Originally Posted by Yachtzee
However, I'm not a fan of moving a guy up just because he's got a "hot bat," especially if he's not normally a good hitter. I feel that when you do that, you are essentially reacting to short term results without considering likely future performance. If you move a guy up because he appears "locked in," how long do you keep him up there while he reverts back to his norm? Assuming guys hit in hot and cold cycles, by the time you realize someone has a "hot bat," he's already getting close to the high point in the cycle or else he has already started his decline back towards the mean.
I understand everyone's problem with the "hot hand" approach.
But if you didn't look at it this way, what would be the point of advance scouting?
It's the perfect example of the micro vs. macro argument. Long term stats are perfect for the macro. They are much more important in analyzing personnel moves. But every player has ups and downs, injuries and hot streaks throughout the season. And on top of the short term stats, the coaching staff is watching Alex's stroke, and it's not hard to see he's raking. Will it last forever? Probably not. But let's maximize the return while we can.
Making these kind of subjective judgments, in concert with an understanding of stats, that's what the smart teams do.
Sabrmetrics tells us in no uncertain terms that lineup construction doesn't matter. I don't agree with that, and I do believe that certain players are better suited for different slots in the lineup, especially if you are expecting your number two hitter to move runners over by either bunting or hitting it on the ground to the right side. I'm not pushing that approach either. Just commenting on how different game plans require different skill sets.