Originally Posted by 757690
The problem with batting Hamilton 7th or even 9th, ala TLR, is that is means one less AB for him per game. I love the thought of him starting a game, changing the entire mentality of the defense from the first pitch, and I want that mind game being played as often as possible during a game.
I have only watched Billy once live, but he totally changes the game once he is on first base. The reason is is caught stealing 37 times is because every single pitcher and catcher KNOW he is going within the first 2-3 pitches of the next at bat. (To me that makes his 82% success rate even more impressive). I think this increases the possibility of disruption, since the pitcher and catcher are not thinking if but when.
I think Billy leading off is not about Votto so much as it is about Phillips, assuming he will bat second. Our biggest headache with BP has always been his tendancy to hit into the DP. I do not think this will be as much of a problem with Billy on first.
To start, with Billy's pure speed, there less of a a reason for Dusty to call for the hit and run. BP won't have to chase low pitches to protect the runner. Second, there are going to be a lot of second pitch pitch outs, so BP can be patient because he is not going to fall behind in the count as often. Finally, I think BP can sit dead red because pitchers/catchers have a tendancy to stay away from their soft stuff when they expect the runner to go.
I predict BPs walk rate is gonna go up, and Votto is gonna have a fair number of at bats with men on first and second (BP walks either before or after Billy steals) or men on first and third, or just BP sitting on second after a single where they tried to throw Billy out at home.
BTW.. if Billy has the same 544 plate appearances as Stubbs had last year (for arguments sake, put all at bats from the lead off position), even if we say he gets caught 20% of the times he steals (and thus eliminating a potential RBI for Votto) he would only need to have an OBP of a measly .287 to provide more total ducks on the pond than he had last year.