Throwing the Book at the M’s Lineup

March 2, 2011 · Filed Under Mariners · 6 Comments 

The M’s 2010 offense was a spectacle none of us will forget, however hard we might want to. If you’ve been reading for any length of time, you know that scoring runs is just one part of the WAR equation, and that run suppression is just as important. But clearly, the M’s gave their pitchers/defenders a hopeless job last year, and while regression to the mean will help the M’s score more runs, the gap between where they were and plain old ‘bad’ is still huge. This team’s upgraded the offense, particularly at DH, but while regression and luck may giveth, aging taketh away (Jack Wilson, Milton Bradley, Chone Figgins and Jack Cust are all 30+, and while Ichiro doesn’t fit traditional aging curves, the man IS 37). The M’s offense has a lot riding on a good year from its prospects, the health/improvement of Jack Wilson and a bounce-back year from Figgins or Bradley. All of this means deploying these meager resources wisely is more important to the M’s this year than it is for other teams.

Using a neutral projection system (I’ve chosen CAIRO, as it breaks down projections by batter handedness), I’ve taken a stab at an optimal line-up for this decidedly sub-optimal collection of hitters. Steel yourself, then take a look.
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