Derek’s World of Lineups
A Long Post
I wanted to write a follow-up to Dave’s long lineup speculation eariler.
Here’s your regulars, along with their relevant stats (AVG/OBP/SLG) by 3-year split
1b: LH Olerud, vLHP .258/.347/.360 vRHP .303/.409/.486, negative speed, ground ball hitter
2b: RH Boone, vLHP .328/.401/.572 vRHP .292/.345/.510, no speed, ground ball hitter
SS: RH Aurilia, vLHP .283/.329/.531, vRHP .290/.337/.456, no speed, fly ball hitter
3b: B Spiezio, vLHP .281/.356/.406, vRHP .271/.336/.457, some speed, fly ball hitter
LF: LH Ibanez, vLHP .253/.294/.399, vRHP .304/.364/.523, no speed, neutral hitter
CF: B Winn, vLHP .323/.379/.490, vRHP .279/.338/.411, speed, ground ball hitter
RF: LH Ichiro! vLHP .344/.383/.439, vRHP .322/.370/.440, speed, ground ball hitter
DH: RH Martinez, vLHP .281/.438/.542, vRHP .299/.402/.495, no speed, neutral hitter (well.. career, slight ground, last 3 slight fly, last year, slight ground)
Possible bench players:
UT-L Hansen, vLHP –, v RHP .259/.364/.350, no speed, severe ground ball hitter
IF-R Bloomquist, vLHP .286/.350/.390, vRHP .274/.345/.331, some speed, serious ground baller
OF-B McCracken, vLHP .266/.320/.342, vRHP .277/.333/.406, some speed, ground baller
SS-B Santiago, vLHP .197/.245/.250, vRHP .245/.316/.335, massive groudballer
whichever catcher’s not not hitting that day
And just for fun —
Ichiro with runners on — .346/.417/.460
Winn with runners on — .315/.373/.464
So in general: Edgar and Olerud are death on the basepaths, to the point where you want to keep groundballers out from behind them because it’s an automatic double play unless it’s the Yankees on defense. I like alternating L/R matchups, if only because it means that other Melvin-like managers then use their bullpen in the same limited way Melvin does, and you churn through their guys faster (well, slower, because the game crawls, but you know what I meant). So here —
— Versus Righties —
R/B – catcher
Winn-Ichiro is a toss and you can go either way: Ichiro’s OBP is better, and you want your OBP guys as far up in the order as possible. But the problem (really) is as much as you’d love to have another high average/high OBP man up there, the other high OBP guys are all power dudes, and just putting any of them in the two spot means there’s less of a chance you’ve managed to get Ichiro/Winn around to second in time. Plus if you bat Ichiro second to take advantage of infield positioning, you have to have a speed guy to make the threat viable. This then either lets Winn steal at will or lets Ichiro get hits at will.
Depending on how wedded you are to L-R over the double-play protection, you can flip Ibanez for Aurilia there (which I like, now that I think about it) and get another fly ball hitter, but then you have to do the opposite further down swapping Spiezio/Olerud, and concede more DPs at the bottom of the order. I figured you might as well punt that when you’re looking at having Davis/Wilson come up next. Still, there is an alternative plan:
It’s a little nutty, but Winn isn’t that hot of a hitter, and this lineup largely preserves L/R and protects against the DP. I don’t like the idea of having Boone play hit-and-run games, though, and it also means that the switch-hitters are grouped low. You could swap Aurilia and Spiezio, depending on how good of a hitter they are these days (the three-year splits… well, we’ll see how Rich does).
The other thing you have to consider is what happens if they bring in a lefty reliever: both Olerud and Ibanez turn into pumpkins, so as much as possible you’d like to have those guys further down in the order or keep them surrounded with huge-anti-lefty weapons, like Aurilia and Winn in addition to the usual suspects, so the opposing manager is forced to burn a pitcher to try and get that one out or they leave the righty in to face Boone/Martinez/Aurilia with the side benefit, for the M’s, of getting Ibanez fewer at-bats against lefties.
And then you can even start to think about the finer points there: is it worth it to try and get that lefty if you can stack Ibanez/Olerud close enough (say, with a lefty-masher between them) that it looks tempting for the other guy to bring in a lefty to face all three, and then when you get to Olerud you pinch-hit Greg Col… oh. Well, never mind, that doesn’t work for us.
— Versus Lefties —
B- Spiezio (at 1b)
R- Bloomquist (at 3b)
The Bloomquist-Spiezio tandem gets you a little power and (blasphemy, I know) more defense back over Olerud-Spiezio. The slow Martinez gets a fly ball man behind him. If McCracken can play left field well, he’s a decent sub for Ibanez out there, but then you’re forced to figure out how to swap Ibanez back in if a rightie comes up. That’s the whole problem with the bottom of this lineup: you’ve got five mashers and then… what? Ibanez’s bad bat, then Spiezio’s a high-average, high-OBP guy without much power versus lefties, but without the speed to threaten the steal like Winn/Ichiro. Bloomquist has some speed, but before you start entertaining LaRussa-style thoughts of putting together a second offense, the catchers both hit for average, decent, decent SLG versus lefties… you almost want to punt Ibanez entirely:
B- Spiezio (at 1b)
R- Bloomquist (at 3b)
If you think Winn’s power v lefties is real, you can swap Spiezio into the leadoff (seriously) and move Winn behind Martinez at #5, putting a switch-hitter between him and Aurilia.
There is an important thing to consider, though, and that’s whether players will take to it. Performance-oriented analysts (like Y.T.) generally scoff at notions like “it takes a special skill to pitch the ninth inning” but if Ibanez is going to be pissy about trying to hide his weaknesses, and Ichiro only wants to bat first, no matter what, and so forth, the team has to weigh whether that unhappiness and potential performance hit is worth it to try for the marginal potential advantage.
The Mariners should offer Pudge a one-year or two deal at something higher annually. The deal Pudge wants is guaranteed to go sour at four years, and almost certainly at three. If you have to go $12-14m next year to avoid paying him $10m in 2007 to be on the DL, that’s a couple million dollars well spent. Fixing that last sinkhole of outs in the lineup would do wonders for the offense, maybe enough to make my constant 85-game predictions look dumb.
I know, I know.
We kid because we care, Jason.
Nope, no trade (at least that I know of). You’ll have to speak with my agent for the official word, though.
Really, though, I started a new job this week and am moving this weekend. Hopefully things will settle down pretty quick.
I’d also like to deny rumors that we’ve been holding Jason out of the lineup because we intend to trade him to the “Sports and Bremertonians” team pending him passing a physical.
Anyone else see that the smart, hip new Red Sox front office signed Tony Freaking Womack? I was honestly stunned, I thought it was a misprint. Womack has been for years the worst shortstop in baseball. He’s at the bottom of the pack defensively, by almost any metric you want to look (which is unusual, for complicated reasons) and he’s awful piled on awful offensively. He makes Ramon Santiago look like a good baseball player. I can see signing a guy like that as organizational filler for AAA, but I understand Womack can get out of his contract if they don’t keep him on the 40-man.