2019 Red Sox lineup construction

Ale Xander

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With the likely return of Pedroia, there is a possibility that we may have a change in the lineup. DP himself has suggested that he wants to bat leadoff. Mookie batted leadoff for most of the year last year, especially at the end.
https://www.mlb.com/redsox/news/dustin-pedroia-hopes-to-return-on-opening-day/c-303991762

Assuming Pedroia's is back to 100% by end of March, is this that we should expect the most-often lineup to be:

2B Pedroia (R)
LF Benintendi (L)
DH JDM (R)
RF Betts (R)
1B Moreland (L)/Pearce (R)
SS Bogaerts (R)
3B Devers (L)
C Catcher (S/S/R)
CF JBJ (L)

Am I making too much of emphasis on L/R split? Will Cora keep JDM in 3 spot and Beni in 2 spot to have them comfortable, while sacrificing some Betts ab's to have him 4th? Is Pedroia going to get surprised and not bad leadoff?
 

Ale Xander

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Ah thanks. So just for one day for DP.
That construction makes a lot of sense.
 

RedOctober3829

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Most days it should be this. According to Cora, Devers is getting the first shot at batting between Betts and JD.

Benintendi LF
Betts RF
Devers 3B
Martinez DH
Moreland 1B
Bogaerts SS
Pedroia 2B
Catcher
JBJ CF
 

RIrooter09

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Batting your 3rd or 4th best hitter (Bogaerts) 6th seems like inefficient lineup construction to me.
 

BaseballJones

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A healthy and productive Pedroia really makes this lineup even more dangerous. In 2018, the Sox' 2b production was 2nd worst in the AL, with a .658 ops and just 8 homers. I don't expect Pedroia to be able to play a full season, but just take his 2017 numbers: 105 g, 7 hr, 62 rbi, .293/.369/.392/.760. That's more than 100 point improvement in ops over their last year's 2b numbers. Stash him down in the lineup, and suddenly you have a legit threat at the bottom end. And if JBJ's improvement is real, that makes the bottom third of the lineup really really dangerous.
 

Sandy Leon Trotsky

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I'm expecting some regression from both Betts and JDM. (Maybe .100 OPS downwards for both of them)
X to be just about where he was last year in OPS
Expect an overall small improvement in consistency from Benintendi and JBJ. Overall slight improvement in OPS
I'm expecting Devers to have a big jump- up to +.100
Another +.75 OPS from 2nd base
A 50 points of improvement from combined and balanced Moreland and Pearce at 1st and the same from Swihart/Vazquez combo over the Leon lead trio last year.

Overall a large improvement spread out across the lineup but without the incredible (but still MVP quality) seasons by Betts and JDM at the dish
 

oumbi

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Can’t find a link but I’m almost certain I heard that Cora said Devers would get first crack at hitting between Betts and JD.
That may be, but I wonder why he is thinking this way. Devers' OBP last season was .298. His career OBP, brief as it is, is .311. I would have thought a player who gets on base more would be better in that position.

Indeed, last season Bogaerts' OBP was .360

https://www.baseball-reference.com/players/d/deverra01.shtml
 

RedOctober3829

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That may be, but I wonder why he is thinking this way. Devers' OBP last season was .298. His career OBP, brief as it is, is .311. I would have thought a player who gets on base more would be better in that position.

Indeed, last season Bogaerts' OBP was .360

https://www.baseball-reference.com/players/d/deverra01.shtml
From a lineup balance standpoint, I get why Cora would want a left handed hitter in between Betts and Martinez. Devers seems like he would be the logical choice given his power and his potential to get a lot better as an overall hitter. I would not argue with Bogaerts hitting 3rd either by the way. I could also see him hitting 5th behind JD. There's lots of ways Alex can go that will still generate a ton of runs.
 

Savin Hillbilly

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The wrong side of the bridge....
I think it's nuts to bat Moreland ahead of Bogaerts. Bogaerts is clearly the better hitter of the two.

I also wonder if JBJ in the 9 hole is an idea whose time has come and gone. I would give him a chance to build on last year by moving up a couple of slots to where he'll have more runners to knock in.

If Devers is #3 I would go with this:

Benintendi
Betts
Devers
Martinez
Bogaerts
1B du jour
JBJ
Pedroia
C du jour

Pedroia probably won't like batting 8th much, but I really think in this lineup that's the right spot for him.
 

Soxfan in Fla

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I'm expecting some regression from both Betts and JDM. (Maybe .100 OPS downwards for both of them)
X to be just about where he was last year in OPS
Expect an overall small improvement in consistency from Benintendi and JBJ. Overall slight improvement in OPS
I'm expecting Devers to have a big jump- up to +.100
Another +.75 OPS from 2nd base
A 50 points of improvement from combined and balanced Moreland and Pearce at 1st and the same from Swihart/Vazquez combo over the Leon lead trio last year.

Overall a large improvement spread out across the lineup but without the incredible (but still MVP quality) seasons by Betts and JDM at the dish
Why? I can see Betts with a little progression but JDM has shown for a couple seasons now he can keep his up in that range.
 

tims4wins

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Is anyone really expecting anything out of Pedroia this year? I’d take the under on 80 games and the under on a 700 OPS
 

cornwalls@6

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Devers anywhere higher than 5th to start seems like a mistake
Agree. Surprised at the number of posters that project him 3rd or 4th. I like him, and think he has a pretty high ceiling. But he has not done enough yet to validate that. I could conceivably see it by later in the season, but not to start............ Also, a lineup thread fills me with joy. So ready for the season.
 

Savin Hillbilly

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The wrong side of the bridge....
Is anyone really expecting anything out of Pedroia this year? I’d take the under on 80 games and the under on a 700 OPS
The latter might be a little harsh--he's never had an OPS as low as .700 in any season with 100 or more PA--but basically, yeah.

OTOH, I thought after 2015 he was toast, and he proved me wrong with a fine 2016. Maybe he's got another one of those left in him. I'm sure he thinks so, and is working his ass off preparing to make it happen. Nonetheless, I don't see how in this lineup he's more than a #8 or at very most, #7 hitter.
 

Savin Hillbilly

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The wrong side of the bridge....
Agree. Surprised at the number of posters that project him 3rd or 4th. I like him, and think he has a pretty high ceiling. But he has not done enough yet to validate that.
The 3 hole, according to some pretty smart people, is where you put your 5th best hitter. There are clearly four better hitters than Devers (at this point, anyway) on the Sox--Betts, Martinez, Benintendi and Bogaerts. Who's the 5th?
 

BaseballJones

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I'm expecting some regression from both Betts and JDM. (Maybe .100 OPS downwards for both of them)
X to be just about where he was last year in OPS
Expect an overall small improvement in consistency from Benintendi and JBJ. Overall slight improvement in OPS
I'm expecting Devers to have a big jump- up to +.100
Another +.75 OPS from 2nd base
A 50 points of improvement from combined and balanced Moreland and Pearce at 1st and the same from Swihart/Vazquez combo over the Leon lead trio last year.

Overall a large improvement spread out across the lineup but without the incredible (but still MVP quality) seasons by Betts and JDM at the dish
I think this is just about right.
 

Reverend

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The latter might be a little harsh--he's never had an OPS as low as .700 in any season with 100 or more PA--but basically, yeah.

OTOH, I thought after 2015 he was toast, and he proved me wrong with a fine 2016. Maybe he's got another one of those left in him. I'm sure he thinks so, and is working his ass off preparing to make it happen. Nonetheless, I don't see how in this lineup he's more than a #8 or at very most, #7 hitter.
I reckon there's real value in the young guys seeing Pedroia working his butt off for playing time too.

Like, we talked last year about how it must have been killing him to have to just watch. Now he gets to put on a show of how bad he wanted it and still wants it. It's never not felt like a Pedroia team even when he's not in, so it'll be fun watching him scrap his way back into the game.
 

The Raccoon

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Batting a player first who hasn’t played in two years with bad knees is kinda silly, no?
Dustin batting first is only a discussion for opening day. From game 2 onwards it will be 10D batting first (at least that seems to be the plan).

I really like this lineup, as it has the LH hitters spread out nicely, which I always put (probably way too much) emphasis on:
Benintendi
Betts
Devers
Martinez
Bogaerts
1B du jour
JBJ
Pedroia
C du jour
 

nvalvo

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Dustin batting first is only a discussion for opening day. From game 2 onwards it will be 10D batting first (at least that seems to be the plan).

I really like this lineup, as it has the LH hitters spread out nicely, which I always put (probably way too much) emphasis on:
I think it is especially important in the Dawning of the Age of the Opener. We don’t want some ROOGY to mow us down in the first.
 

TFisNEXT

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Is anyone really expecting anything out of Pedroia this year? I’d take the under on 80 games and the under on a 700 OPS
I dunno, do we actually know how healthy the knee is after almost a full year of rest and the surgery he had? He's going into spring training with no restrictions apparently, but we obviously haven't seen how he reacts to multiple days in a row on the field.

He's always produced when he's on the field, so if he can play, I'd expect at least competent numbers at the plate (maybe something like .280/.350/.400?). The defense could be a concern, though he was still adequate in 2017 playing on the bum knee much of the year after the Machado slide.
 

Reverend

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I dunno, do we actually know how healthy the knee is after almost a full year of rest and the surgery he had? He's going into spring training with no restrictions apparently, but we obviously haven't seen how he reacts to multiple days in a row on the field.
I really hope he took the rest part seriously. That could be huge, but it has not traditionally been part of his preparation that he embraces, IIRC.
 

soxhop411

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Per Chris Mason
Cora: “Xander will be (hitting) behind J.D the whole season. That’s a given.”
Cora mentioned Pearce, Moreland and Devers as candidates to hit 3rd. Martinez will too, and when he does Bogaerts will bat cleanup.
-------
Why hit J.D. cleanup most of the time? Cora: "I like when J.D. comes up with men on. When he hits fourth either he's up in the first inning with men on or he's actually leading the second inning with nobody on... better at-bat for us instead of two outs and nobody on."


https://twitter.com/ByChrisMason
 

soxhop411

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Per Chris Mason
Cora: “Xander will be (hitting) behind J.D the whole season. That’s a given.”
Cora mentioned Pearce, Moreland and Devers as candidates to hit 3rd. Martinez will too, and when he does Bogaerts will bat cleanup.
-------
Why hit J.D. cleanup most of the time? Cora: "I like when J.D. comes up with men on. When he hits fourth either he's up in the first inning with men on or he's actually leading the second inning with nobody on... better at-bat for us instead of two outs and nobody on."


https://twitter.com/ByChrisMason

Here is the article
https://www.eagletribune.com/sports/fort-report-alex-cora-continues-dropping-clues-to-new-red/article_bcdda03a-3853-11e9-bea0-6bd0371e1021.html
 

Byrdbrain

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Per Chris Mason
Cora: “Xander will be (hitting) behind J.D the whole season. That’s a given.”
Cora mentioned Pearce, Moreland and Devers as candidates to hit 3rd. Martinez will too, and when he does Bogaerts will bat cleanup.
-------
Why hit J.D. cleanup most of the time? Cora: "I like when J.D. comes up with men on. When he hits fourth either he's up in the first inning with men on or he's actually leading the second inning with nobody on... better at-bat for us instead of two outs and nobody on."


https://twitter.com/ByChrisMason
I'm going to save the bolded and paste it in the gamethreads whenever someone complains that JD isn't hitting 3rd. When I was playing it was always assumed you put your best hitter 3rd, that changed a while ago and Cora states exactly why that is.
 

joe dokes

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I'm going to save the bolded and paste it in the gamethreads whenever someone complains that JD isn't hitting 3rd. When I was playing it was always assumed you put your best hitter 3rd, that changed a while ago and Cora states exactly why that is.
Part of his reasoning has to be something like "I dont expect to go down 1-2-3 very often in the first." Nice that he's making decisions based on the team he has, not some hypothetical "best" arrangement.
 

Dewey'sCannon

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I understand Cora's explanation for hitting JD fourth, and generally agree with this - but not if it means hitting Moreland third.
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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I understand Cora's explanation for hitting JD fourth, and generally agree with this - but not if it means hitting Moreland third.
If you understand and agree with Cora's explanation, then does it really matter who hits third (short of it being Leon or a pitcher)? Moreland in the third spot is not the worst thing they can do.
 

geoduck no quahog

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If either Benintendi or Betts is on base, #3 hitter has a better hole between 1st and 2nd - even with the shift (and speed messes with the shift, right?).

I wouldn't be surprised to see Bradley Jr batting 3rd if reports of his new abilities are accurate. In any case, isn't someone who can hit to the right side with authority probably better at #3? Also - I like speed at the top of the lineup to help avoid DP's...followed by Martinez and Bogaerts.
 

chawson

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I still don't think I like it, but the idea of Moreland hitting third would seem to minimize the number of tough breaking balls he'd see, because of "lineup protection" and the risk of passed balls with Beni/Betts on base. Moreland had improved against breaking pitches in 2016 and 2017 (.328 and .325 wOBA respectively), but fell off last year to a .269 wOBA.
 

Mike F

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Given that ST numbers are just ST and nothing on which to base betting the the mortgage money, placement of JBJ & Devers will come down to a combo of what their "newly acquired batting styles" show mitigated by any psychological plus/minus tO which Cora subscribes.
Optimal would both players make significant jumps and the more statistically inclined among us can discuss for the rest of the season.

PS I do slightly prefer L-R-L balance.
 

RedOctober3829

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Most days it should be this. According to Cora, Devers is getting the first shot at batting between Betts and JD.

Benintendi LF
Betts RF
Devers 3B
Martinez DH
Moreland 1B
Bogaerts SS
Pedroia 2B
Catcher
JBJ CF
Cora announces his Game 1 lineup for tomorrow vs. Mariners: Benintendi LF, Betts RF, Devers 3B, Martinez DH, Bogaerts SS, Moreland 1B, Nunez 2B, Bradley CF, Vazquez C, Sale SP.