Shaking Up the Lineup

Shaking Up the LineupThroughout its long and interesting history, Baseball has been a game of tradition, and as hard as we’ve all tried, this tradition has been very hard to break. However, recently an idea has been pondered that just might innovate the game for the better. About 2 and a half months ago, Bill Petti wrote an article at FanGraphs about how to squeeze the maximum amount of runs out of the lineup. It basically put most of the reliability on On-Base Percentage and putting the guys who make the least amount of outs in the spots in which getting on base is essential.

The basic order of the lineup would look like this 1-9:

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

A few days ago, Ryan Kamp of MyHOFS took from this idea and tried to put it to the Mets situation. At first, it looked kind of weird with Wright batting first and Murphy – a usual 2-hitter – hitting 3rd. But when you look at it, it makes total sense. You have a guy who has one of the lesser chances of getting an out in the “table-setter” spot and another higher-OBP guy like Murph in the 3-hole with tons of RBI opportunities. Of course, you could always switch up the 1,4,5 (Wright, Davis, Baxter) by making Ike the 5-guy, have Baxter lead off, and make Wright the clean-up hitter, but the basic idea of matching the importance of lineup spots with the OBP of players is pretty smart, and might put the Metropolitans in a position they haven’t been in in a few years.

After seeing this, I thought I would shake up the Yankees’ starting 9 to squeeze as many runs out of this seemingly old and declining team as possible.

Below is the Yankees lineup with this method with their 2012 OBP:

1. B. Gardner – .417

4. Ichiro – .340

2. R. Cano – .379

5. K. Youkilis – .336

3. D. Jeter – .362

6. M. Teixiera – .332

7. C. Granderson – .319

8. C. Stewart – .292

9. DH – N/A

Alright, let’s face it: this lineup looks kind of ridiculous. With Jeter hitting 6th, maybe not every lineup can simply be changed for the better by just using this formula. So, I changed it up just a bit. What you could do is switch Teixiera and Youkilis which puts Tex in a more familiar spot. Then you could switch Jeter and Youk so now Derek is not a singles hitter in the meat of the lineup. As you can see, I put the 9 spot as “DH” because, the Yanks really don’t have that extra guy with pop who can DH.

Of course, whenever anyone tries to put together, they must remember that it’s not as easy as just putting everyone in their respected place. It’s important to move everything around if it’s not working. However, if a manager feels that he’s getting the maximum amount of runs, as they say, “Don’t fix what’s not broken.” Obviously, this brilliant new style of penciling in a lineup could help teams in the most need of it get most amount of runs and, most importantly, wins.

Here are the links to the two articles that helped me out with this:

Petti’s article: http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/index.php/are-league-wide-batting-orders-more-optimized/

Kamp’s article: http://www.myhofs.com/NewsDesc.aspx?nd=MkkPrkwOpHg%24

 

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