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Thread: Optimal lineup

  1. #31
    KungFu Fighter AtomicDumpling's Avatar
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    Re: Optimal lineup

    Quote Originally Posted by kaldaniels View Post
    I wondered about that. 290 AB would be scoffed at by many posters on here, myself included.

    Hard to believe that with the IBB he gets from time to time in the 8 hole he would actually have better numbers in the 7 spot. It's just hard to get enough data to make a clear conclusion.
    As I mentioned above, the sample size is smallish but not tiny. That is 2/3 of a season's worth of AB for a catcher. The sample size is significant but not definitive. The fact that his OPS is almost 100 points higher in the 7th slot vs the 8th means that it would take multiple seasons worth of regression to the mean for the two slots' stats to merely even out much less to swing in the other direction. I don't see any statistical reason at all to believe that Hanigan would perform better in the 8th slot than the 7th. All the data points to the opposite conclusion.

    I suppose the 8th-place hitter occasionally gets pitched around to bring the pitcher to the plate, but I think this happens much less often than you might think. It is really only going to happen when there is a runner in scoring position with first base empty and with 2 outs in the early innings. That is a very rare situation. In every other situation the pitcher is going to go after Hanigan aggressively.

    • If there is nobody on base with less than two outs they will want to make sure they get Hanigan out so the pitcher doesn't have the option of bunting him over.
    • If there is nobody on base and there are two outs they would want to go after Hannigan to make sure the pitcher leads off the next inning instead of making the last out of the current inning.
    • If there is a man on first base they are not going to walk Hanigan and advance the base runner too.
    • If there is a runner in scoring position and nobody on first base but less than two outs they wouldn't walk Hanigan in that situation either because then the pitcher could still bunt everyone over.
    • If there is a runner in scoring position and first base is empty with 2 outs in a late inning they won't pitch around Hanigan because even if they walked him the pitcher won't come to the plate anyway because the Reds would pinch hit for him.


    So I think there is very little reason to suppose that more than one or two of Hanigan's walks per season are due to his batting 8th in front of the pitcher. Hanigan has a good OBP because he is a good hitter, not because he bats 8th.

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  3. #32
    Viva la Rolen kaldaniels's Avatar
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    Re: Optimal lineup

    I would agree the data suggests he would be fine in the 7 spot. But regardless of position, we all know 290 PA isn't enough to draw a strong conclusion. Otherwise we would have a lot of fun come mid June or so each year.

  4. #33
    Box of Frogs edabbs44's Avatar
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    Re: Optimal lineup

    Quote Originally Posted by AtomicDumpling View Post
    So I think there is very little reason to suppose that more than one or two of Hanigan's walks per season are due to his batting 8th in front of the pitcher. Hanigan has a good OBP because he is a good hitter, not because he bats 8th.
    Wait, what about the IBBs? Those make up roughly 25 pts of his career OBP.

  5. #34
    Viva la Rolen kaldaniels's Avatar
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    Re: Optimal lineup

    Quote Originally Posted by AtomicDumpling View Post
    So I think there is very little reason to suppose that more than one or two of Hanigan's walks per season are due to his batting 8th in front of the pitcher.
    I would respectfully like you to reconsider this. In 228 games in which he started and hit in the 8-hole, he has been IBB'd 28 times.

  6. #35
    Where's my chair? REDREAD's Avatar
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    Re: Optimal lineup

    Quote Originally Posted by kaldaniels View Post
    I wondered about that. 290 AB would be scoffed at by many posters on here, myself included.

    Hard to believe that with the IBB he gets from time to time in the 8 hole he would actually have better numbers in the 7 spot. It's just hard to get enough data to make a clear conclusion.
    I do agree with you, it's hard to make a conclusion.
    Especially because if there's a really weak hitter behind Hannigan, that might have a similar effect to hitting in front of the pitcher.
    Hannigan does have nice pitch recognition skills. I agree with that.

    I just have a very hard time getting behind the idea of the pitcher batting #8 and a guy like Hannigan #9. I know LaRussa tried it and the Brewers tried it, but it never really seemed to gain traction

    Now, I could see the arguement for batting Hannigan #7 and maybe Cozart #8. Not sure it would be a noticable gain or loss, but it seems more logical.
    Thank you Walt and Bob for going for it in 2010-2014!

    Nov. 13, 2007: One of the greatest days in Reds history: John Allen gets the boot!

  7. #36
    Where's my chair? REDREAD's Avatar
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    Re: Optimal lineup

    Quote Originally Posted by edabbs44 View Post
    Wait, what about the IBBs? Those make up roughly 25 pts of his career OBP.
    Yes, and that doesn't count the times he's "pitched around".. where the opposing pitcher nibbles and doesn't really care if he walks Hannigan.

    Although it's hard to figure those out.. Even if you watched every BB Hannigan had, there's no real way to prove whether he was intentionally pitched around or the pitcher just made a mistake and walked him.

    I guess my big issue is that when Hannigan does get on, he does not score very often. Part of this is due to the batters hitting behind him, but the other part of the equation is that he's slow and has little power.

    Rick said that batting the pitcher 8th gives him 15-20 extra ABs per season.
    Why give the opposition basically 15-20 more easy outs for such a marginal gain (Hannigan hitting #9)
    Thank you Walt and Bob for going for it in 2010-2014!

    Nov. 13, 2007: One of the greatest days in Reds history: John Allen gets the boot!


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