1. Computer simulations

For years now we've been hearing some of the brightest minds in the game tell us that an "optimized" lineup would be the most efficient.

My understanding of this is that by running simulations with hitters in different positions and combinations, the math tells us which batting order produces the most runs.

Maybe it's just a limited understanding on my part, but I do not see how simply moving groups of stats (a player) around in different positions is any kind of an accurate representation of what his performance would be.

Do you think Votto would take as many walks hitting leadoff? I certainly don't. He'd be pitched differently, far fewer pitch arounds, IMO.

The idea that everyone would be pitched to in the same way in a different place in the order seems very specious to me. Wouldn't that variable alone be enough to cast doubt on the accuracy of the sim?

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dubc47834 (06-02-2013),mth123 (06-02-2013),Old school 1983 (06-05-2013),RANDY IN INDY (06-02-2013),REDREAD (06-03-2013),wlf WV (06-04-2013),_Sir_Charles_ (06-02-2013)

4. Re: Computer simulations

Originally Posted by RFS62

Do you think Votto would take as many walks hitting leadoff? I certainly don't. He'd be pitched differently, far fewer pitch arounds, IMO.

The idea that everyone would be pitched to in the same way in a different place in the order seems very specious to me. Wouldn't that variable alone be enough to cast doubt on the accuracy of the sim?
Generally speaking, the amount of players who may make a difference in such a thing is probably less than 5 per year. Votto may be one of those guys.

Pitchers don't really approach many plate appearances differently though. They are trying to get every last guy out. With or without a runner on base, they aren't trying to throw a meatball to Votto or anyone else for that matter.

5. Re: Computer simulations

Originally Posted by dougdirt
Generally speaking, the amount of players who may make a difference in such a thing is probably less than 5 per year. Votto may be one of those guys.

Pitchers don't really approach many plate appearances differently though. They are trying to get every last guy out. With or without a runner on base, they aren't trying to throw a meatball to Votto or anyone else for that matter.
You really believe Derrick Robinson saw the same pitches when he batted 2nd this year vs when he batted 8th. I don't.

6. Re: Computer simulations

Votto would walk less but hit more is my guess. To even out.

7. Re: Computer simulations

Originally Posted by Norm Chortleton
You really believe Derrick Robinson saw the same pitches when he batted 2nd this year vs when he batted 8th. I don't.
I'd say if not pretty darn close. That's one guy you have to get out.

8. Re: Computer simulations

If a pitcher goes 2-0 or 3-0 vs Robinson with Votto and BP coming up, he is going to go right after him. If a pitcher goes 2-0 or 3-0 vs Robinson with the pitcher on deck, it is very likely and maybe even a certainty that he will nibble and try to make Robinson get himself out.

9. Re: Computer simulations

If Choo is on first, Robinson (or anyone else in the 2 hole) is going to get a few more fastballs because of the SB threat. If Mesoraco is on first, the pitcher knows he can roll it up there underhanded vs Robinson (or anyone else in the 8 hole) because there is no way in hell he is running.

10. Re: Computer simulations

Originally Posted by Norm Chortleton
You really believe Derrick Robinson saw the same pitches when he batted 2nd this year vs when he batted 8th. I don't.
I haven't run the numbers, but Zack Cozart saw every pitch within 1% whether he was batting in front of Joey Votto or someone else. Being in front of Joey Votto doesn't change how a guy is pitching to you. The pitcher/catcher/manager are pitching to get you out and they are going to do that by using a mix of what they are good at and what you suck at.

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UCBrownsfan (06-03-2013)

12. Re: Computer simulations

As I said before, smart pitchers will challenge Cozart, Izturis, DRob and Heisey if they are hitting between Choo and Votto, with BP in the hole. Smart pitchers will not necessarily challenge those hitters if there are 2 outs and the pitcher up next.

If you honestly believe pitchers, catchers and managers don't alter their strategies based on who's on base and who's on deck, I don't know what to tell you.

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RANDY IN INDY (06-02-2013)

14. Re: Computer simulations

Originally Posted by Norm Chortleton
As I said before, smart pitchers will challenge Cozart, Izturis, DRob and Heisey if they are hitting between Choo and Votto, with BP in the hole. Smart pitchers will not necessarily challenge those hitters if there are 2 outs and the pitcher up next.

If you honestly believe pitchers, catchers and managers don't alter their strategies based on who's on base and who's on deck, I don't know what to tell you.
Here is what I know. When Zack Cozart bats in front of Votto and when he bats in front of anyone else, he sees the identical number of fastballs, sliders, change ups and curveballs.

Batting in the 8th spot is different because of the pitcher.

As for who is on base. I don't really know. Haven't looked into it. I doubt they do it much though. Guys still throw breaking balls with fast guys on base. I know that they simply don't go up there and pump fastballs.

As for who is on deck, unless it is the pitcher, evidence suggests they really don't alter much of how they attack the guy at the plate.

15. Re: Computer simulations

Baseball is a game of constant adjustments, by both pitchers and hitters. Teams often change the way they pitch certain hitters 180 degrees from one series to the next.

As another example you are well aware of, there are long stretches where Bruce can't buy his way on base and long stretches where he can't be retired. If you pitch Phillips the same way regardless of how Bruce is doing, you are lessening your chances for success.

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RANDY IN INDY (06-02-2013)

17. Re: Computer simulations

Originally Posted by Norm Chortleton
Baseball is a game of constant adjustments, by both pitchers and hitters. Teams often change the way they pitch certain hitters 180 degrees from one series to the next.

As another example you are well aware of, there are long stretches where Bruce can't buy his way on base and long stretches where he can't be retired. If you pitch Phillips the same way regardless of how Bruce is doing, you are lessening your chances for success.
Yet it happens every day. And it should. Why should a team go after Brandon Phillips in a way that lessens their chance of getting him out? Why worry about what the next guy will do before he gets there? Attack the guy at the plate with what you think is most likely to get him out. Worry about the guy on deck when that guys gets up there.

Teams change the way they pitch to guys over the course of a series because pitchers are different and they have different strengths and weaknesses. Brandon Phillips stinks against sliders but is average or better against other pitches. A guy with a good slider is going to pitch to him different than a guy without a slider. And he should.

18. Re: Computer simulations

Originally Posted by dougdirt
Yet it happens every day. And it should. Why should a team go after Brandon Phillips in a way that lessens their chance of getting him out? Why worry about what the next guy will do before he gets there? Attack the guy at the plate with what you think is most likely to get him out. Worry about the guy on deck when that guys gets up there.
Because there are hundreds of times a year where pitching around Phillips to get to Bruce gives you a better chance to get out of an inning. And vice versa.

Scenario 1: BP = 9-game hitting streak, .390 in that time; JB = 1-18 slump.
Scenario 2: BP = 0-8 in the series, JB = just name NL Player of the Week.

Only a fool (or a computer) would pitch to BP the same way in both cases.

19. Re: Computer simulations

Originally Posted by Norm Chortleton
Because there are hundreds of times a year where pitching around Phillips to get to Bruce gives you a better chance to get out of an inning. And vice versa.

Scenario 1: BP = 9-game hitting streak, .390 in that time; JB = 1-18 slump.
Scenario 2: BP = 0-8 in the series, JB = just name NL Player of the Week.

Only a fool (or a computer) would pitch to BP the same way in both cases.
Hundreds of times huh?

Doubtful. Even when Phillips is hot he is still going to get out more than he gets on base.

In both cases, I am doing all that I can to get Phillips out. Every player has pitches and locations that they struggle with. I am finding that for each hitter and trying my best to pitch them the closest way that I can to that given the talents of the pitcher on the mound. Obviously Bronson Arroyo and Homer Bailey are going to pitch to guys differently. One guy throws 88 and the other can throw 98. Each pitcher is going to have to use their strengths and hope they match up somewhere with the hitters weakness.

Pitching around a guy is just silly unless their run literally means nothing or the pitcher is on deck and won't be pinch hit for. Having an extra runner on base, who was going to make an out more often than he was going to get on base, so you can pitch to someone else who is also more likely to make an out than they are to get on base is just bad strategy.

20. Re: Computer simulations

Baseball is a game of situations. Every single situation is different, even when the same players are involved. It is lunacy to treat them all the same.

Watch the game closely next time. If a starting pitcher faces a hitter 3 or 4 times in the same game, rarely will he pitch them the same way each time. What you throw the first time through the order sets up what you do the second or third time. Maybe you show a guy all hard stuff one at-bat, then only off-speed stuff the next. Maybe you attack a hitter aggressively early in the game, and then give him nothing to hit with the same pitcher later in the game. I'm guessing you and your computer would never do that. Baseball is an art, not a science.

Bonds led the league in IBB 12 times in his career, even though he was going to make an out more often than he was going to get on base. One year he received a whopping 120 IBB. One. Hundred. Twenty. Many of them came with the bases loaded. Are you saying every NL manager was an idiot for doing so and that it was bad strategy?

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