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2012 Batting order Ideas...
Posted 03 March 2012 - 11:26 AM
"It's not the dress that makes you look fat, it's the fat that makes you look fat." - Al Bundy
"Ow" - Dylan Bundy
Posted 03 March 2012 - 03:38 PM
Like Brett flip 1&2 and you have a winner
1. S. Castro SS
2. D. DeJesus RF
3. B. LaHair
4. A. Soriano
5. G. Soto
6. I. Stewart
7. M. Byrd
8. D. Barney
What do you think the 2012 batting order should look like?
And folks Byrd has no business being a top of the order hitter much less a #3
Posted 04 March 2012 - 10:12 AM
Soto looks like he is in great shape. As long as he can stay away from those nagging injuries (looks like that is off to a great start this spring) he should bounce back. I like him best in the 3 hole with this team.
Posted 04 March 2012 - 01:26 PM
Let's see if I can make the worst possible lineup.
Posted 05 March 2012 - 11:09 PM
I might flip Soriano and Stewart against righties since Soriano can't hit them. Modern lineup construction says that the #3 hole is actually the least important of the top 4 lineup spots which is why I put Byrd there. 2 and 4 are most important so our two best hitters are in those spots. Opted for Soto at 5 because he gets on base and has extra base pop to drive in runs. LaHair probably a 6 hitter on a good team and Soto probably 7 but unfortunately, we don't have a good team
Posted 06 March 2012 - 11:15 AM
In defense of Soriano batting leadoff.
I don't think batting Soriano leadoff is a good idea or a likely idea. I argue that it is a reasonable idea, and not the worst possible idea for the leadoff spot.
Brett has listed some of the obvious reasons why Sori shouldn't bat leadoff. His declining speed, on-base percentage, and OPS all show why it's probably not a good idea. However, in the discussion I noticed that there were few, if any, arguments in support of him batting leadoff, or at least as reasonable explanations of why an experienced big league manager might consider such a move. "Soriano batting leadoff" seemed to be an established truth, with no room for counter-views or differing opinions.
Phil Rogers (god, am I using him in my argument? That's not good) had a recent article advocating the move (which I'm not) that had a few good points. What if it does matter to Soriano if he hits first? What if there is a statistically unverifiable correlation between him batting leadoff and increased performance?
We all watched as Castro got moved around and didn't argue that where he was batting was a major factor in how he was hitting. We nodded as we reasoned that Colvin didn't exactly get a fair shot in his at-bats because of where he was in the lineup. It seems inconsistent to rule this possibility out for Soriano. Maybe the mental aspect of the game figures more prominently for him and he'll perform better at leadoff. I don't know. But neither does Sveum. Maybe it's worth a look.
From a "vibe" and irrational standpoint, I remember watching games where Sori led off. There was a different character to the game. There was an especially different character when he led off with a home run. If nothing else, Sori had a different energy level. While not a reason to lead him off now, given the fact that it isn't likely that his recent decline is due to his position in the lineup (a fully conceded point), it would certainly be something reasonable to look into; if not particularly well-advised.
And it's true that we don't have a leadoff hitter that he would be replacing. Does this mean that we can just lead off anybody? Of course not. We should be working on training and developing somebody who can be a legitimate leadoff hitter. But it is something to consider.
And what about trade value? As Brett said, no team is foolish enough to be fooled by higher numbers from increased at bats. But what if he, like Stella, gets his groove back? That could be big. However, the point that hasn't been mentioned in the trade value analysis is that if batting leadoff were actually to improve his performance to the point where he was an attractive trade target, wouldn't this go against him being traded? What are the odds of another team picking up his contract and batting him leadoff on their team? As is conceded, him batting first is not a particularly good idea. So a team interested in him (by virtue of his increased performance batting leadoff) would have to take Soriano AND decide to either bat him leadoff (hoping that he continues to perform well at that spot) or bat him in a more statistically appropriate spot (hoping that he can keep his performance up even if not batting leadoff). Regardless, a better-hitting Soriano would be a good problem for the Cubs to have.
Pulling him earlier if he hits leadoff? Could have some benefit- we might get him the normal amount of at bats with less exposure to his sub-par defense. Mental aspect of leadoff leading to increased performance (even if not off-setting his natural decline)? Possible. Effect of a slugger-type leadoff hitter on the rest of the team and the game dynamic? A consideration. Increasing trade value? Mixed, but yes. Not displacing a true leadoff hitter? Very minor, but still true. Deference to decisions made by coaches with experience and intimate knowledge we don't have? Always the case, though I don't see the move as likely. Last, if you were a coach and had just enough curiosity about the matter to investigate, wouldn't the beginning of this season be the time to find out?
This isn't a strong case for batting Soriano leadoff. It is, overall, a weak case. But it's strong enough to offset the idea that batting him first is the worst possible option the Cubs could pick.
Finally, I personally don't think it's crazy to explore the option of batting Sori leadoff. Neither does Sveum or Phil Rogers. And I'm sure there are others that, at least in some respects, agree with me. You can disagree with me (and question my moral turpitude), and you can certainly show the more compelling case of why he shouldn't bat leadoff. But you can't present an opinion as a fact when I don't agree, because I'm 'a speak up about it. That's how we roll on BN.
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"Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it's time to pause and reflect." -- Mark Twain
Posted 07 March 2012 - 11:47 PM
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