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View Full Version : Joe Maddon and his unconventional lineups



OnBaseMachine
05-23-2012, 02:16 PM
From CBS Sports:


For the second straight game, Carlos Pena is batting leadoff for the Rays. In the same lineup, Drew Sutton is hitting cleanup (via Marc Topkin on Twitter).

Pena is a first baseman with a .215 batting aveage, 55 strikeouts in 44 games, only 26 career stolen bases (in 1,270 games) and good power. Conventional wisdom would say that leadoff is the absolute last place to bat Pena.

But he walks a lot. His 29 walks and five hit-by-pitches this season give him a .354 on-base percentage, basically right in line with his career .352 mark.

http://www.cbssports.com/general/blog/eye-on-baseball/19133696/joe-maddon-laughs-at-conventional-lineups

That's awesome. I love Joe Maddon. How many managers would bat their first baseman in the leadoff spot? It's a great move, as Pena is known for his ability to get on base. Who cares that he lacks great speed, he gets on base and that's all the matters in the leadoff spot. I wish Dusty would follow suit and bat Ryan Hanigan leadoff or second on days when he starts.

Btw, Drew Sutton, batting 4th is 1-for-1 with a double and a walk today.

Joe Maddon has to be the most out-of-the-box thinking manager in baseball today. I hope after Dusty is gone the Reds take a serious look at Dave Martinez, the bench coach of the Rays. Surely some of Maddon has rubbed off on him.

chicoruiz
05-23-2012, 08:32 PM
I love unconventional lineups too... I just hope that the first time the Rays go into a slump the press and the fan base don't use the lineups a a stick to beat him with. We've all seen it happen..then the players will turn on him, saying "I can't get in the groove because I don't know where I'll be in the lineup from day to day, and that's why I'm hitting .220", and garbage like that. All is sweetness and light now, because they're winning.

BCubb2003
05-23-2012, 10:16 PM
I remember a manager who batted Adam Dunn in the leadoff spot.

http://reds.enquirer.com/2003/06/08/wwwred1dunn8.html

Chip R
05-23-2012, 11:05 PM
I remember a manager who batted Adam Dunn in the leadoff spot.

http://reds.enquirer.com/2003/06/08/wwwred1dunn8.html (http://reds.enquirer.com/2003/06/08/wwwred1dunn8.html)

I blame Bob Boone.

edabbs44
05-24-2012, 07:22 AM
Interestingly enough, every team behind TB in the AL in runs scored has a lesser team OPS than they do. Which begs the question, have Maddon's lineups made a difference?

mdccclxix
05-24-2012, 07:47 AM
Pena's .210 average is much less frustrating when it's not batting 3, 4, or 5. Leadoff isn't such a bad spot.

Hoosier Red
05-24-2012, 10:12 AM
But how will Matt Joyce ever get anything to hit if Drew Sutton is batting behind him?

RedEye
05-24-2012, 10:53 AM
Makes me wonder about the logistics of being a "good" new school manager. Not sure to what extent Bob Boone was playing by the same rules as Madden, but maybe it was not his lineups -- but his maniacal tweaking of other parts of the game like bullpen roles -- that led to his ineffectiveness? Perhaps Maddon knows when to tweak creatively and when to have a steady hand -- surely something related to gut instinct as much as it is to knowing the right situational stats on a case-by-case basis? In other words, you can maximize your odds in poker by the latest tricks of the trade, but you've also got to know when to fold 'em, when to hold 'em, right?

OTOH, maybe Boone was a genius after all, and he just didn't have the pitching and defense that Maddon clearly does now.

dougdirt
05-24-2012, 11:49 AM
OTOH, maybe Boone was a genius after all, and he just didn't have the pitching and defense that Maddon clearly does now.

Is it any question that Boone didn't have the pitching or defense that Maddon does?

Big Klu
05-24-2012, 02:03 PM
Jerry Narron batted Scott Hatteberg in the leadoff spot in a number of games in 2007.

CySeymour
05-24-2012, 02:46 PM
I think Votto hit leadoff a few games back in 2008

cumberlandreds
05-24-2012, 03:00 PM
Paul Householder hit leadoff some too. But he couldn't hit anywhere you put him. :)

RedEye
05-24-2012, 10:03 PM
Is it any question that Boone didn't have the pitching or defense that Maddon does?

No. Maybe I misphrased that idea. What I meant to say is that IF Boone had had a better D and pitching, maybe his lineup tinkering would have looked like a smart thing to do -- like Maddon's does now.