmileys.org/smileys/smiley-laughing004.gif (http://www.freesmileys.org/smileys.php)


http://www.freesmileys.org/smileys/smiley-fart006.gif (http://www.freesmileys.org/smileys.php)

_Sir_Charles_
03-06-2011, 03:44 PM
I think he drinks more Tequila in Phoenix than he did in Florida... http://www.freesmileys.org/smileys/smiley-laughing004.gif (http://www.freesmileys.org/smileys.php)


http://www.freesmileys.org/smileys/smiley-fart006.gif (http://www.freesmileys.org/smileys.php)

Yep. And great find with the Rhett Butler quote. Great stuff. Knowing Dusty's sense of humor...I'd say it's 50/50 where it originated from. Dusty's mind or Fayl's fingers. :O)

REDREAD
03-07-2011, 01:05 PM
Why would you EVER want a guy hitting in front of your team's best hitter to risk an out trying to steal or waste an out trying to bunt someone over?

Sometimes, all you need is one run (to win the game).

It's a lot easier to drive in a guy on 2b than to drive in a guy on 1b.
Sometimes it's worth the risk.

Your best hitter is going to make an out more frequently than he'll get on base.. That thought is often lost..

dougdirt
03-07-2011, 02:03 PM
Sometimes, all you need is one run (to win the game).

It's a lot easier to drive in a guy on 2b than to drive in a guy on 1b.
Sometimes it's worth the risk.

Your best hitter is going to make an out more frequently than he'll get on base.. That thought is often lost..

Ok.... if its the 8th inning or later, go for it. But that is what pinch runners are for. Don't waste someone's abilities in their first 3-4 at bats for a situation that isn't likely to present itself more than 5-10 times a season (down 1 run, late, with that specific player up).

All hitters are going to make outs more than they don't. Not a lost thought to me. But since your best hitter is likely to fail, I don't see the point in trying to take away a chance from your best two hitters (assuming you bat them 3/4) by attempting to advance a runner via a bunt (that often results in an out that could be out #2 of the inning) or a steal (that could results in no runners on at all).

bucksfan2
03-07-2011, 02:50 PM
Ok.... if its the 8th inning or later, go for it. But that is what pinch runners are for. Don't waste someone's abilities in their first 3-4 at bats for a situation that isn't likely to present itself more than 5-10 times a season (down 1 run, late, with that specific player up).

All hitters are going to make outs more than they don't. Not a lost thought to me. But since your best hitter is likely to fail, I don't see the point in trying to take away a chance from your best two hitters (assuming you bat them 3/4) by attempting to advance a runner via a bunt (that often results in an out that could be out #2 of the inning) or a steal (that could results in no runners on at all).

Baseball games don't always follow the same script. It may be the 5th inning but it could be an important moment in the game. I don't understand why it has become so faux pas to attempt to steal a base with your best hitter at bat. To be honest if you have Drew Stubbs on 1b with one out in the inning and Votto up I want Stubbs to get to 2nd base. I want him to be in "scoring position" when all Votto has to do is flip the ball out of the infield. And if that enables the team to pitch around Votto then so be it. 1st and 2nd with one out and Rolen at the plate isn't a bad thing either.

TheNext44
03-07-2011, 03:09 PM
Why would you EVER want a guy hitting in front of your team's best hitter to risk an out trying to steal or waste an out trying to bunt someone over?

Using speed at the top of the lineup made more sense when Dusty was playing, and power and offense was at a premium. Teams needed to create more runs, since they usually only had one or two real power hitters. And teams like Astros and Cardinals that had bigger parks, and/or even less power in the lineup, needed speed even more to score runs.

But nowadays, when many teams have four or five 20 HR potential guys in the lineup, and #3-4 guys with close to or above 1.000 OPS potential, it makes a lot less sense. It makes very little sense for the current Reds.

This is Baker's biggest fault, his glacial like adjustment to the changes in the game.

Cedric
03-07-2011, 03:27 PM
Baseball games don't always follow the same script. It may be the 5th inning but it could be an important moment in the game. I don't understand why it has become so faux pas to attempt to steal a base with your best hitter at bat. To be honest if you have Drew Stubbs on 1b with one out in the inning and Votto up I want Stubbs to get to 2nd base. I want him to be in "scoring position" when all Votto has to do is flip the ball out of the infield. And if that enables the team to pitch around Votto then so be it. 1st and 2nd with one out and Rolen at the plate isn't a bad thing either.

He's in scoring position at 1b with Votto up. It's simple baseball strategy that you don't let the opposing team take the bat out of your best player, much less the MVP.

REDREAD
03-07-2011, 04:34 PM
Ok.... if its the 8th inning or later, go for it. But that is what pinch runners are for. Don't waste someone's abilities in their first 3-4 at bats for a situation that isn't likely to present itself more than 5-10 times a season (down 1 run, late, with that specific player up).

All hitters are going to make outs more than they don't. Not a lost thought to me. But since your best hitter is likely to fail, I don't see the point in trying to take away a chance from your best two hitters (assuming you bat them 3/4) by attempting to advance a runner via a bunt (that often results in an out that could be out #2 of the inning) or a steal (that could results in no runners on at all).


The whole point is that trading an out to advance a runner increases your chance of scoring one run. Statistically, they claim that it reduces your chance of a "Big inning".. Which makes sense.. you are less likely to get 6 people reaching base if you give up an out.

But there's plenty of times when going for just one run makes sense.
Without going into a big debate, sometimes you'd rather have a

50% chance of scoring one run/ 20% chance of more than one run
as opposed to
35% chance of scoring one run/28% chance of more than one run.

Those numbers were just pulled out of the air, to illlustrate a point.

REDREAD
03-07-2011, 04:42 PM
But nowadays, when many teams have four or five 20 HR potential guys in the lineup, and #3-4 guys with close to or above 1.000 OPS potential, it makes a lot less sense. It makes very little sense for the current Reds.
.

I guess I disagree. If my 3rd and 4th hitter have 1000 OPS potential, I don't care if they walk my #3 hitter.. Go ahead and put another guy on base for the #4 hitter.

If you have a situation where EdE was "protecting" Adam Dunn, the pitch around strategy becomes more problematic.

IMO, the computer simulations are trying to get the maximum total runs produced over the course of the season.. That doesn't necessarily optimize win-loss record.. If Holliday is on the mound, and it's a 0-0 game in the 5th inning, it kind of makes sense to go for 1 run instead of the big inning that you are unlikely to get.

IslandRed
03-07-2011, 05:33 PM
Using speed at the top of the lineup made more sense when Dusty was playing, and power and offense was at a premium. Teams needed to create more runs, since they usually only had one or two real power hitters. And teams like Astros and Cardinals that had bigger parks, and/or even less power in the lineup, needed speed even more to score runs.

But nowadays, when many teams have four or five 20 HR potential guys in the lineup, and #3-4 guys with close to or above 1.000 OPS potential, it makes a lot less sense. It makes very little sense for the current Reds.

This is Baker's biggest fault, his glacial like adjustment to the changes in the game.

In the "everything old is new again" department:

In Baker's meaningful playing career from 1972-1986, with a few exceptions, the average runs per game MLB-wide was somewhere between 8 and 9.

Since the 1993 expansion, with some "help," the MLB average ran from 9.18 to 10.28.

Last year's average? 8.77.

No, it's not done in the same style these days what with artificial turf being largely gone, and it remains to be seen if the trend holds. But if it does, and getting to the World Series means going through a gauntlet of Roy Halladays who just aren't going to serve up free passes and multiple bombs... well, I'm not going to be upset if we have more than one way to skin the cat.

westofyou
03-07-2011, 06:59 PM
http://www.hardballtimes.com/main/article/ten-upcoming-managerial-milestones-in-2011/



Dusty Baker has only managed the Reds for three years, but he's already moved up the team leaderboard fairly well. In fact, in June he'll have lasted longer with the club than Jack McKeon did. Why is that important? Well, it means that Baker will have lasted with the Reds longer than any manager since Pete Rose, whom baseball banned over 20 years ago.

That's an impressive level of managerial turnover. In over 20 years, the club hasn't had someone last four full seasons. That's not unprecedented, but it certainly isn't usual. If Baker makes it to the end of 2012, he'll be the fifth man to log 800 games with the Reds, and the first since Sparky Anderson over 30 years ago.

Griffey012
03-07-2011, 07:54 PM
I guess I disagree. If my 3rd and 4th hitter have 1000 OPS potential, I don't care if they walk my #3 hitter.. Go ahead and put another guy on base for the #4 hitter.

If you have a situation where EdE was "protecting" Adam Dunn, the pitch around strategy becomes more problematic.

IMO, the computer simulations are trying to get the maximum total runs produced over the course of the season.. That doesn't necessarily optimize win-loss record.. If Holliday is on the mound, and it's a 0-0 game in the 5th inning, it kind of makes sense to go for 1 run instead of the big inning that you are unlikely to get.

^^This. It really all depends on the situation. IIRC last season there was a lot of harping that Stubbs didn't have the green light enough. So far Dusty hasnt shown a huge knack for giving up outs in front of Votto. When the offense was struggling he used it a lot more than when the offense was clicking.

If 1st half Rolen is hitting behind Votto then Votto is going to see pitches with 1st base open, and if they walk him you bring up a 900+ OPS hitter with 2 men on base.

mth123
03-07-2011, 07:56 PM
Personally, I'd rather have somebody on 1st 10 times with Votto or Bruce up and a big hole between 1st and 2nd than on 2B 8 times, the defense free to position themselves as they please and 2 other times with the runner back in the dugout after being picked off or caught stealing. "Break-even" is supposed to be 70% to 75%, but on the Reds any runners removed in front of Votto or Bruce is a losing sum game no matter how many extra bases are added as a result. The Running game should be reserved for the bottom of the order with the weak hitters coming up who need all the help they can get to get the runners around. Stubbs/Phillips and the running game shoud hit 6th and 7th. OBP is much more important in front of Votto and Bruce IMO. Let Rolen and Hanigan bat 1st and 2nd.

RedsManRick
03-07-2011, 08:03 PM
You want an upsetting Baker quote to discuss? Here's what he said today about a leadoff hitter.

I'd die for the chance to respond to Baker "Speed is great, but it doesn't matter how quickly you run back to your seat in the dugout".

RedsManRick
03-07-2011, 08:22 PM
He's in scoring position at 1b with Votto up. It's simple baseball strategy that you don't let the opposing team take the bat out of your best player, much less the MVP.

43% of Joey Votto's hits last year were extra base hits. For Bruce it was 37%. Heck for Slappy McJanish it was 28%. With Stubbs running, he's scoring on a double from 1st. I think people tend to treat extra base hits like they are much rarer than they are in reality.

If you think of it more like a 60% chance of an out, 20% of a single, 10% chance of an extra-base hit, 10% chance of a walk, the "move him over" at the cost (or risk) an out logic just doesn't seem nearly as strong.

It's hits of any type that are rare. Making or risking an our on purpose because of the advantage it gives your for a certain type of hit just doesn't strike me as a good logic. There just aren't enough hits, period, for the math to work in your favor. The out is too valuable.

Griffey012
03-07-2011, 09:16 PM
43% of Joey Votto's hits last year were extra base hits. For Bruce it was 37%. Heck for Slappy McJanish it was 28%. With Stubbs running, he's scoring on a double from 1st. I think people tend to treat extra base hits like they are much rarer than they are in reality.

If you think of it more like a 60% chance of an out, 20% of a single, 10% chance of an extra-base hit, 10% chance of a walk, the "move him over" at the cost (or risk) an out logic just doesn't seem nearly as strong.

It's hits of any type that are rare. Making or risking an our on purpose because of the advantage it gives your for a certain type of hit just doesn't strike me as a good logic. There just aren't enough hits, period, for the math to work in your favor. The out is too valuable.

I just did some quick example calculations and here is what I come up with.

100 PA's (hypothetical runner on 1B with Votto up, no steal)
100*(1/6) =17 (number of walks)
83*.360 = 30 (estimated BA with runners on 1B, its going to be higher than his overall BA)
30*.43= 13 (number of RBI's from extra base hits)
Add in an extra 6 RBI for 2 run home runs (1 every 14.5 AB's)

Votto gets 19 runners in.
Rolen/Bruce get another 10-12 for a total of 31 RBI.

Suppose we steal at an 80% success rate.
80PA's*.25 = 20 (estimated times Votto gets walked)
60 * .360 = 21.6 (number of RBI's since basically any base hit scores)
+ 4 RBI's for 2 run home runs

We are already at 25 runs scored and that does not include what Bruce and Rolen do with the 20 times Votto gets walked. Assuming they get a hit about 30% of the time, we add another 7 runs putting the total to 32 runs.

These are rough estimates based off last years numbers, but to me even including Extra base hits the expected runs scored are going to be pretty similar. It really boils down to the situation. It depends on the pitcher, catcher, base runner, game situation etc

mth123
03-07-2011, 09:30 PM
I just did some quick example calculations and here is what I come up with.

100 PA's (hypothetical runner on 1B with Votto up, no steal)
100*(1/6) =17 (number of walks)
83*.360 = 30 (estimated BA with runners on 1B, its going to be higher than his overall BA)30*.43= 13 (number of RBI's from extra base hits)
Add in an extra 6 RBI for 2 run home runs (1 every 14.5 AB's)

Votto gets 19 runners in.
Rolen/Bruce get another 10-12 for a total of 31 RBI.

Suppose we steal at an 80% success rate.
80PA's*.25 = 20 (estimated times Votto gets walked)
60 * .360 = 21.6 (number of RBI's since basically any base hit scores)+ 4 RBI's for 2 run home runs

We are already at 25 runs scored and that does not include what Bruce and Rolen do with the 20 times Votto gets walked. Assuming they get a hit about 30% of the time, we add another 7 runs putting the total to 32 runs.

These are rough estimates based off last years numbers, but to me even including Extra base hits the expected runs scored are going to be pretty similar. It really boils down to the situation. It depends on the pitcher, catcher, base runner, game situation etc

Decent analysis, but a few questions about it.

If you use .360 with a runner on 1B and state that its a higher BA than his overall BA (assumimg its because of the big hole between 1B and 2B, it was .390 in 2010), then why do you use .360 again with a runner on 2B and 1B open with no big hole to shoot at? I'd say if runner on 1B is .360 then runner on 2B would be more like .325 (.357 in 2010). How does that change the math?

Also what about the extra outs added when the runner is caught and how much it keeps Votto himself from scoring because the guys behind him have one less out to get him home? There is also a minor advanatage ignored with extra stress and pitches on the pitcher and potential for how the rest of the game plays out as the line-up goes at least one batter deeper to get those extra 20 outs.

edabbs44
03-07-2011, 09:52 PM
43% of Joey Votto's hits last year were extra base hits. For Bruce it was 37%. Heck for Slappy McJanish it was 28%. With Stubbs running, he's scoring on a double from 1st. I think people tend to treat extra base hits like they are much rarer than they are in reality.

If you think of it more like a 60% chance of an out, 20% of a single, 10% chance of an extra-base hit, 10% chance of a walk, the "move him over" at the cost (or risk) an out logic just doesn't seem nearly as strong.

It's hits of any type that are rare. Making or risking an our on purpose because of the advantage it gives your for a certain type of hit just doesn't strike me as a good logic. There just aren't enough hits, period, for the math to work in your favor. The out is too valuable.

For the record, those numbers are a bit different with runners on.

Bruce: 26% of hits were of the XB variety
Votto: 38%
Janish: 9%

Meaning that, roughly, Bruce was 3 times as likely to single than to get an XBH, Janish was 9 times as likely and even Votto was 63% more likely to single than to get an XBH.

Griffey012
03-07-2011, 10:18 PM
Decent analysis, but a few questions about it.

If you use .360 with a runner on 1B and state that its a higher BA than his overall BA (assumimg its because of the big hole between 1B and 2B, it was .390 in 2010), then why do you use .360 again with a runner on 2B and 1B open with no big hole to shoot at? I'd say if runner on 1B is .360 then runner on 2B would be more like .325 (.357 in 2010). How does that change the math?

Also what about the extra outs added when the runner is caught and how much it keeps Votto himself from scoring because the guys behind him have one less out to get him home? There is also a minor advanatage ignored with extra stress and pitches on the pitcher and potential for how the rest of the game plays out as the line-up goes at least one batter deeper to get those extra 20 outs.

I went ahead and kept the .360 because his BA across any level with runners on base or RISP was around .360-.380. I actually just pulled the rough estimation based off the numbers from Yahoo's situational stats. I didnt have access to the individuals split such as runner on 2nd or just runner on first so i had to make a generalization, and didn't really put a ton of thought into it. I should probably used a .360-.350 or .370-.360 split.

As far as your second point, I didn't attempt to do anything with those extra outs. I simply left them alone, that was the point of using 80 PA's with a stolen base, to account for an estimated 80% success rate.

Like I said, this was just a very basic estimation off the top of my head, if I have more time later this week I might try and dig in a little more.

kaldaniels
03-07-2011, 11:27 PM
For the record, those numbers are a bit different with runners on.

Bruce: 26% of hits were of the XB variety
Votto: 38%
Janish: 9%

Meaning that, roughly, Bruce was 3 times as likely to single than to get an XBH, Janish was 9 times as likely and even Votto was 63% more likely to single than to get an XBH.

A couple thoughts not just on your numbers Ed....

1) I've seen clutch discounted many times on here. So does it matter what they do/did with runners on.

2) Without looking Janish has to have a too small sample size on this one.

757690
03-08-2011, 03:02 AM
In the "everything old is new again" department:

In Baker's meaningful playing career from 1972-1986, with a few exceptions, the average runs per game MLB-wide was somewhere between 8 and 9.

Since the 1993 expansion, with some "help," the MLB average ran from 9.18 to 10.28.

Last year's average? 8.77.

No, it's not done in the same style these days what with artificial turf being largely gone, and it remains to be seen if the trend holds. But if it does, and getting to the World Series means going through a gauntlet of Roy Halladays who just aren't going to serve up free passes and multiple bombs... well, I'm not going to be upset if we have more than one way to skin the cat.

That's an excellent point. I do think the game currently is much closer to what it was in the 70's and 80's than the 90's and early 2000's.

One other important factor to consider is that many of the run expectancy charts that we go by were based on data from the 90's and 2000's. I am not sure how much of a difference it would make, but I would love to see a new chart based on more recent data.

dougdirt
03-08-2011, 03:17 AM
That's an excellent point. I do think the game currently is much closer to what it was in the 70's and 80's than the 90's and early 2000's.

One other important factor to consider is that many of the run expectancy charts that we go by were based on data from the 90's and 2000's. I am not sure how much of a difference it would make, but I would love to see a new chart based on more recent data.

There are actually different run matrixes that you can use.

edabbs44
03-08-2011, 06:49 AM
A couple thoughts not just on your numbers Ed....

1) I've seen clutch discounted many times on here. So does it matter what they do/did with runners on.

2) Without looking Janish has to have a too small sample size on this one.

I wasn't looking at it from the clutch angle, rather the angle of how they will pitch you with runners on and how the defense will be positioned.

And regarding Janish, I was only using the examples that were already in play.

edabbs44
03-08-2011, 06:50 AM
There are actually different run matrixes that you can use.

For those of us who aren't as savvy as others in respect to these things, can you explain the differences, if any?

kaldaniels
03-08-2011, 09:03 AM
I wasn't looking at it from the clutch angle, rather the angle of how they will pitch you with runners on and how the defense will be positioned.

And regarding Janish, I was only using the examples that were already in play.

I understand, I just don't think the data is there.

bucksfan2
03-08-2011, 10:08 AM
Personally, I'd rather have somebody on 1st 10 times with Votto or Bruce up and a big hole between 1st and 2nd than on 2B 8 times, the defense free to position themselves as they please and 2 other times with the runner back in the dugout after being picked off or caught stealing. "Break-even" is supposed to be 70% to 75%, but on the Reds any runners removed in front of Votto or Bruce is a losing sum game no matter how many extra bases are added as a result. The Running game should be reserved for the bottom of the order with the weak hitters coming up who need all the help they can get to get the runners around. Stubbs/Phillips and the running game shoud hit 6th and 7th. OBP is much more important in front of Votto and Bruce IMO. Let Rolen and Hanigan bat 1st and 2nd.

The problem I have with this thinking is its paper thinking. Its makes sense if your playing a stratamatic game. Its very simulated game thinking. To me it assumes that there are limited number of outcomes and they follow a "by the book" success rate.

If you never steal with Votto at the plate then theoretically there won't be a big hole on the left side of the infield because the know a runner isn't going to be stealing. If Drew Stubbs ever becomes a great base stealer, which he has the potential to be, I want him trying to attain that extra base whenever he feels that he has that opportunity. I think Votto hitting with the defense moving all over the place helps out a bunch.

I don't know if a manager in the game would hit Rolen first and Hanigan 2nd. I just don't see it happening. But back to the running game, it should be taken advantage of whenever the opportunity presents itself. I don't have a problem with guys like Votto taking off when a pitcher isn't paying attention to him. If, and thats a big if, you have a high success percentage of stealing bases there is no reason to shut that down because it isn't textbook.

mth123
03-08-2011, 08:08 PM
The problem I have with this thinking is its paper thinking. Its makes sense if your playing a stratamatic game. Its very simulated game thinking. To me it assumes that there are limited number of outcomes and they follow a "by the book" success rate.

If you never steal with Votto at the plate then theoretically there won't be a big hole on the left side of the infield because the know a runner isn't going to be stealing. If Drew Stubbs ever becomes a great base stealer, which he has the potential to be, I want him trying to attain that extra base whenever he feels that he has that opportunity. I think Votto hitting with the defense moving all over the place helps out a bunch.

I don't know if a manager in the game would hit Rolen first and Hanigan 2nd. I just don't see it happening. But back to the running game, it should be taken advantage of whenever the opportunity presents itself. I don't have a problem with guys like Votto taking off when a pitcher isn't paying attention to him. If, and thats a big if, you have a high success percentage of stealing bases there is no reason to shut that down because it isn't textbook.

If the hole is gone because they aren't holding the runner, then they are giving the runner second and the risk of making those 2 outs in 10 times is eliminated which changes everything and you run. But if they start holding again, I don't run with Votto up unless its some other risk free opportunity.

jojo
03-08-2011, 08:14 PM
In the late innings of a close game, if a runner steals second, why give Votto any pitch worth hitting with first base open? Walk him, bring in a bullpen specialist and set up force plays....

The drop off between Votto and the next best hitter was pretty significant last season.