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 Post subject: Lineup tweak?
PostPosted: Fri Jul 05, 2013 4:48 pm 
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With Tabata's return and McCutchen seeing absolutely nothing to hit, I wonder of a lineup shuffle would help. If Tabata can be an OBP machine, I would propose the following in an effort to get Cutch more to hit:

Tabata
Walker
Marte
McCutchen
Alvarez
Martin
Jones
Mercer
pitcher

I see Marte eventually as a middle of the order bat anyway. With a hot Alvarez behind him, maybe Cutch would see a few more strikes. With Marte on first, he might even see a fastball!


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 Post subject: Re: Lineup tweak?
PostPosted: Fri Jul 05, 2013 5:03 pm 
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The best hitter on a team always hits third in the line-up. Given that the McCutchen is the best Pirates hitter and it's not even close, he won't be moved out of the 3-hole. I agree with batting Tabata lead-off if he shows consistency with OBP as you said (a big "if"). Although Marte has strived in that role this year, I like someone with better plate discipline. I'd have no problem swapping those two at 1 and 2. Also in favor of Mercer batting second when he's been hitting well. Walker is not hitting well enough this year to warrant being in the upper half of the line-up, let alone second. I like him at seven or eight, honestly. For 4-5-6, I think that Alvarez, Jones and Martin can be shuffled around there without it mattering too much. No problem with Jones batting clean-up if it's a RHP (same with Gaby and LHP). The only place I don't want Alvarez batting is seventh so that he is vulnerable to an intentional BB like we have seen this year when someone like Barmes was hitting eight.

Of course, I say all that as a non-traditionalist who generally doesn't put a ton of emphasis on batting order. But as traditions go that's where I would like to see it.


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 Post subject: Re: Lineup tweak?
PostPosted: Fri Jul 05, 2013 5:40 pm 
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If Alvarez could settle into the cleanup spot, Marte would look nice in the 5th spot.

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 Post subject: Re: Lineup tweak?
PostPosted: Fri Jul 05, 2013 5:50 pm 
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nad69dan wrote:
If Alvarez could settle into the cleanup spot, Marte would look nice in the 5th spot.


Disagreed, with Marte's ability to get on base I wouldn't want him not hitting in front of McCutchen. Really, I can't imagine him not hitting 1 or 2, my preference would be 2 with his plate discipline if someone like Tabata could solidify the lead-off role.


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 Post subject: Re: Lineup tweak?
PostPosted: Fri Jul 05, 2013 8:00 pm 
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I think if Tabata takes over in RF and can play consistently that he would be an ideal #2 hitter.

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 Post subject: Re: Lineup tweak?
PostPosted: Sat Jul 06, 2013 12:59 am 
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This might be heresy, but I'd honestly consider batting Marte 8th if Tabata becomes your leadoff man (and this is only if Marte isn't batting leadoff).

8th men in a NL lineup get a natural OBP inflation due to teams pitching around them and walking them intentionally. Marte struggles with walks, but is a terror on the bases. You get him some IBB's, some pitchers who are willing to concede a walk if they fall way behind, let him steal bases to put a really effective bunt situation in place (Hurdle is going to bunt a lot, I've come to peace with that, so I'd like to maximize its benefit), and it could produce a couple of extra runs.

That said, I doubt they switch. But, if they want to experiment with Tabata at 1, Marte at 8 could lead to some manufactured extra runs. I just don't think Marte really fits the profile of anything but a 1 at this point as the power is there but not consistent and the K rate is a bit high to have him at 2. And I think he'd be wasted at 7.

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 Post subject: Re: Lineup tweak?
PostPosted: Sat Jul 06, 2013 9:54 am 
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I just think they need to do something to jumpstart Cutch at this point. Clubs would have no choice but to pitch to him.


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 Post subject: Re: Lineup tweak?
PostPosted: Sat Jul 06, 2013 10:42 am 
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Marte is better suited for the two-spot, but it's so hard to find a lead-off guy [who has speed, hits for AVG, can get on-base frequently and doesn't K at a high rate].

Marte does enough of lead-off type things that he can fill the role and it's probably better to have him do it than to plug in some Juan Pierre type.

If Polanco is as toolsy as we give him credit for, a hypothetical 2015 one-through-five of Marte-GP-Cutch-Pedro/GFJ would be, in theory, quite the lineup.

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 Post subject: Re: Lineup tweak?
PostPosted: Sat Jul 06, 2013 11:29 am 
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doug frobel wrote:
I just think they need to do something to jumpstart Cutch at this point. Clubs would have no choice but to pitch to him.


Well, I don't really think he's being pitched around if that's what you're getting at. Furthermore I don't know know that I'd agree that he needs a "jumpstart" ... he's hitting .378 over the last ten games and has walked a total of 6 times over that span, pretty normal numbers. Obviously based on last year we want to see his numbers improve in the second half but he's still been very good.


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 Post subject: Re: Lineup tweak?
PostPosted: Sat Jul 06, 2013 11:58 am 
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doug frobel wrote:
I just think they need to do something to jumpstart Cutch at this point. Clubs would have no choice but to pitch to him.


Jumpstart Cutch? The guy leads the team in oWAR, OPS, OBP, and batting average. He is currently tied for third in WAR among all NL position players. I'd say he's been sufficiently "jumpstarted" thus far. And I'd bet his power numbers tick up through July and August.


Last edited by J_C_Steel on Sat Jul 06, 2013 12:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Lineup tweak?
PostPosted: Sat Jul 06, 2013 12:00 pm 
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Oh, and batting Cutch below third in the lineup is an awful idea. You do NOT take at-bats away from your best hitter.


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 Post subject: Re: Lineup tweak?
PostPosted: Sat Jul 06, 2013 12:50 pm 
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TheShark wrote:
doug frobel wrote:
I just think they need to do something to jumpstart Cutch at this point. Clubs would have no choice but to pitch to him.


Well, I don't really think he's being pitched around if that's what you're getting at. Furthermore I don't know know that I'd agree that he needs a "jumpstart" ... he's hitting .378 over the last ten games and has walked a total of 6 times over that span, pretty normal numbers. Obviously based on last year we want to see his numbers improve in the second half but he's still been very good.


I think right now you'd like to see a bit more power but he's about where he should be. Last year is going to be nearly impossible for him to duplicate. .375 BABIP, which was remarkable given how many HR's he hit. His BABIP earlier in the year was even more absurd.

Right now his BABIP is at a more normal level, which brings the average down from last year. He's also hit fewer HR's which would get him a few extra points on the BA if he normalizes.

Basically, I think you can expect him to settle in at .300 - .310 most years, probably 20-25 HR's, and it'd be awesome if he could wind up at 25-30 steals on top of it.

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 Post subject: Re: Lineup tweak?
PostPosted: Sat Jul 06, 2013 3:19 pm 
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J_C_Steel wrote:
doug frobel wrote:
I just think they need to do something to jumpstart Cutch at this point. Clubs would have no choice but to pitch to him.


Jumpstart Cutch? The guy leads the team in oWAR, OPS, OBP, and batting average. He is currently tied for third in WAR among all NL position players. I'd say he's been sufficiently "jumpstarted" thus far. And I'd bet his power numbers tick up through July and August.



He's supposed to lead the team in those categories and most of his WAR has come from defense and the position he plays, if I'm not mistaken. He seemed to hit better last year, so why can't he be jumpstarted?

How would his power numbers pick up if he's not jumpstartable?

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 Post subject: Re: Lineup tweak?
PostPosted: Sat Jul 06, 2013 3:21 pm 
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TheShark wrote:
doug frobel wrote:
I just think they need to do something to jumpstart Cutch at this point. Clubs would have no choice but to pitch to him.


Well, I don't really think he's being pitched around if that's what you're getting at. Furthermore I don't know know that I'd agree that he needs a "jumpstart" ... he's hitting .378 over the last ten games and has walked a total of 6 times over that span, pretty normal numbers. Obviously based on last year we want to see his numbers improve in the second half but he's still been very good.



He has been good recently. Especially when they needed him to be good, like in the Brewers game.


But I do think, BABIP from last year/whatever, that he was a better hitter last year and his start this year seemed slow comparatively.

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 Post subject: Re: Lineup tweak?
PostPosted: Sat Jul 06, 2013 3:45 pm 
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SUPERCHARGED APE wrote:
He's supposed to lead the team in those categories and most of his WAR has come from defense and the position he plays, if I'm not mistaken. He seemed to hit better last year, so why can't he be jumpstarted?

How would his power numbers pick up if he's not jumpstartable?


I just think it's important to stay realistic and not expect too much out of him (i.e., not always expecting "next level" great-ness when he is still performing very well). If we always compare him to his season last year it will always seem like a disappointment and I don't think that's really fair. While the sky is the limit with his ceiling and I realize every time I make such a point that I could very well be wrong, you have to keep into consideration what he did the first three years of his career as well. Which, while very good, weren't really close to his outstanding 2012. While that could mean that McCutchen was just reaching his climax as a player, it could also stand as an outlier, career best season on his career. Take power, for example. I don't know how realistic it is to anticipate many more 30+ HR seasons, if any. Right now he's more on pace for his previous career norms. I just wouldn't really say that it's necessary to see drastic improvement considering the statline he's currently putting up. If he does, fantastic, if not, that's okay too.


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 Post subject: Re: Lineup tweak?
PostPosted: Sat Jul 06, 2013 4:19 pm 
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The Yankees put this line-up on the field today against the Orioles:

New York Yankees

B Gardner CF
I Suzuki RF
R Cano 2B
T Hafner DH
Z Almonte LF
L Overbay 1B
L Cruz 3B
E Nunez SS
C Stewart C

Holy crap, that line-up is awful, apart from the first 3. Seriously, terribly, horribly, incredibly, stunningly awful. If Cano had to take a few days off, this line-up would qualify as perhaps the worst in baseball.


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 Post subject: Re: Lineup tweak?
PostPosted: Sat Jul 06, 2013 4:22 pm 
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Lucky for them, the Orioles' pitching staff is equally mediocre.

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 Post subject: Re: Lineup tweak?
PostPosted: Mon Jul 08, 2013 6:49 pm 
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TheShark wrote:
SUPERCHARGED APE wrote:
He's supposed to lead the team in those categories and most of his WAR has come from defense and the position he plays, if I'm not mistaken. He seemed to hit better last year, so why can't he be jumpstarted?

How would his power numbers pick up if he's not jumpstartable?


I just think it's important to stay realistic and not expect too much out of him (i.e., not always expecting "next level" great-ness when he is still performing very well). If we always compare him to his season last year it will always seem like a disappointment and I don't think that's really fair. While the sky is the limit with his ceiling and I realize every time I make such a point that I could very well be wrong, you have to keep into consideration what he did the first three years of his career as well. Which, while very good, weren't really close to his outstanding 2012. While that could mean that McCutchen was just reaching his climax as a player, it could also stand as an outlier, career best season on his career. Take power, for example. I don't know how realistic it is to anticipate many more 30+ HR seasons, if any. Right now he's more on pace for his previous career norms. I just wouldn't really say that it's necessary to see drastic improvement considering the statline he's currently putting up. If he does, fantastic, if not, that's okay too.


I know, I try to take that into consideration with him that last year may have been an outlier offensively for him. But I do think that at 26 (right?) he should be somewhere a bit higher than previous career norms.

HOLD UP

I just looked him up, and, you know, I guess statistically he is hitting pretty damn well after his recent hot streak. Low HR number is replaced by a high 2B number, which seems fair. I guess maybe he just heated up gradually, like the boiling frog thing. Not the Alvarez "man I suck HOLY F I'M THE MOST POWERFUL HITTER ON EARTH" standard.

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 Post subject: Re: Lineup tweak?
PostPosted: Mon Jul 08, 2013 6:51 pm 
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SUPERCHARGED APE wrote:
J_C_Steel wrote:
doug frobel wrote:
I just think they need to do something to jumpstart Cutch at this point. Clubs would have no choice but to pitch to him.


Jumpstart Cutch? The guy leads the team in oWAR, OPS, OBP, and batting average. He is currently tied for third in WAR among all NL position players. I'd say he's been sufficiently "jumpstarted" thus far. And I'd bet his power numbers tick up through July and August.



He's supposed to lead the team in those categories and most of his WAR has come from defense and the position he plays, if I'm not mistaken. He seemed to hit better last year, so why can't he be jumpstarted?

How would his power numbers pick up if he's not jumpstartable?



After careful recollection, I'm gonna retract my statement and give you a point.

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 Post subject: Re: Lineup tweak?
PostPosted: Mon Jul 08, 2013 7:05 pm 
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