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#1 koufax32


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Posted 09 December 2010 - 09:40 AM

Assuming that the only upcoming changes will be in the bullpen, how does Tito go about setting the lineup?

Ellsbury, CF, LH
Crawford, LF, LH
Youkilis, 3B, RH
Gonzalez, 1B, LH
Pedroia, 2B, RH
Ortiz, DH, LH
Drew, RF, LH
Salty/Tek C, S/S
Lowrie/Scutaro SS, S/RH


I personally don't think Crawford will be leading off. His disdain for the spot is well documented.

Regardless of what the lineup will look like you have to think that the NYY will be LOOGY hunting the remainder of the offseason.

Discuss.

#2 CautionEspn

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Posted 09 December 2010 - 09:53 AM

Assuming that the only upcoming changes will be in the bullpen, how does Tito go about setting the lineup?

Ellsbury, CF, LH
Crawford, LF, LH
Youkilis, 3B, RH
Gonzalez, 1B, LH
Pedroia, 2B, RH
Ortiz, DH, LH
Drew, RF, LH
Salty/Tek C, S/S
Lowrie/Scutaro SS, S/RH


I personally don't think Crawford will be leading off. His disdain for the spot is well documented.

Regardless of what the lineup will look like you have to think that the NYY will be LOOGY hunting the remainder of the offseason.

Discuss.


Crawford, LF, LH
Pedroia, 2B, RH
Gonzalez, 1B, LH
Youkilis, 3B, RH
Ortiz, DH, LH
Drew, RF, LH
Salty/Tek C, S/S
Lowrie/Scutaro SS, S/RH
Ellsbury, CF, LH

#3 mfried

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Posted 09 December 2010 - 09:56 AM

Crawford, LF, LH
Pedroia, 2B, RH
Gonzalez, 1B, LH
Youkilis, 3B, RH
Ortiz, DH, LH
Drew, RF, LH
Salty/Tek C, S/S
Lowrie/Scutaro SS, S/RH
Ellsbury, CF, LH


Like Ellsbury's, Crawford's OBP is on the low side for a lead-off guy. I like Crawford at #2 for now. Maybe we should just skip the leadoff spot.

#4 SaveBooFerriss


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Posted 09 December 2010 - 10:06 AM

Against RH

Ellsbury, CF, LH
Pedroia, 2B, RH
Crawford, LF, LH
Gonzalez, 1B, LH
Youkilis, 3B, RH
Ortiz, DH, LH
Drew, RF, LH
Salty/Tek C, S/S
Lowrie/Scutaro SS, S/RH

Against LHP
Scutaro SS, RH
Pedroia, 2B, RH
Crawford, LF, LH
Youkilis, 3B, RH
Gonzalez, 1B, LH
Ortiz, DH, LH
Cameron, RF or CF, RH
Salty/Tek C, S/S
Ellsbury/Drew, CF, RF, LH

Maybe you don't flip flop Youk/Adrian Gonzalez. Maybe Drew hits 8th against LHP with C 9th. If Lowrie (SS) plays against LHP, probably have to make some changes.

#5 SoxFanSince57


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Posted 09 December 2010 - 10:09 AM

Assuming that the only upcoming changes will be in the bullpen, how does Tito go about setting the lineup?

Ellsbury, CF, LH
Crawford, LF, LH
Youkilis, 3B, RH
Gonzalez, 1B, LH
Pedroia, 2B, RH
Ortiz, DH, LH
Drew, RF, LH
Salty/Tek C, S/S
Lowrie/Scutaro SS, S/RH


Can't argue with your recommendation. It seems sound/reasonable.

I believe that the team will keep Ellsbury at leadoff to start the season. However for discussion's sake, I kind of feel that Tito will remain with Pede in the 2 hole. Pedroia and Youks PPPA will benefit Ellsbury and Crawford when they are on base. I know it won't happen, but Drew's OBP "should" put him higher in the line-up. Cameron will get plenty ABs subbing for Drew/Ortiz against LHPs.

Ellsbury, CF, LH
Pedroia, 2B, RH
Crawford, LF, LH
Youkilis, 3B, RH
Gonzalez, 1B, LH
Drew, RF, LH
Ortiz, DH, LH
Salty/Tek C, S/S
Lowrie/Scutaro SS, S/RH

Edited by SoxFanSince57, 09 December 2010 - 10:10 AM.


#6 Saints Rest

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Posted 09 December 2010 - 10:09 AM

Knowing Tito's preference for the LRLR plan, I foresee one of two lineups happening at the top of the order:
Pedroia, Crawford, Gonzalez, Youks, Ortiz, Lowrie, Drew, Salty/Tek, Ellsbury
-- OR --
Ellsbury, Pedroia, Crawford, Gonzalez, Youks, Ortiz, Lowrie, Drew, Salty/Tek
each of which, if you'll notice, is the exact same lineup, after the first inning.

Later in the season, I could see Lowrie moving into the leadoff spot:
Lowrie, Pedroia, Crawford, Gonzalez, Youks, Ortiz, Drew, Salty/Tek

In any case, when Cameron subs in for Ells or Drew, he simply takes that spot in the order.



#7 Mugsys Jock


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Posted 09 December 2010 - 10:12 AM

vs. RHP
Pedroia/2B ®
Crawford/LF (L)
Youkilis/3B ®
Gonzalez/1B (L)
Ortiz/DH (L)
Lowrie-Scutaro/SS ®
Drew/RF (L)
Saltalamacchia/C ®
Ellsbury/CF (L)

vs. LHP
Pedroia/2B ®
Crawford/LF (L)
Youkilis/3B ®
Gonzalez/1B (L)
Cameron/DH ®
Drew/RF (L)
Lowrie-Scutaro/SS ®
Varitek/C ®
McDonald/CF ®

Just don't have enough faith in Ells yet to bat him lead-off or against LHP, although if he demonstrates he's healthy in spring training that would be another story. Could also see him going for bullpen help still.

Edited by Mugsys Jock, 09 December 2010 - 10:16 AM.


#8 Savin Hillbilly


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Posted 09 December 2010 - 10:20 AM

I think it's sad but probably true that Crawford will get slotted so high in the order. His skills make so much more sense to me for somewhere in the #5-#7 range, but I guess you don't pay somebody $20M and then hit them there. If I had my druthers it'd be:

vs. RHP:
Ellsbury cf
Pedroia 2b
Gonzalez 1b
Youkilis 3b
Ortiz dh
Crawford lf
Lowrie ss
Drew rf
Salty/Tek c

vs. LHP:
Ellsbury cf
Pedroia 2b
Gonzalez 1b
Youkilis 3b
Crawford lf
Cameron dh
Lowrie ss
Drew rf
Salty/Tek c

#9 meadow11

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Posted 09 December 2010 - 10:25 AM

Vs. RHP

1. Crawford L
2. Pedroia R
3. Gonzalez L
4. Youk R
5. Ortiz L
6. Lowrie S
7. Drew L
8. Salty S
9. Jacoby L

Vs. LHP

1. Crawford L
2. Pedroia R
3. Gonzalez L
4. Youk R
5. Ortiz L
6. Lowrie S
7. Cameron R
8. Tek R
9. Jacoby L

Thoughts: Love the idea of having Ellsbury/Crawford roll the lineup over. Need a bat like Youk to put behind Adrian Gonzalez. Having Jacoby at 9 frees him up to run more. Love the balance against a RHP. Need a RH DH to replace Papi next year.

#10 yecul


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Posted 09 December 2010 - 10:35 AM

Pedroia
Crawford
Gonzalez
Youkilis
Ortiz
Lowrie
Drew
Saltalamacchia
Cameron/Kalish

Lester
Greinke
Buchholz
Beckett
Lackey

Soriano
Bard
Downs

Gotta be bold these days.

#11 Wingack


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Posted 09 December 2010 - 10:39 AM

It should be interesting to see this lineup go up against all the great AL East lefty starters. Even the second tier teams have guys like Romero and Matusz. I don't think there is any way they trade Cameron given that he will get alot of important playing time.

#12 Omar's Wacky Neighbor

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Posted 09 December 2010 - 10:45 AM

I personally don't think Crawford will be leading off. His disdain for the spot is well documented.

Wasn't there a report a few weeks back that one of the things that could persuade Crawford to Boston was hitting in the middle of the order?

#13 mabrowndog


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Posted 09 December 2010 - 10:54 AM

Knowing Tito's preference for the LRLR plan, I foresee one of two lineups happening at the top of the order:
Pedroia, Crawford, Gonzalez, Youks, Ortiz, Lowrie, Drew, Salty/Tek, Ellsbury
-- OR --
Ellsbury, Pedroia, Crawford, Gonzalez, Youks, Ortiz, Lowrie, Drew, Salty/Tek
each of which, if you'll notice, is the exact same lineup, after the first inning.

Later in the season, I could see Lowrie moving into the leadoff spot:
Lowrie, Pedroia, Crawford, Gonzalez, Youks, Ortiz, Drew, Salty/Tek

In any case, when Cameron subs in for Ells or Drew, he simply takes that spot in the order.

I like this setup more than all the other options I've seen in this thread. By a mile.

The only concern I see is with Pedroia being comfortable as a leadoff guy. And by that I don't mean he'd bitch or moan about the assignment, but that his psyche might put up one of those unexplainable roadblocks about it. That sort of crap happens with ballplayers great and awful. Most of them, even if they don't outwardly display it, are very routine-dependent and borderline schizo about their comfort zones. And no, I'm not using Pedroia's career .253/.318/.375/.693 line in 354 leadoff PA (or his line of .219/.287/.333/.620 in 119 leadoff PA in 2009, the last year he even sniffed the leadoff spot) as the backbone of my concern. And I'm not even saying it'll absolutely be a problem. But it's definitely something to consider.

#14 joyofsox


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Posted 09 December 2010 - 11:16 AM

I plugged some numbers into Baseball Musings' Lineup Analysis -- 2010 stats for everyone except Ellsbury, Lowrie, and Saltalamacchia, for whom I used career totals since their games played last year were low -- and got this.

The best possible lineup -- scoring roughly 5.88 runs per game -- would start with Yook/AG or AG/Yook in the top spots, Ortiz at #4, Salty/Ellsbury at the bottom, and the other spots picked out of a hat.

Even the worst possible lineup would score 5.51 runs per game. That is a drop of 60 runs per game over a 162-game season, a difference of about six wins. Obviously, Tito's lineups would not be at either extreme. If he fiddles around fairly intelligently, what kind of difference would a good Tito lineup and a bad Tito lineup make? Two wins?

#15 Eric Van


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Posted 09 December 2010 - 11:52 AM

You are juggling many things at once.

The technical construction:
-- Putting your best hitters at the top and working down to the weakest
-- Putting your table-setters ahead of your teammate-RBI guys
-- Putting guys with big, real bases empty / men on splits in positions where they get more of what they like
-- Putting guys who like or dislike protection (I believe they do exist), if any, where they get it or don't
-- Putting the SB threats where they can do most good (in front of guys who hit a lot of 1B and, to a lesser extent, 2B, rather than hit HR and draw BB)
-- Putting the SB threats in front of guys who are not affected adversely by it and, ideally, in front of guys who will be helped.*

-- Putting guys in spots they are comfortable with psychologically

-- Minimizing the damage done by opposing LHR.

Crawford in 2005 was hitting .281 / .314 / .435 on July 15 when he was moved from 1 to 2. He hit .331 / .358 / .519 the rest of the way, and he's had an aversion to leadoff ever since. Whether that's warranted or not is questionable, since he hit .297 / .303 / .469 in his first 14 games in the 2 hole and then got white hot and hit .342 / .375 / .536 the rest of the way. IOW, his first two weeks in the 2-hole resembled his performance hitting leadoff much more than it resembled what he did later, suggesting that he just got hot or made a mechanical improvement. But if he's not comfortable hitting first, you wouldn't put him there even if the technical factors said he was a good fit (and they actually don't).

*Here are the linear weights pitch type values for the Sox, ranked by how much they like hard stuff versus offspeed ("Diff" which is 1 1/3 * FB + 2/3 * SL - CB - CH)

Who Likes it Hard?
Pitch FB SL CB CH CT SF Dif
Drew 1.56 0.43 -0.06 0.70 1.55 -0.20 1.73
Ortiz 1.84 0.24 0.60 1.24 0.86 -0.29 0.77
Pedroia 0.91 0.91 0.56 0.60 -0.65 5.33 0.66
Salty 0.02 -2.54 -1.09 -1.10 -0.17 7.99 0.52
Youkils 1.62 -0.04 0.99 1.12 1.10 -1.16 0.02
Gonzalez 1.12 -0.79 0.05 1.05 0.29 3.42 -0.13
Ellsbury -0.04 1.13 -0.25 2.35 0.53 0.38 -1.40
Lowrie -0.33 1.09 1.68 0.40 -3.34 2.21 -1.79
Crawford 0.18 0.08 1.47 0.96 1.98 0.21 -2.14

You can see that Crawford is the worst hard stuff vs. off-speed hitter in the lineup and would benefit least by being up with a base-stealing threat on 1B. Since Ellsbury is also among the trailers, the Ellsbury-Crawford 1-2 and 9-1 proposals would be counterproductive. (Lowrie and Salty should be taken with big grains of salt because of the SSS and injury histories.)

OTOH, Crawford would be great in front of Drew, but you can't make that work unless you go L-L-L with Ortiz, Crawford, Drew, Lowrie, Salty.

#16 mabrowndog


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Posted 09 December 2010 - 12:36 PM

An interesting sidebar from the Baseball-Reference blog:

The last time the Red Sox had 4 regular LHH in the order (i.e. those with enough PA to qualify for the batting title) was 2003 with Damon, Trot, Papi and Todd Walker.

The next most recent instance was in 1985 with Boggs, Buckner, Easler and Gedman.

Beyond that, you'd have to go back to 1949 with Williams, Pesky, Billy Goodman and Al Zarilla.


In the club's history it's only happened 6 other times.

#17 Savin Hillbilly


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Posted 09 December 2010 - 12:46 PM

An interesting sidebar from the Baseball-Reference blog:

The last time the Red Sox had 4 regular LHH in the order (i.e. those with enough PA to qualify for the batting title) was 2003 with Damon, Trot, Papi and Todd Walker.

The next most recent instance was in 1985 with Boggs, Buckner, Easler and Gedman.

Beyond that, you'd have to go back to 1949 with Williams, Pesky, Billy Goodman and Al Zarilla.


In the club's history it's only happened 6 other times.

So there have never been 5? This will be the first time?

#18 LahoudOrBillyC


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Posted 09 December 2010 - 01:04 PM

Scutaro SS
Drew RF
Martinez C
Ortiz DH
Beltre 3B
Lowell 1B
Hall LF
Navarro 2B
McDonald CF

Oh, sorry, I thought you were asking about the Red Sox lineup last August 21, when the beat Seattle. Carry on.

#19 kazuneko

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Posted 09 December 2010 - 01:40 PM

A couple of things :
*People should not be looking at the question of a players handedness (I guess thats a word..) as the sole criteria relevant to whether or not a guy would be platooned. Some of these lineups - again- have Ellsbury sitting against LHP even though he has the evenest career splits of any player on the roster. The LHHs who struggle with LHP are, in order of concern: Ortiz (Kevin Cash has better career numbers against LHP than Ortiz put up -in nearly 200 ABs- last season), Salty (sub-.600 in his career against LHP), Drew (horrible last season, fine the two seasons prior, but mostly bad before that), and Crawford (yup...the 20 million dollar man plays life a $1 million back-up vs. LHP...career .697 OPS). Gonzalez has had only one season where this was a significant issue, but has hit LHP well enough in his career (even having reverse splits last season), and hits well enough in general that he'd seemingly be the least of the Sox's concern.
*The Sox could platoon the three guys with the most significant issues against LHP without even adding a single player to the roster. Francona would just have to grow a pair. Varitek kills LHP and happens to be Salty's back-up already. Cameron is currently role-less and with his range and decent arm would be a perfect RHB to throw in a platoon with Drew. If you made McDonald the last guy on the bench he'd be an easy fit as the PPP (though I'd actually prefer they sign the lefty-killing 1b/3b/LF Josh Fields for this role). This would immediately eliminate any major concerns about LHP as it would give the team a line-up against LHP that has at least 4 guys that kill LHP (Youkilis - best in the majors last season-, Cameron, Lowrie and Varitek), and only one player with significant concerns against LHP (Crawford) remaining in the lineup.
The problem? Francona...he has sounded pretty damn ambivalent about even platooning Papi (the guy that might be hardest to ask...but statistically the no-brainer on the list of guys you might sit against LHP), forget Drew. Actually, you'd have to imagine Salty being the most likely to get handled this way..(due to it being a bit easier to request this of an unestablished, young catcher)

Edited by kazuneko, 09 December 2010 - 01:42 PM.


#20 bombdiggz

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Posted 09 December 2010 - 01:43 PM

FYI.

Carl Crawford splits by spot in the order

1. 288/323/421/744 (1695 ABs)
2. 305/349/463/812 (2651 ABs)
3. 294/338/452/790 (852 ABs)

Dustin Pedroia

1. 253/318/375/693 (320 AB)
2. 313/377/473/850 (1631 AB)

Jacoby Ellsbury

1. 279/330/379/709 (1229 AB)

I'm leaning towards a slight variation of a lineup posted upthread by Saints Rest:

Ellsbury, Pedroia, Crawford, Youk, Gonz, Ortiz, Lowrie, Drew, Salty/Tek

I like sticking Youk in front of Adrian Gonzalez. Youk has pop, but he also a great OBP, might as well put that in front of the guy with the most pop. I'm not worried about stacking Gonz and Ortiz together either. Adrian lit LHP up to a .940 OPS last year.

And I would love seeing later in the year:

Lowrie, Pedroia, Crawford, Youks, Gonz, Ortiz, Salty/Tek, Drew, Ellsbury.

Edited by bombdiggz, 09 December 2010 - 01:45 PM.


#21 kazuneko

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Posted 09 December 2010 - 01:52 PM

My lineups:
vs. RHP
Crawford LF
Pedroia 2b
Gonzalez
Youkilis 3b
Ortiz DH
Lowrie SS
Drew RF
Salty C
Ellsbury CF

vs. LHP
Ellsbury CF
Pedroia 2B
Gonzalez 1B
Youkilis 3B
Cameron RF
Lowrie SS
McDonald (and/or Fields etc.) DH
Varitek C
Crawford LF

Obviously the above lineups are based on a desire to avoid issues against LHP and a decision to ignore the political concerns inherent in asking the two vets -Drew and Papi- to platoon..

Edited by kazuneko, 09 December 2010 - 01:56 PM.


#22 SumnerH


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Posted 09 December 2010 - 02:51 PM

A couple of things :
*People should not be looking at the question of a players handedness (I guess thats a word..) as the sole criteria relevant to whether or not a guy would be platooned. Some of these lineups - again- have Ellsbury sitting against LHP even though he has the evenest career splits of any player on the roster.


Looking solely at handedness is more predictive than looking at unregressed splits for Ellsbury. See, e.g. Bill James' "Underestimating the Fog" for a discussion of some of the major problems with looking at L/R splits.

http://www.sabr.org/...restimating.pdf

The Book discusses how to regress splits in a way that gets you (hopefully) more predictive results than just using handedness; essentially, you want to add in 1000 PAs of league-average to regress a left-handed batter appropriately. For someone like Ellsbury who's got less than 500 PAs vs. LHP, that means that his future L/R split likely lies somewhere in between the normal split for LHB and his personal historical splits, but a lot closer to the former than the latter.

#23 Harry Agganis

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Posted 09 December 2010 - 02:54 PM

One thing I would like to see once is Crawford on first base with Papi at the plate and a right hander on the mound against tha Maddon shift.

#24 koufax32


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Posted 09 December 2010 - 03:21 PM

One thing I would like to see once is Crawford on first base with Papi at the plate and a right hander on the mound against tha Maddon shift.


Speaking of which, can we start calling for a Dreamboat v. Crawford v. Buchholz race in spring training?

#25 JimD

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Posted 09 December 2010 - 03:32 PM

I think it's sad but probably true that Crawford will get slotted so high in the order. His skills make so much more sense to me for somewhere in the #5-#7 range, but I guess you don't pay somebody $20M and then hit them there. If I had my druthers it'd be:

vs. RHP:
Ellsbury cf
Pedroia 2b
Gonzalez 1b
Youkilis 3b
Ortiz dh
Crawford lf
Lowrie ss
Drew rf
Salty/Tek c

vs. LHP:
Ellsbury cf
Pedroia 2b
Gonzalez 1b
Youkilis 3b
Crawford lf
Cameron dh
Lowrie ss
Drew rf
Salty/Tek c


Why put a player with exceptional speed like Crawford behind such cement-footed runners like Gonzalez, Youkilis and Ortiz - it seems like you will be negating his best tool far too often.

#26 OttoC


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Posted 09 December 2010 - 03:40 PM

I plugged some numbers into Baseball Musings' Lineup Analysis....

I have to take the best and worst RGPs generated by that lineup analyzer with a very large grain of salt. The other day I was playing with it using AL averages by position and the top twelve lineups it spit out had the second baseman batting third. AL second basemen in 2010 had the seventh best OPS of any of the positions, 2-10. Four of the positions had higher OBP and six of them had better SLG.

I think you are better off just using the average RPG it generates or picking the lineup as you think it will exist and using that result.

#27 Eric Van


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Posted 09 December 2010 - 03:50 PM

Why put a player with exceptional speed like Crawford behind such cement-footed runners like Gonzalez, Youkilis and Ortiz - it seems like you will be negating his best tool far too often.

We went over this years ago with some other player, probably Ellsbury, and it's a non-factor compared to the other issues. The number of times the slow player is actually exactly one base ahead of the fast player and then there's a hit that they both can advance on ... it happens something like once every twenty games when you do the math.

Now, IIRC that analysis did not include man on first, batter hits what could be a pure speed double but slow man on first can only get to second. For that reason I wouldn't bat Crawford or Ellsbury behind a guy like Gonzalez with 20 speed on the 20-80 scale. But I wouldn't worry about Crawford behind Youkilis (43 on speed in Fan Scouting Report versus 29 for Gonzalez) or even Papi.

#28 ponch73

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Posted 09 December 2010 - 03:58 PM

Why not consider a guy like Lowrie to bat leadoff? B-Ref has him with a career OBP of 0.396 in 96 PA batting second (no sample for him batting leadoff), but he is a cerebral guy who might adjust nicely to the opportunity. Ellsbury and Drew, in comparison, both have career OBP's of 0.330 or below batting leadoff.

Vs. Righties

1. Lowrie, SS [S]
2. Pedroia, 2B [R]
3. Crawford, LF [L]
4. Youkilis, 3B [R]
5. Gonzalez, 1B [L]
6. Ortiz, DH [L]
7. Drew, RF [L]
8. Saltalamacchia, C [S]
9. Ellsbury, CF [L]

Vs. Lefties

1. Lowrie, SS [S]
2. Pedroia, 2B [R]
3. Crawford, LF [L]
4. Youkilis, 3B [R]
5. Gonzalez, 1B [L]
6. Cameron or TBD, DH [R]
7. Cameron or Drew, RF [R/L]
8. Varitek, C [R]
9. Ellsbury, CF [L]

Edited by ponch73, 09 December 2010 - 04:04 PM.


#29 Eric Van


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Posted 09 December 2010 - 04:08 PM

BTW, if people want to do this thoroughly, including lineup vs. LHP, I would wait till we find out who the 13th player is -- incumbent Darnell McDonald, Russell Martin, or a longshot like Napoli (who becomes useless to LAA if they go with Vlad or Manny at DH instead of Thome, Matsui, or Damon -- and those two RHB are probably the best option after Thome, and the Rangers and A's need a DH, too). There's also the 1% chance of a further big move to add a RHB and subtract a LHB, e.g., Crawford has agreed to play CF and they're working on an Ellsbury deal.

#30 BroodsSexton

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Posted 09 December 2010 - 04:40 PM

We went over this years ago with some other player, probably Ellsbury, and it's a non-factor compared to the other issues. The number of times the slow player is actually exactly one base ahead of the fast player and then there's a hit that they both can advance on ... it happens something like once every twenty games when you do the math.

OK. But what about stolen bases?

#31 JMDurron

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Posted 09 December 2010 - 05:01 PM

Speaking of which, can we start calling for a Dreamboat v. Crawford v. Buchholz race in spring training?


Based on what we're seeing about Crawford's work ethic, I'm guessing this race would be aborted by Crawford smacking the other two upside the head and telling them to get back to work. I'm just fine with that.

#32 Savin Hillbilly


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Posted 09 December 2010 - 05:10 PM

OK. But what about stolen bases?

Crawford will get plenty of SB opportunities even batting in the 5-7 spots, the same way even closers for bad teams get plenty of save opportunities. The reason why I'd bat him in the bottom half of the order is precisely because you're putting him behind a lot of slowpokes who get on base a lot. He's an anti-three-true-outcomes guy who puts the ball in play, and he has good medium-range power. A lot of slow guys will score from first and second on the doubles and triples he hits, and he'll move a lot of runners over to third with right-side ground balls (yet because of his speed, he won't GIDP too much). He's exactly the kind of hitter I want coming up with men on base, particularly slow men.

However, if he's really in the process of a Clemente-like transformation from a .340/.460 guy to a .370/.500 guy, which I think is what the Sox are hoping, then sure, you hit him third every day of the week.

#33 glennhoffmania


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Posted 09 December 2010 - 05:24 PM

I think the biggest question is, was lineup spot discussed during contract negotiations? Did Crawford say he didn't want to go to Boston to lead off? Did he say he wouldn't want to bat 5th or 6th?

Drew
Pedroia
Gonzalez
Youkilis
Ortiz
Crawford
Lowrie
Salty/Tek
Ellsbury

Just throwing that out there. Then against lefties, if Ortiz sits, Crawford and Lowrie are bumped up and the PPP hits 7th.

#34 bombdiggz

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Posted 09 December 2010 - 05:37 PM

I think the biggest question is, was lineup spot discussed during contract negotiations? Did Crawford say he didn't want to go to Boston to lead off? Did he say he wouldn't want to bat 5th or 6th?

Drew
Pedroia
Gonzalez
Youkilis
Ortiz
Crawford
Lowrie
Salty/Tek
Ellsbury

Just throwing that out there. Then against lefties, if Ortiz sits, Crawford and Lowrie are bumped up and the PPP hits 7th.


I would not put Ortiz and Crawford back to back. In a large percentage of these lineups you are going to have to put two lefties back to back and I would want one of those to be Gonzalez. He has shown the ability to crush LHP (see 2010) which would mitigate the LHH pairings susceptibility to LOOGYs somewhat.

Edited by bombdiggz, 09 December 2010 - 05:41 PM.


#35 Eric Van


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Posted 09 December 2010 - 05:38 PM

An important thing to keep in mind is that while SA correlates well with RBI, it does not correlate with the ability to knock your teammates in. That's because most hits score a guy from 2B, and all hits score a guy from 3B. The ability to knock your teammates in can be estimated decently by 3/4 BA + 1/4 SA.

Crawford would be a tremendous teammate-RBI guy even if he didn't have a healthy men on / base empty split, but he does: .286 / .326 / .422 career empty, .312 / .353 / .477 with men on. (I was able to show at this year's SABR conference that such career splits are, in general, absolutely statistically significant.)

So we may not know where he'll hit this year, but I'm pretty sure that starting in 2012 he'll be an absolute force as the #5 hitter after Gonzalez and Youkilis*. All they would need to do to get a nicely balanced lineup is get a new corner OF (or 3B if Youkilis proves defensively shaky) who hits RH to hit 6th -- ideally a good fastball hitter.

*He could hit 3rd if you didn't have someone as good as Gonzalez, but you also want to avoid putting your SB stud in front of a guy who hits 40 HR and walks a lot like Youk. In fact, the ideal guy to hit behind a SB stud is a guy who gets a disproportionate amount of his value from BA rather than SEC.

#36 Koufax

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Posted 09 December 2010 - 05:43 PM

Interesting that everyone is showing Lowrie as the shortstop. Didn't Terry Francona just say that he sees Lowrie as a super-sub, floating all over the infield? That means that Scutaro is the SS. Not my choice, but isn't that the reality?

#37 nvalvo


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Posted 09 December 2010 - 06:08 PM

What about using Crawford in his familiar two hole, and using Pedroia as a potent RHH to protect Ortiz from LOOGYs? Nobody's bringing in a LOOGY to face Adrian, or nobody smart anyway, but that could be used as a good tactic against Ortiz. So I think we really want a credible right-handed bat behind him.

Something like:

Lowrie
Crawford
Youkilis
Gonzalez
Ortiz
Pedroia
Drew
Saltalamacchia/Tek
Ellsbury

Cameron rotates in a few days a week against lefties, or in day games after night games, to keep our various LHH outfielders (and DH!) fresh.

Just a thought.

#38 bombdiggz

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Posted 09 December 2010 - 06:15 PM

Interesting that everyone is showing Lowrie as the shortstop. Didn't Terry Francona just say that he sees Lowrie as a super-sub, floating all over the infield? That means that Scutaro is the SS. Not my choice, but isn't that the reality?


You know Tito love his vets, he isn't going to announce that change on talk radio, he is going to talk about it with his players. Plus it would be pc to "see who is playing better in ST" and make a decision then. Either way though both of these guys are going to play a lot of SS. I imagine it being about a 50/50 split with Lowrie also moving around the infield as a super sub.

Edited by bombdiggz, 09 December 2010 - 06:16 PM.


#39 Al Zarilla


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Posted 09 December 2010 - 06:41 PM

Crawford will get plenty of SB opportunities even batting in the 5-7 spots, the same way even closers for bad teams get plenty of save opportunities. The reason why I'd bat him in the bottom half of the order is precisely because you're putting him behind a lot of slowpokes who get on base a lot. He's an anti-three-true-outcomes guy who puts the ball in play, and he has good medium-range power. A lot of slow guys will score from first and second on the doubles and triples he hits, and he'll move a lot of runners over to third with right-side ground balls (yet because of his speed, he won't GIDP too much). He's exactly the kind of hitter I want coming up with men on base, particularly slow men.

However, if he's really in the process of a Clemente-like transformation from a .340/.460 guy to a .370/.500 guy, which I think is what the Sox are hoping, then sure, you hit him third every day of the week.

Savin, your posts are always clear and informative, except I read the bolded part above five times and just don't get it. Some back east phrase that hasn't gotten west of Newton yet? :unsure:

I don't think Carl bats in the lower half though. I don't think you go out and sign an all star like him for all that money and sort of/kind of "demote" him. He always batted in the top third of the order for TB, I believe.

#40 SumnerH


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Posted 09 December 2010 - 06:45 PM

Savin, your posts are always clear and informative, except I read the bolded part above five times and just don't get it. Some back east phrase that hasn't gotten west of Newton yet? :unsure:

I don't think Carl bats in the lower half though. I don't think you go out and sign an all star like him for all that money and sort of/kind of "demote" him. He always batted in the top third of the order for TB, I believe.

The Three True Outcomes are walk, K, or hit a home run (outcomes where fielders aren't involved). Adam Dunn is a classic "three true outcomes" hitter. He's saying Crawford is the opposite.

#41 redsox2020

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Posted 09 December 2010 - 06:45 PM

Interesting that everyone is showing Lowrie as the shortstop. Didn't Terry Francona just say that he sees Lowrie as a super-sub, floating all over the infield? That means that Scutaro is the SS. Not my choice, but isn't that the reality?

If we're shopping Scutaro, don't we want other teams to think he's our starting shortstop rather than our utility infielder?

#42 redsox2020

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Posted 09 December 2010 - 06:55 PM

Vs RHP
CF Ellsbury
2B Pedroia
1B Gonzalez
3B Youkilis
LF Crawford
DH Ortiz
SS Lowrie
RF Drew
C Saltalamacchia

Vs LHP
CF Ellsbury
2B Pedroia
1B Gonzalez
3B Youkilis
LF Crawford
OF/DH Cameron
SS Lowrie
RF Drew
C Varitek

Only problem I see is a Crawford-Ortiz weakness vs the LOOGY, but hopefully Tito's not scared to use pinch hitters. Also, hopefully Ortiz is a big enough man to do what's best for the team & sit down without crying when he's overmatched.

#43 Toe Nash

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Posted 09 December 2010 - 07:21 PM

Interesting that everyone is showing Lowrie as the shortstop. Didn't Terry Francona just say that he sees Lowrie as a super-sub, floating all over the infield? That means that Scutaro is the SS. Not my choice, but isn't that the reality?

It may be the reality until May when Lowrie has a .900 OPS and Scutaro is sitting around .700, and their roles begin to switch.

#44 BCsMightyJoeYoung

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Posted 09 December 2010 - 07:26 PM

Vs RHP
LF Crawford
2B Pedroia
1B Gonzalez
3B Youkilis
DH Ortiz
SS Lowrie
RF Drew
C Saltalamacchia
CF Ellsbury

They might move Drew up to 6th - but Tito likes his alternating L/Rs

Vs normal LHP
CF Ellsbury
2B Pedroia
1B Gonzalez
3B Youkilis
DH Ortiz
LF Crawford
SS Lowrie
RF Drew
C Varitek

Vs tough LHP
CF Ellsbury
2B Pedroia
1B Gonzalez
3B Youkilis
LF Crawford
RF Cameron
SS Lowrie
C Varitek
DH McDonald/PPPTBNL

C'mon .. Tito isn't going to do a strict platoon with Ortiz .. and he's not likely to bat him 7th either

#45 HriniakPosterChild

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Posted 09 December 2010 - 11:58 PM

Interesting that everyone is showing Lowrie as the shortstop. Didn't Terry Francona just say that he sees Lowrie as a super-sub, floating all over the infield? That means that Scutaro is the SS. Not my choice, but isn't that the reality?


At no point during the 2005-2006 offseason did Terry Francona say that he saw Papelbon as his closer and Keith Foulke as a fungible reliever. (Francona may very well have never seen anyone as a fungible anything, but that's not my point.) But when game #3 in Texas got to the 9th inning with a 1-run lead, he gave the ball to Papelbon.

Go by what he does in April, not what he says in December.

#46 wyatt55

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Posted 10 December 2010 - 01:51 AM

Folks, don't forget that Salty can play 1B as can Lowrie. As Switch hitters, they can be another RH bat vs. the lefties and give Papi a day off, Adrian Gonzalez to DH, etc.

#47 SoxFanSince57


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Posted 10 December 2010 - 02:15 AM

At no point during the 2005-2006 offseason did Terry Francona say that he saw Papelbon as his closer and Keith Foulke as a fungible reliever. (Francona may very well have never seen anyone as a fungible anything, but that's not my point.) But when game #3 in Texas got to the 9th inning with a 1-run lead, he gave the ball to Papelbon.

Go by what he does in April, not what he says in December.


1) IMO, that is a weak analogy. A few days ago Tito said that the team sees Lowrie as a backup who can/will play 3B, SS, 2B and 1B. There was no earthly reason to say anything if he didn't hold that position. There was nothing to be gained in making such a statement if he didn't mean it.

Tito said something about Ellsbury's injury during that press conference and both Tito and Theo later corrected/rephrased the comment. No such thing happened with his statement about Lowrie. As I observe Tito and the FO, they are very careful about what they say in public and almost always correct themselves if the press interprets their statements differently than what they intended.

2) I certainly can believe that Tito will play the hot hand during the season, but I think it was pretty clear (if you see Tito as someone who tries to say what he believes) that Scutaro, barring a trade, will start the season at SS.

3) This has nothing to do with what some of us would do if "we were manager for the Red Sox". It has everything to do with Tito's very clear public statement.

#48 TFisNEXT


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Posted 10 December 2010 - 04:16 AM

1) IMO, that is a weak analogy. A few days ago Tito said that the team sees Lowrie as a backup who can/will play 3B, SS, 2B and 1B. There was no earthly reason to say anything if he didn't hold that position. There was nothing to be gained in making such a statement if he didn't mean it.

Tito said something about Ellsbury's injury during that press conference and both Tito and Theo later corrected/rephrased the comment. No such thing happened with his statement about Lowrie. As I observe Tito and the FO, they are very careful about what they say in public and almost always correct themselves if the press interprets their statements differently than what they intended.

2) I certainly can believe that Tito will play the hot hand during the season, but I think it was pretty clear (if you see Tito as someone who tries to say what he believes) that Scutaro, barring a trade, will start the season at SS.

3) This has nothing to do with what some of us would do if "we were manager for the Red Sox". It has everything to do with Tito's very clear public statement.



I agree, its pretty clear that Scutaro will be starting SS for the Red Sox unless he gets injured. Lowrie will have to play his way into a starting role if that is to happen. A healthy Scutaro is a good SS anyway, so I think its a win-win anyway. He was injured last year and still put up an average season...he was over a 2 WAR for SS. Not the 4 WAR we hoped for, but if he is healthy, then he can produce that.

Lowrie is merely a very nice backup option for now. If he starts mashing, I'm sure he will earn his playing time.

#49 teejay1324

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Posted 10 December 2010 - 07:27 AM

If one thing is certain about the lineup it's that Pedroia should hit second. To me anyways, he's the perfect number two hitter in that he rarely strikes out, hits for average, has decent speed, isn't a major stolen base threat but can still steal 20 or so a season and has some pop too. Beyond that no matter how 3-7 is arranged there's going to be an enormous amount of talent in those spots.

Obviously he wouldn't, but maybe Tito just has a meeting and asks someone to volunteer to hit leadoff to start the season.

#50 redsoxstiff


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Posted 10 December 2010 - 08:07 AM

Bill James says that things that are persistent are real...Drew Batting 5th has producewd persistently good numbers...if batting him 5th isn't in the cards [for the other spots he is not so good]...Trade him...