hohokam-park-signToday’s game is a WGN bonanza, with the Cubs/Angels tilt on both TV and radio.

The Cubs are going with another pretty-much-regular-season type lineup (with Scott Hairston giving Alfonso Soriano a day off), and Edwin Jackson gets the start.

The Angels, on the other hand, are apparently using almost no regulars today. So, if the Cubs are trying, they better win.

Today’s lineup:

1. David DeJesus, CF

2. Starlin Castro, SS

3. Anthony Rizzo, 1B

4. Scott Hairston, LF

5. Nate Schierholtz, RF

6. Dioner Navarro, C

7. Luis Valbuena, 3B

8. Darwin Barney, 2B

9. Edwin Jackson, P

  • Dylan Heuer

    Could Hairston actually bat 4th or is it just getting him extra at-bats?

    • hogie

      I would bet it is more about keeping everyone else in the normal spots.

      • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

        It is. But if he ever subs for Soriano against a lefty, I bet he bats fourth.

  • Segal27

    Shawon Dunston Jr. is getting into this game.

  • Die hard

    Why would the teams best hitter be at #2 who is asked to give self up to move lead off batter into scoring position?

    • TheDynastyStartsIn2016

      Because, unless it’s a ‘game’ situation (bottom of ninth?), the number two hitter shouldn’t give himself up.

      • hansman1982

        Because, unless it’s a ‘pitcher batting’ situation, the number two hitter shouldn’t give himself up.

        Fixed that for ya.

        • TheDynastyStartsIn2016

          but, how often do pitchers hit 2nd?

          • hansman1982


            • hansman1982

              try again/different:


    • Believe in 2015

      Jeter was a number 2 hitter for most of his career.

      • DocPeterWimsey

        Jeter also never wasted PAs grounding out to 2nd deliberately; if he did ground out to 2nd and move a guy up, then he was trying to drive a ball to CF or RF and get beat by the pitcher.

    • fromthemitten

      #2 hitters are valued for contact skills and see more hittable pitches hitting in front of heart of lineup also leadoff hitter doesnt get on base all the time. also more ABs

    • Timothy Scarbrough

      The best way to construct a lineup, under most normal circumstances is by descending OBP. If you measure quality by on base skills, the second best should be at 2nd.

      • http://thecubcontrarian.blogspot.com Kyle

        The authors of “The Book” did some interesting sabermetric analysis and came up with the following importance to batting slots:

        2nd, 4th, 1st, 5th, 3rd, 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th.

        It’s counterintuitive, but the third spot in the lineup faces so many none-on, two-out situations that it becomes relatively unimportant.

        • Timothy Scarbrough

          Really? I’ve been meaning to read The Book for a while now. I’ve never seen that study. Would you then fill those spots in order of OBP, or something else, such as wOBA?

  • cubmig

    Just wondering——-Why isn’t Soriano in LF and in the 4th spot?

    • Josh

      What a guy can’t have a day off every once in a while Jesus use Common sense

      • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

        That was kind of a harsh response.

    • Dylan Heuer

      Jus a day off for Soriano. Nothing bad about it.

  • cb

    Sandberg hit 2nd, at least for a long time. You can move a runner into scoring position without giving yourself up. That’s a very limited view of moving runners along.

  • Rcleven

    1 Shuck CF
    2 Rodriguez 2B
    3 Calhoun RF
    4 Iannetta C
    5 Harris 3B
    6 Cousins LF
    7 Navarro 1B
    8 Romine SS
    9 Blanton P

  • al

    I tried an experiment with my MLB video game for the PSP creating a line up based solely on batting averages from high to low. If you have a video game I would recommend you try it as the results are outstanding (if somewhat surprising).

  • Bilbo161

    Nobody really ground out deliberately. They hit it to the right side deliberately. Castro before Rizzo make perfect sense to me. Protects Castro and he sees better pitches.

    • DocPeterWimsey

      That’s not actually true. The original idea was to try to hit it to right; however, it devolved into “ground it to the right side at all costs.” The oxymoronic “productive outs” phrase began to be used at that time, too.

    • http://thecubcontrarian.blogspot.com Kyle

      Castro has fantastic plate coverages and is a good bad-ball hitter.

      Stipulating for the moment that protection is significant, Castro would probably benefit from it less than anyone else in the lineup.

      • DocPeterWimsey

        And even that stipulation can be debunked pretty easily. Pitchers are trying to throw strikes that individual batters cannot hit well. The pitches that you want to throw to Castro (or Rizzo or any other batter) to get him out are the same regardless of who is batting behind that guy.

        (And, of course, Castro will be just as apt to swing at non-strikes with Rizzo behind him as anybody else.)

  • Rcleven

    EJax with good first. 3 up 3down.
    Not much of a test for EJax with Angel line up.
    Just throw strikes.

  • Rcleven

    Did Navarro catch that foul tip off his bare hand?

    • Tim

      Navarro is severely out of shape. Jesus dude, lay off the cheeseburgers

      • MichiganGoat

        You’re confusing him with hansman 😉

  • DarthHater


    • DarthHater

      I was afraid that would happen. Try again:[img]http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8509/8583009473_a5b79eb0fe_z.jpg[/img]

  • cubmig

    That “What’s A World Series?” poster should be hung in the Cubs clubhouse. Maybe they’d get tired of seeing it day-after-day and get motivated to win to get rid of it………..

  • cubmig

    5th inning 2 outs and two on…….one run in…….a HR by Starlin could tie it here! GO STARLIN!

  • DPRagen

    The Cub outfielders look like they are chasing hand grenades slowly!

  • Rcleven

    Not to belittle Mr. Hariston but that is why spring stats mean little.
    AAA pitchers.

  • Timothy Scarbrough

    Stanek was still hitting 94 in the ninth. 7 k, 3 H, 1 BB, 1 ER in a complete game.

  • Tim

    I posted this the other day, and it seems like there would be quite a bit of anger if those goes down, but per mlbtraderumors, “The Cubs could be on the lookout for a spare infielder, Paul Sullivan of the Chicago Tribune reports. Manager Dale Sveum likes the recently-released Chone Figgins, saying Figgins “is one who would be interesting because he switch hits and plays the outfield.” But don’t count on the Cubs acquiring him, since Sveum would rather have a lefty hitter with power.”

    I am not saying this is going to happen, but this is now the second source to hint that the Cubs are considering him. If it is for the 25th spot on the roster, I guess who really cares? Plus if we focus on positives, he is very versatile, runs well, and can get on base. For a 25th guy, we could do worse.

    • DocPeterWimsey

      “Plus if we focus on positives, he is very versatile, runs well, and can get on base.”

      That (particularly the final line) was true in 2009. It’s not 2009 anymore.

  • Tim

    He had good spring numbers in Miami. Granted he had no extra base hits and it was spring training.

    The dude is probably done, all my point is I wouldn’t be horrified if the Cubs picked him up to be the 25th man. Compare him to Clevenger or Alberto Gonzalez, I mean do you really have a strong performance with any of those three??

    Honestly, I like what Bousegvic did this spring, I would lean towards keeping him.

  • BABIP (MichCubFan)

    Hey, earlier on in this thread there was a conversation about optimized batting order. I find that interesting, but what is the value of optimizing your lineup by the handedness of the starting pitcher, compared to just looking at their overall numbers?

    Some teams do it one way and some still do it the other. I would definitely take advantage of platoon splits while making a lineup, but I don’t see this talked about very often.

    • DocPeterWimsey

      Ideally, you would go further than that, and use individual batter’s OPS by pitcher types. Lefty vs. Righty is the most general breakdown, but how a guy does against a RH K-heavy FB pitcher might be very different from how he does against a RH GB pitcher.

      To an extent, reverse-heat zones would be useful here. That is, how good is a particular starting pitcher at pounding the blue zone of different batters in your lineup? From that, you can extrapolate expected OPS and then make your batting order.

      The catch would be sample size: but having a few well-sampled players would probably provide a stable “backbone” around which you slot the poorly-sampled players.

  • Mr.Boring

    Brett, great info on a daily basis. We all thank you. But 80% of us regulars need to realize that this is spring training. NCAA hoops is on, the NCAA Wrestling Championship is on. NFL draft is coming soon.

    Most of us have interest it those events.

    BleacherNation, Take a deep breath, cook the wife/GF or both dinner, fire up a DVD and relax. It’s spring training.

    Neither a Doctor, Lawyer or and Indian Chief can determine the fate of any baseball team in March. Stop bickering over stupid things and let’s just enjoy sunshine and spring baseball.

    Brett, congrats on the new born. Your a lucky man.

    • OCCubFan

      “cook the wife/GF or both”

      You might wish to reconsider this.