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Thread: Brandon Phillips Batting 2nd

  1. #121
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    Re: Brandon Phillips Batting 2nd

    Quote Originally Posted by smixsell View Post
    That's not the entirety of the gain though. Stacking the good LH bats at the top of the order guarantees that the opposing RH starter will have to "run the guantlet" of our fierce lefties at least twice per game (unless he gets knocked out before the 4th--which is good for us any way you slice it) and often thee times per game. I'll take that "bird in the hand" against the RH starter any day over worrying about potential vulnerability to his LOOGY.
    And how about those games where the three consecutive lefties don't break things open?

    There is no "bird in hand" it won't happen most of the time.

    Then - you are left with all righties after the third spot in the lineup. You have left yourself open to easy relief pitching moves by the opposition - lefties facing batters 1 through 3; righties facing batters 4 through 8 or 9.

    Look, I don't think you need to spread the lefties out at 1, 4, and 8. Doesn't have to be extreme. But don't agree that they should hit one, two and three.

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  3. #122
    High five! nate's Avatar
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    Re: Brandon Phillips Batting 2nd

    Quote Originally Posted by Kc61 View Post
    And how about those games where the three consecutive lefties don't break things open?

    There is no "bird in hand" it won't happen most of the time.

    Then - you are left with all righties after the third spot in the lineup. You have left yourself open to easy relief pitching moves by the opposition - lefties facing batters 1 through 3; righties facing batters 4 through 8 or 9.

    Look, I don't think you need to spread the lefties out at 1, 4, and 8. Doesn't have to be extreme. But don't agree that they should hit one, two and three.
    Votto doesn't have an extreme platoon split...at least, to me:

    Career wOBA
    • .392 vs LHP
    • .423 vs RHP


    In other words, Votto's "bad" split is the same as Choo's "good" split (career .394 wOBA vs. RHP.)

    So to me, he essentially "breaks up the lefties." (If we're talking an order of Choo, Votto, Bruce.)

    Of course, this is all theoretical; I don't think Dusty would ever construct his lineup like this. But to me, it would potentially lead to more early leads, more runs scored and more wins than the LOOGY gambit.
    "Bring on Rod Stupid!"

  4. #123
    RaisorZone Raisor's Avatar
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    Re: Brandon Phillips Batting 2nd

    Quote Originally Posted by nate View Post
    the LOOGY gambit.
    Sounds like an episode title for the old GI Joe A Real American Hero cartoon from the 80's
    "But I do know Joey's sister indirectly (or foster sister) and I have heard stories of Joey being into shopping, designer wear, fancy coffees, and pedicures."

  5. #124
    Box of Frogs edabbs44's Avatar
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    Re: Brandon Phillips Batting 2nd

    Fantasy article on split difference btw starters and relievers. Very relevant.

    http://www.fangraphs.com/fantasy/ind...lief-pitchers/

  6. #125
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    Quote Originally Posted by nate View Post
    Votto doesn't have an extreme platoon split...at least, to me:

    Career wOBA
    • .392 vs LHP
    • .423 vs RHP


    In other words, Votto's "bad" split is the same as Choo's "good" split (career .394 wOBA vs. RHP.)

    So to me, he essentially "breaks up the lefties." (If we're talking an order of Choo, Votto, Bruce.)

    Of course, this is all theoretical; I don't think Dusty would ever construct his lineup like this. But to me, it would potentially lead to more early leads, more runs scored and more wins than the LOOGY gambit.
    I think it would work against your run of the mill LHP, but I think an actual lefty specialist would probably neutralize Votto more than that.

    But even more so, I think the thing I like the most about splitting the lefties is that it causes the opponent to either waste pitchers or throw lefties against lefty dominating hitters, which I think makes the whole lineup better.
    They don't think it be like it is, but it do.
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    He has also taught me that even when the Reds win it is important to focus on the fact that they could have lost.

  7. #126
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    Re: Brandon Phillips Batting 2nd

    Quote Originally Posted by edabbs44 View Post
    I think 100 would be tough in the 2 spot.
    Mike Devereaux did it. It's happened a bunch of times in the 20 years since he first demonstrated it could be done.
    Baseball isn't a magic trick ... it doesn't get spoiled if you figure out how it works. - gonelong

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  8. #127
    Box of Frogs edabbs44's Avatar
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    Re: Brandon Phillips Batting 2nd

    Quote Originally Posted by M2 View Post
    Mike Devereaux did it. It's happened a bunch of times in the 20 years since he first demonstrated it could be done.
    I'm not saying it can't be done generally, I am saying that it might be tough for Joey. He will have a lot less ROB hitting 2nd and it isn't like he is a 140 RBI guy in the 3 hole to start with. Plus, Joey will likely be pitched to a lot more carefully with ROB than Devereaux was.

  9. #128
    breath westofyou's Avatar
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    Re: Brandon Phillips Batting 2nd

    Quote Originally Posted by edabbs44 View Post
    I'm not saying it can't be done generally, I am saying that it might be tough for Joey. He will have a lot less ROB hitting 2nd and it isn't like he is a 140 RBI guy in the 3 hole to start with. Plus, Joey will likely be pitched to a lot more carefully with ROB than Devereaux was.
    140 is a lofty number, FWIW here's the NL players with 140 RBI's since 2000

    Code:
    RBI                           YEAR     RBI    
    1    Sammy Sosa               2001      160   
    2    Ryan Howard              2006      149   
    3    Todd Helton              2000      147   
    T4   Todd Helton              2001      146   
    T4   Ryan Howard              2008      146   
    6    Luis Gonzalez            2001      142   
    T7   Prince Fielder           2009      141   
    T7   Preston Wilson           2003      141   
    T7   Ryan Howard              2009      141

  10. #129
    Member smixsell's Avatar
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    Re: Brandon Phillips Batting 2nd

    Quote Originally Posted by Kc61 View Post
    And how about those games where the three consecutive lefties don't break things open?

    There is no "bird in hand" it won't happen most of the time.
    The "bird in the hand" is the guarantee that the opposing RH starter will have to face your nasty guantlet of lefties 2-3 times per game.

    I'll take that benefit (along with getting into his bullpen earlier in many cases due to the pressure you'll put on your opponent to go his LH bullpen earlier to face my guantlet in the 5th or 6th in some games) over the benefit of limiting my vulnerability to his LH relievers.

    PS OF course the LHs 1-2-3 is not IDEAL IMO, if we have a RH to do a good job in the 2 hole I'd go with Choo-RH-Votto-Bruce. But IMO the 1-2-3 LH guantlet is a very viable strategy.

    PPS I don't like Votto in the 2 hole because h'e going to come up with the bases empty more often than in the three hole (assuming decent #1 and # 2 hitters). Having the #9 spot two places before him after the first inning will seriously decrease his RBI opportunities IMO.
    Last edited by smixsell; 02-22-2013 at 12:20 PM.

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  12. #130
    Box of Frogs edabbs44's Avatar
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    Re: Brandon Phillips Batting 2nd

    Quote Originally Posted by westofyou View Post
    140 is a lofty number, FWIW here's the NL players with 140 RBI's since 2000

    Code:
    RBI                           YEAR     RBI    
    1    Sammy Sosa               2001      160   
    2    Ryan Howard              2006      149   
    3    Todd Helton              2000      147   
    T4   Todd Helton              2001      146   
    T4   Ryan Howard              2008      146   
    6    Luis Gonzalez            2001      142   
    T7   Prince Fielder           2009      141   
    T7   Preston Wilson           2003      141   
    T7   Ryan Howard              2009      141
    Kind of my point, getting 100 in the NL in the 2 spot, especially when you aren't hitting 40-50 HRs, is pretty difficult.

  13. #131
    Member cincrazy's Avatar
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    Re: Brandon Phillips Batting 2nd

    Quote Originally Posted by westofyou View Post
    140 is a lofty number, FWIW here's the NL players with 140 RBI's since 2000

    Code:
    RBI                           YEAR     RBI    
    1    Sammy Sosa               2001      160   
    2    Ryan Howard              2006      149   
    3    Todd Helton              2000      147   
    T4   Todd Helton              2001      146   
    T4   Ryan Howard              2008      146   
    6    Luis Gonzalez            2001      142   
    T7   Prince Fielder           2009      141   
    T7   Preston Wilson           2003      141   
    T7   Ryan Howard              2009      141
    Seeing Preston Wilson's name on that list made me laugh out loud.

  14. #132
    breath westofyou's Avatar
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    Re: Brandon Phillips Batting 2nd

    Quote Originally Posted by cincrazy View Post
    Seeing Preston Wilson's name on that list made me laugh out loud.
    Me as well

  15. #133
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    Re: Brandon Phillips Batting 2nd

    I think it is important to look at not only RBIs but consider Runs Scored as well. Batting Votto 3rd instead of 2nd increases his RBI chances but it also reduces his chances of scoring a run. Batting him 2nd would greatly increase his chances of scoring a run while reducing his RBI chances. When you have a guy with a .450+ OBP it is wasteful to have him bat late in an inning, because even if he gets on base the Reds will only have one or two chances to bring him around to score. The Reds are a team that is OBP-challenged, so it would be wise to take best advantage of the few good OBP guys they have.

    The act of getting on base without making an out is the most difficult and most important thing to do as a batter. It is more difficult and more important than driving in a run. Getting yourself into scoring position is the hardest part of generating a run for your team. It is easier to drive in a runner from scoring position than it is to get yourself into scoring position.

    A player with a .450+ OBP is an extremely rare and valuable luxury. It is lunacy to squander that OBP by not maximizing the team's chances to bring that runner around to score after he gets on base. When a runner gets on base would you rather have one chance to bring him around or three chances? Obviously, more is better.

    Clearly Joey Votto is an excellent RBI man, but he is an even better table setter. Mathematically it would be ideal to bat him earlier in the lineup to maximize the team's run production. Votto has led the league in OBP in each of the last three seasons and was 4th in 2009. He has the 24th-best career OBP in major league history. He has only finished in the top 10 in RBI ratio* once in his career (2010 finished 1st in NL, 2nd in MLB).

    I realize this is never going to happen. Dusty Baker is always going to do things in an old-fashioned, "by the book", 1970s-style, conservative, "Hank Aaron told me to do it this way", behind the curve fashion so as to reduce criticism from the peanut gallery even long after sabermetrics has proven there is a smarter way to do it.

    The good news is that the batting order, while important, is not super-critical to a team's success. Optimizing the batting order to it's best possible performance will not turn a bad team into a good one. Using the worst possible batting order will not turn a good team into a bad one. The difference between even the best and worst batting orders is only likely to be 3 or 4 wins over the course of the season, of course that could be what determines a division title or a Wild Card.

    Last year the Reds used almost the worst possible batting order (using their two worst hitters at the top of the lineup) and still won 97 games. Maybe they would have won 99 or 100 if they had used a smarter lineup. They still would have won the division so it wouldn't have mattered, but in some seasons it could be the deciding factor between making the playoffs or going home. This year the batting order should be much more optimized than last year simply because Drew Stubbs' terrible OBP has been replaced by Shin-Soo Choo's stellar OBP while Cozart's terrible OBP is being moved to the 7th slot. It should generate more early leads and more plate appearances for the team's best hitters because fewer outs will be made by the team's worst hitters.

    .


    * RBI Ratio or aeRatio is a measure of how effective a batter is at driving in runs. It is derived by comparing how many actual RBIs he had vs how many RBIs he would be expected to get based on the RBI opportunities he received. You can read about it here and see the full charts here.

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  17. #134
    Posting in Dynarama M2's Avatar
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    Re: Brandon Phillips Batting 2nd

    Quote Originally Posted by edabbs44 View Post
    I'm not saying it can't be done generally, I am saying that it might be tough for Joey. He will have a lot less ROB hitting 2nd and it isn't like he is a 140 RBI guy in the 3 hole to start with. Plus, Joey will likely be pitched to a lot more carefully with ROB than Devereaux was.
    He's already pitched to carefully and pitched around frequently. Devereaux merely opened the door. We've seen plenty of #2 hitters cracking 100+ RBIs since him. Curtis Granderson's done it two years in a row. The one year Corey Hart topped 100 RBIs was in 2010 when he spent most of his time hitting second.

    Obviously you need a decent leadoff hitter in front of you, but the Reds have a good one with Choo.
    Baseball isn't a magic trick ... it doesn't get spoiled if you figure out how it works. - gonelong

    I'm witchcrafting everybody.

  18. #135
    Member smixsell's Avatar
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    Re: Brandon Phillips Batting 2nd

    Quote Originally Posted by AtomicDumpling View Post

    Last year the Reds used almost the worst possible batting order (using their two worst hitters at the top of the lineup) and still won 97 games.
    Spot on. Stubbs and Cozart were dead last and bottom five respectively among ALL national league starters in OBP

    Just about the worst lineup possible. I take great comfort goin into this season that with Choo in the #1 spot, we cant help but improve no matter who is in the #2 hole.


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