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Thread: Splitting lefties-Is it truly necessary?

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    Member Spitball's Avatar
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    Splitting lefties-Is it truly necessary?

    I didn't want to highjack the other thread, but I'm curious to thoughts of others on this topic. Is it really necessary to split power hitting lefties in a batting order?

    The logic for splitting lefties is to prevent the opposition from bringing in a left handed specialist out of the bullpen to face your left handed bats for one key situation. However, that can be a big sacrifice for one chance happening in a ball game when the lefty batters will probably face the starter about three or more times in the game.

    It just seems to me that there is too much sacrificed from building an attack oriented/pressure line-up when you feel it necessary to break up the lefties. With a right handed starter on the mound, I would stack the top with Hatteberg, Dunn, and Griffey so he would have to fight through those tough lefties as many times as possible. Wear that righty starter down by making him work with tough pitches to three dangerous and selective left handed batters.

    I like to put pressure on the opposition from the top and then monitor and adjust in the late innings when you see what has developed. It makes little sense to play it safe in order to be prepared against a situation that might develop late in the game.

    Any thoughts?
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  3. #2
    The Lineups stink. KronoRed's Avatar
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    Re: Splitting lefties-Is it truly necessary?

    I'm a firm believer in putting the best players at the top of the lineup, while I do have a soft spot for a good lead off hitter the Reds don't have one, so stack those OBP guys in front of the power guys and see what happens, worrying about a loogy is foolish IMO, you're giving the SP a break because of a MAYBE.

    If you have righty power then by all means split them, but outside of Phillips the Reds don't right now, and his tendency to swing at bad stuff says 5 hole hitter to me.
    Go Gators!

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    Knowledge Is Good Big Klu's Avatar
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    Re: Splitting lefties-Is it truly necessary?

    Ruth-Gehrig
    Griffey Sr.-Morgan
    Parker-Stargell

    Seems to me it can be done with some modicum of success.


    I blame Tony LaRussa for this idea that batting orders have to be staggered L-R-L-R. I think that not putting your best hitters together because you might face a left-handed specialist in the late innings is foolish, especially if you consider the damage they might do before they get to the late innings. Also, here's a news flash: that lefty specialist is probably not as good as the starter! If he were, he probably would be starting. (I am a firm believer that your best pitchers are your starting pitchers.) Now if you have a right-handed hitter of near-equivalent ability, then sure--mix them up. But if you don't--don't sweat it.

    One last thing--why does nobody worry about splitting righties? Bench-Perez-Foster (in whatever order you wanted to put them) scared the bejesus out of pitchers.
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    Rally Onion! Chip R's Avatar
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    Re: Splitting lefties-Is it truly necessary?

    Quote Originally Posted by Big Klu View Post
    One last thing--why does nobody worry about splitting righties? Bench-Perez-Foster (in whatever order you wanted to put them) scared the bejesus out of pitchers.

    Thank you.
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    Haunted by walks
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    Re: Splitting lefties-Is it truly necessary?

    Quote Originally Posted by Big Klu View Post

    One last thing--why does nobody worry about splitting righties? Bench-Perez-Foster (in whatever order you wanted to put them) scared the bejesus out of pitchers.
    Another random thinker...

    http://www.redszone.com/forums/showt...tting+righties

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    Box of Frogs edabbs44's Avatar
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    Re: Splitting lefties-Is it truly necessary?

    Quote Originally Posted by Big Klu View Post
    Ruth-Gehrig
    Griffey Sr.-Morgan
    Parker-Stargell

    Seems to me it can be done with some modicum of success.


    I blame Tony LaRussa for this idea that batting orders have to be staggered L-R-L-R. I think that not putting your best hitters together because you might face a left-handed specialist in the late innings is foolish, especially if you consider the damage they might do before they get to the late innings. Also, here's a news flash: that lefty specialist is probably not as good as the starter! If he were, he probably would be starting. (I am a firm believer that your best pitchers are your starting pitchers.) Now if you have a right-handed hitter of near-equivalent ability, then sure--mix them up. But if you don't--don't sweat it.

    One last thing--why does nobody worry about splitting righties? Bench-Perez-Foster (in whatever order you wanted to put them) scared the bejesus out of pitchers.
    Right handed hitters don't typically struggle vs RHPs as the other way around does.

  8. #7
    Danger is my business! oneupper's Avatar
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    Re: Splitting lefties-Is it truly necessary?

    Pet peeve of mine and Narron drove me crazy (mac is doing the same).

    I said this on another thread. Three total bases (including walks) in an inning will most likely get you a run (and the relationship gets progressively better).
    Two will mostly likely NOT get you a run.

    Keep your best hitters TOGETHER.
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    Mon chou Choo vaticanplum's Avatar
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    Re: Splitting lefties-Is it truly necessary?

    I think it should be one of several secondary factors in the setting of the lineup, interchangable with a number of things depending on the pitcher. It should never be the primary factor in determining the lineup -- that should be strength of hitting and smart use of OBP. Wear the starting pitcher down with a strong offense, period, then worry about the splits against the bullpen.
    There is no such thing as a pitching prospect.

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    Member blumj's Avatar
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    Re: Splitting lefties-Is it truly necessary?

    Quote Originally Posted by Big Klu View Post
    One last thing--why does nobody worry about splitting righties?
    I might, if the opponent had Chad Bradford, Pat Neshek, or Cla Meredith in their pen.
    "Reality tells us there are no guarantees. Except that some day Jon Lester will be on that list of 100-game winners." - Peter Gammons

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    Ripsnort wheels's Avatar
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    Re: Splitting lefties-Is it truly necessary?

    Also, given the fact that Dunn and Griffey aren't historically much worse against lefties, it makes even less sense to break them up.

    Hatteberg ain't so hot, but his value lies in his selectivity, so he's the guy that can really tire out a pitcher from the leadoff spot.

    Could you imagine having to face Hatteberg, then Dunn, then Griffey in the first inning?

    "I just pitched to the top of Reds lineup....." you get the rest.
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  12. #11
    Stat Wanker Hodiernus RedsManRick's Avatar
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    Re: Splitting lefties-Is it truly necessary?

    For our current regulars, here are the 3 year OPS splits, with the players sorted in descending order:
    Code:
    	vL
    1  Dunn		 .836
    2  Encarnacion	 .823
    3  Hopper	 .820
    4  Ross		 .807
    5  Freel	 .785
    6  Conine	 .771
    7  Griffey	 .761
    8  Gonzalez	 .745
    9  Phillips	 .742
    10 Hatteberg	 .688
    11 Hamilton	 .650
    12 Valentin	 .450
    
    	vR
    1  Hamilton	1.009
    2  Dunn		 .950
    3  Griffey	 .936
    4  Valentin	 .841
    5  Encarnacion	 .793
    6  Hatteberg	 .790
    7  Conine	 .751
    8  Freel	 .737
    9  Phillips	 .742
    10 Ross		 .728
    11 Gonzalez	 .674
    12 Hopper	 .553
    Look at those vL numbers. Dunn has the best vL OPS of anybody in the team. You WANT him up against a lefty more than anybody else. Splitting up your lefties is based on the assumption that your righties have a better chance versus lefties than your lefties do. On this team, it just isn't the case. In fact, this list also emphasizes a few big things on this team.

    1.) We desperately need a big lefty-masher.
    2.) Valentin is a much better option against righties than is Ross, but should never face a lefty. Ever.
    3.) Conine does not kill lefties. He just doesn't suck against them as much as Hatteberg does. Do NOT bat him above EE.
    Games are won on run differential -- scoring more than your opponent. Runs are runs, scored or prevented they all count the same. Worry about scoring more and allowing fewer, not which positions contribute to which side of the equation or how "consistent" you are at your current level of performance.

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    Mon chou Choo vaticanplum's Avatar
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    Re: Splitting lefties-Is it truly necessary?

    Quote Originally Posted by RedsManRick View Post
    For our current regulars, here are the 3 year OPS splits, with the players sorted in descending order:
    Code:
    	vL
    1  Dunn		 .836
    2  Encarnacion	 .823
    3  Hopper	 .820
    4  Ross		 .807
    5  Freel	 .785
    6  Conine	 .771
    7  Griffey	 .761
    8  Gonzalez	 .745
    9  Phillips	 .742
    10 Hatteberg	 .688
    11 Hamilton	 .650
    12 Valentin	 .450
    
    	vR
    1  Hamilton	1.009
    2  Dunn		 .950
    3  Griffey	 .936
    4  Valentin	 .841
    5  Encarnacion	 .793
    6  Hatteberg	 .790
    7  Conine	 .751
    8  Freel	 .737
    9  Phillips	 .742
    10 Ross		 .728
    11 Gonzalez	 .674
    12 Hopper	 .553
    Look at those vL numbers. Dunn has the best vL OPS of anybody in the team. You WANT him up against a lefty more than anybody else. Splitting up your lefties is based on the assumption that your righties have a better chance versus lefties than your lefties do. On this team, it just isn't the case. In fact, this list also emphasizes a few big things on this team.

    1.) We desperately need a big lefty-masher.
    2.) Valentin is a much better option against righties than is Ross, but should never face a lefty. Ever.
    3.) Conine does not kill lefties. He just doesn't suck against them as much as Hatteberg does. Do NOT bat him above EE.
    Very interesting.
    There is no such thing as a pitching prospect.

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    The Lineups stink. KronoRed's Avatar
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    Re: Splitting lefties-Is it truly necessary?

    Those are maddening stats to look at
    Go Gators!

  15. #14
    THAT'S A FACT JACK!! GAC's Avatar
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    Re: Splitting lefties-Is it truly necessary?

    Quote Originally Posted by KronoRed View Post
    I'm a firm believer in putting the best players at the top of the lineup, while I do have a soft spot for a good lead off hitter the Reds don't have one, so stack those OBP guys in front of the power guys and see what happens, worrying about a loogy is foolish IMO, you're giving the SP a break because of a MAYBE.

    If you have righty power then by all means split them, but outside of Phillips the Reds don't right now, and his tendency to swing at bad stuff says 5 hole hitter to me.
    My sentiment exactly.
    "panic" only comes from having real expectations

  16. #15
    THAT'S A FACT JACK!! GAC's Avatar
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    Re: Splitting lefties-Is it truly necessary?

    Quote Originally Posted by RedsManRick View Post
    For our current regulars, here are the 3 year OPS splits, with the players sorted in descending order:
    Code:
        vL
    1  Dunn         .836
    2  Encarnacion     .823
    3  Hopper     .820
    4  Ross         .807
    5  Freel     .785
    6  Conine     .771
    7  Griffey     .761
    8  Gonzalez     .745
    9  Phillips     .742
    10 Hatteberg     .688
    11 Hamilton     .650
    12 Valentin     .450
     
        vR
    1  Hamilton    1.009
    2  Dunn         .950
    3  Griffey     .936
    4  Valentin     .841
    5  Encarnacion     .793
    6  Hatteberg     .790
    7  Conine     .751
    8  Freel     .737
    9  Phillips     .742
    10 Ross         .728
    11 Gonzalez     .674
    12 Hopper     .553
    Look at those vL numbers. Dunn has the best vL OPS of anybody in the team. You WANT him up against a lefty more than anybody else. Splitting up your lefties is based on the assumption that your righties have a better chance versus lefties than your lefties do. On this team, it just isn't the case. In fact, this list also emphasizes a few big things on this team.

    1.) We desperately need a big lefty-masher.
    2.) Valentin is a much better option against righties than is Ross, but should never face a lefty. Ever.
    3.) Conine does not kill lefties. He just doesn't suck against them as much as Hatteberg does. Do NOT bat him above EE.
    Thanks Rick. Good stuff.

    Prior to this year, Dunn had some pretty soild numbers vs LHers. But so far this year he has struggled, and unless he turns it around, could have a season where he possibly puts up his worst numbers vs lefties.

    His splits so far in '07....

    Code:
    By Breakdown     AB   R   H 2B 3B HR RBI BB HBP SO SB CS AVG  OBP  SLG OPS 
      vs. Left      113   12 24  5  1  3  11 14  2  43  3 2 .212 .310 .354 .664 
      vs. Right     200   44 56  8  1  21 47 35  1  65  5 0 .280 .385 .645 1.030
    Last edited by GAC; 07-15-2007 at 09:47 AM.
    "panic" only comes from having real expectations


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