Some Intelligent Commentary on Batting Order
With so much attention being paid to the team’s batting order right now, I’ve decided to just stop talking about it. By and large, line-up order just doesn’t matter very much, and we all need a break from the insanity of who-should-hit-where. But, if you’re really interested in batting order philosophies, this interview with Manny Acta (and Cleveland baseball ops guy Mike Chernoff) is a must read.
“The main thing is scoring runs, so you need to stack up your best hitters up front. You forget about trying to put a guy in the second spot just because he can hit-and-run and bunt. After the first six hitters, you should put your best hitters in front of the [lesser] hitters. The bottom of your order should be the bottom. I’ve never been a big believer in the idea of having a second leadoff hitter. I don’t like putting a guy in the nine-hole who should be hitting in the seven- or eight-hole. To me, you have to maximize at bats. Your better hitters should have a shot at getting that extra at bat.”
The Cleveland Indians replaced Eric Wedge with the guy that said that. Also, check out his final paragraph on bunts. Yes, the game is changing – slower at the field level than the front office level, but it is changing, and changing for the better.