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Thread: "You can't Neutralize Stupid." an article on Dusty Baker

  1. #61
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    Re: "You can't Neutralize Stupid." an article on Dusty Baker

    Quote Originally Posted by scott91575 View Post
    The fear of the almighty LOOGY!!!!!!
    Or watch RH power pitchers plow through 2 innings of the RH lineup late in the game, choose your poison

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    Re: "You can't Neutralize Stupid." an article on Dusty Baker

    Quote Originally Posted by westofyou View Post
    Or watch RH power pitchers plow through 2 innings of the RH lineup late in the game, choose your poison
    So you would rather give inferior players more at bats throughout the year in more important batting spots so you can get a handful of at bat for those inferior right handers vs. a lefty here and there?

    You put your best hitters in the best spots. If there are players that are similar in skill and hit from different sides of the plate, great, go LRLRLRLR. Yet fearing the almighty loogy is how you end up with Cozart batting second and Phillips battings 4th when there are much better options.

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    Re: "You can't Neutralize Stupid." an article on Dusty Baker

    Quote Originally Posted by scott91575 View Post
    So you would rather give inferior players more at bats throughout the year in more important batting spots so you can get a handful of at bat for those inferior right handers vs. a lefty here and there?

    You put your best hitters in the best spots. If there are players that are similar in skill and hit from different sides of the plate, great, go LRLRLRLR. Yet fearing the almighty loogy is how you end up with Cozart batting second and Phillips battings 4th when there are much better options.
    I didn't say what I would do, but either way you will experience some handness if you lined it up as M2 layed it out.

    I'd also consider who they were playing against, where they were and other items if I had to make the choice myself.

    In short my dogmatic ways would be not as dogmatic as some and more than others.

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    Re: "You can't Neutralize Stupid." an article on Dusty Baker

    Quote Originally Posted by scott91575 View Post
    So you would rather give inferior players more at bats throughout the year in more important batting spots so you can get a handful of at bat for those inferior right handers vs. a lefty here and there?

    You put your best hitters in the best spots. If there are players that are similar in skill and hit from different sides of the plate, great, go LRLRLRLR. Yet fearing the almighty loogy is how you end up with Cozart batting second and Phillips battings 4th when there are much better options.
    Are there?
    "Man, the pitch looks fast, even in slow motion." Thom Brennaman on Chapman's fastball.

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    Re: "You can't Neutralize Stupid." an article on Dusty Baker

    Quote Originally Posted by 757690 View Post
    Are there?
    Yes, Bruce 4th was an obvious one.

    Votto actually should be second and probably Bruce 3rd. Then you would have your 3 best hitters batting the most (if you are looking into the future this would assume Choo is still on the team). Just because they are left handed you cannot fear putting them next to one another just because they hit from the same side of the plate. You might mix it up some when there is a left handed starter, but when a right hander starts you cannot go LRLRLR in order to get 1 or 2 right handed at bats vs. a LOOGY when the right handed hitters are simply no where near as good at hitting.

    Runs in the first 6 innings count just as much as the last 3.

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    Re: "You can't Neutralize Stupid." an article on Dusty Baker

    Quote Originally Posted by Ironman92 View Post
    63 out of 82 = about half
    Is this Dusty math? Closer to 3/4 don't ya think...

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    Re: "You can't Neutralize Stupid." an article on Dusty Baker

    Quote Originally Posted by Ironman92 View Post
    63 out of 82 = about half
    Is this Dusty math? Closer to 3/4 don't ya think...

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    Re: "You can't Neutralize Stupid." an article on Dusty Baker

    Quote Originally Posted by scott91575 View Post
    So you would rather give inferior players more at bats throughout the year in more important batting spots so you can get a handful of at bat for those inferior right handers vs. a lefty here and there?

    You put your best hitters in the best spots. If there are players that are similar in skill and hit from different sides of the plate, great, go LRLRLRLR. Yet fearing the almighty loogy is how you end up with Cozart batting second and Phillips battings 4th when there are much better options.
    I'm not obsessive about separating LH bats. Generally speaking I'm in favor of good bats up and down the lineup. Also I don't think there's any such thing as a lineup being too left-handed.

    That said, stacking Choo, Votto and Bruce in the top three slots with the rest of the current Reds lineup behind them strikes me as a fairly lousy idea. It's a platoon advantage giveaway up and down the lineup.

    And, like WOY, I'd fear turning standard RH relievers into killers against the middle and lower lineup far more than the LOOGY parade (though a LOOGY parade isn't something the Reds should be inviting). You can't completely ignore tactical considerations.
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    Re: "You can't Neutralize Stupid." an article on Dusty Baker

    Quote Originally Posted by M2 View Post
    And the average MLB team was 0.23 rpg behind its RC/27. Most teams did worse than the Reds.

    In theory you're right. The problem is year after year teams apply that theory and they get no discernible efficiency from their supposed optimization.
    Well, to be honest, I don't believe we'd see any effect of lineup optimization within the context of RC/27 statistics. I was simply showing that things we think of as small gains actually aren't all that small.

    You touched on the real potential gain, kicking up the RC/27 and dragging the rpg with it. Yet swapping out some Zack Cozart PAs for Xavier Paul isn't going to goose those numbers in any significant way (and I say that as someone who thinks Cozart has no business near the top off a lineup).

    Once you get the big pieces in the right places - or at least in good places - you're about as optimized as you're going to get. After that, more runs really requires upgrading your personnel.
    Realistically, we know that adding OBP points at the top of a lineup will add plate appearances to a team's season; opportunities that cannot be present in historical data. The only way it wouldn't do that is if the team isn't batting in the bottom of 9th Innings; which would be just fine by me.

    The question of putting a .339 OBP versus a .284 OBP in the two slot isn't one of "smart" or "dumb". We know which is which. The question is "How dumb?".

    And I agree that a BIG answer is to have a better option than a .339 OBP in the two slot.

    That being said, if we know that swapping out .284 for .339 is going to result in more production, then not making that exchange is real real high on the "stupid" list regardless of other options. It's one of the only opportunities the game gives teams to produce free Runs equaling free Wins. Whether one, two, or five, they cost millions to produce in any other way (like upgrading personnel).
    "The problem with strikeouts isn't that they hurt your team, it's that they hurt your feelings..." --Rob Neyer

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    Re: "You can't Neutralize Stupid." an article on Dusty Baker

    Quote Originally Posted by M2 View Post
    I'm not obsessive about separating LH bats. Generally speaking I'm in favor of good bats up and down the lineup. Also I don't think there's any such thing as a lineup being too left-handed.

    That said, stacking Choo, Votto and Bruce in the top three slots with the rest of the current Reds lineup behind them strikes me as a fairly lousy idea. It's a platoon advantage giveaway up and down the lineup.

    And, like WOY, I'd fear turning standard RH relievers into killers against the middle and lower lineup far more than the LOOGY parade (though a LOOGY parade isn't something the Reds should be inviting). You can't completely ignore tactical considerations.
    So you would rather put rally killers in between your 3 best bats for 6 innings for the hope they might get a hit, maybe, against a LOOGY if for some reason the other team only has 1 left hander they were willing to use?

    You act like teams are loaded with awesome right handed relievers that are just awful vs. left handers. Any dominant right handed reliever will most likely be as good vs. left handers as a teams LOOGY.

    You also act like you are gaining some sort of tactical advantage while completely ignoring the fact you are putting yourself at a disadvantage for 66% or more of the ballgame. You set up a lineup for the starter, not the relievers. In essence you are willing to put right handers, who don't hit righties well, up against right handed starters more than likely 3 times in a game in the middle of your best hitters so you can maybe have 1 at bat later vs. a lefty (which won't be the case with any decent bullpen anyway, especially in high leverage situations). Sorry, I don't agree with that logic.
    Last edited by scott91575; 10-09-2013 at 09:34 PM.

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  16. #71
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    Re: "You can't Neutralize Stupid." an article on Dusty Baker

    Quote Originally Posted by scott91575 View Post
    So you would rather put rally killers in between your 3 best bats for 6 innings for the hope they might get a hit, maybe, against a LOOGY if for some reason the other team only has 1 left hander they were willing to use?

    You act like teams are loaded with awesome right handed relievers that are just awful vs. left handers. Any dominant right handed reliever will most likely be as good vs. left handers as a teams LOOGY.

    You also act like you are gaining some sort of tactical advantage while completely ignoring the fact you are putting yourself at a disadvantage for 66% or more of the ballgame. You set up a lineup for the starter, not the relievers. In essence you are willing to put right handers, who don't hit righties well, up against right handed starters more than likely 3 times in a game in the middle of your best hitters so you can maybe have 1 at bat later vs. a lefty (which won't be the case with any decent bullpen anyway, especially in high leverage situations). Sorry, I don't agree with that logic.
    You've got to get something out of the other six guys in the lineup and you don't want to play a paint-by-numbers lineup which tells your opponents in pretty stark terms "Use a lefty here, now use a righty here." Personally I'd have juggled Frazier, Paul, Robinson and Mesoraco in the #2 slot dependent on the pitcher.

    As you noted, the Reds don't have RHBs who hit RHPs all that well. It has nothing to do with awesome RH relievers all over the league. It's just not wise to stick all those fish in a barrel for easy shooting. That even applies against RH starters. Again, you have to get something from those RHBs. Sticking them in one giant blob in the middle and back of the lineup may concentrate your strengths, but it also concentrates your problems. If I had a lineup with more strengths than problems, I wouldn't hesitant to cluster like that. The Reds don't have that luxury.

    And Choo, Votto and Bruce all did significantly less damage vs. LHPs. The Reds played 49 1-run games this season. You're flushing any late innings platoon advantage they might get in those games if you hit the back-to-back-to-back.
    Baseball isn't a magic trick ... it doesn't get spoiled if you figure out how it works. - gonelong

    I'm witchcrafting everybody.

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  18. #72
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    Re: "You can't Neutralize Stupid." an article on Dusty Baker

    Quote Originally Posted by M2 View Post
    Personally I'd have juggled Frazier, Paul, Robinson and Mesoraco in the #2 slot dependent on the pitcher

    And Choo, Votto and Bruce all did significantly less damage vs. LHPs. The Reds played 49 1-run games this season. You're flushing any late innings platoon advantage they might get in those games if you hit the back-to-back-to-back.
    Right on with the #2 thinking.

    Disagree with the last. Bruce should have been the 4 hitter post Opening Day. He hits LH as well or better than righties. Votto goes from study to above average vs. lefties. Choo is the only one that can't smoke lefties.

    Choo
    M2's #2 approach
    Votto
    Bruce

    That was the optimal top 4 this year

  19. #73
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    Re: "You can't Neutralize Stupid." an article on Dusty Baker

    Quote Originally Posted by SteelSD View Post
    The question of putting a .339 OBP versus a .284 OBP in the two slot isn't one of "smart" or "dumb". We know which is which. The question is "How dumb?".

    And I agree that a BIG answer is to have a better option than a .339 OBP in the two slot.

    That being said, if we know that swapping out .284 for .339 is going to result in more production, then not making that exchange is real real high on the "stupid" list regardless of other options. It's one of the only opportunities the game gives teams to produce free Runs equaling free Wins. Whether one, two, or five, they cost millions to produce in any other way (like upgrading personnel).
    I don't disagree with you. I'd have hit Paul/Robinson in the #2 slot for the majority of season.

    However, the roadside is strewn with better optimized lineups that performed less efficiently than the Reds did (and scored less too). I'd love this to be simple math, but there's a little bit of voodoo in there.

    I'd use the throwaway line that it's not like putting together a Strat-O-Matic lineup, but I've played enough Strat to know that there's some voodoo in there too.
    Baseball isn't a magic trick ... it doesn't get spoiled if you figure out how it works. - gonelong

    I'm witchcrafting everybody.

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    Re: "You can't Neutralize Stupid." an article on Dusty Baker

    Quote Originally Posted by oregonred View Post
    Right on with the #2 thinking.

    Disagree with the last. Bruce should have been the 4 hitter post Opening Day. He hits LH as well or better than righties. Votto goes from study to above average vs. lefties. Choo is the only one that can't smoke lefties.

    Choo
    M2's #2 approach
    Votto
    Bruce

    That was the optimal top 4 this year
    I'd have gone Phillips #4 and Bruce #5. That worked quite nicely until September, when Phillips quite clearly ran out of gas.

    Yet I think the larger lesson is we spend a lot of time parsing this stuff and it often doesn't deliver the kind of payoff we're seeking.
    Baseball isn't a magic trick ... it doesn't get spoiled if you figure out how it works. - gonelong

    I'm witchcrafting everybody.

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  22. #75
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    Re: "You can't Neutralize Stupid." an article on Dusty Baker

    Phillips ran out of gas and swag in June. Bruce is the only real cleanup hitter this team actually has on its roster with or without Ludwick.

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