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Adrian Gonzalez’s opportunities

April 5th, 2010 by Melvin

Here’s a table I made for fun.

Tony Gwynn Jr. projected OBP
Bill James .336
Chone .340
ZIPS .343
David Eckstein projected OBP
Bill James .327
Chone .324
ZIPS .325

Even the people who think Eckstein deserves a starting gig mostly extol his ability to woo teammates into better playing.  They shy away from discussion of his ability to create runs at the plate, so why is he batting before the team’s best hitter?

I usually don’t waste effort talking about batting order, the amount of time it gets discussed far outweighs its actual impact on the team. But batting Gwynn Jr. and Eckstein first and second exemplifies a poor approach to decision making. Can every second baseman since Mark Loretta truly meet some supposed criteria making them appropriate number 2 hitters? I feel the same about hitting Eckstein and Gwynn at the top of the order as I do about using leeches to cure diseases.

“People before me did it this way therefore I cannot be criticized for it.”

Oh yeah. Happy opening day. I could go for a California Burrito about now.

Posted in players, statistics | 9 Comments »

9 Responses to “Adrian Gonzalez’s opportunities”

  1. scionfriar says:

    It reminds me of the old Rotoworld line: “Someone please show Bud Black the numbers.”

    I can buy TG for the excuse of “speed” but batting Eck in front of Gonzo borders on lunacy. Put the players in the best position to succeed.

  2. Ray says:

    Who would you put there instead?

  3. Larry Faria says:

    I think I’ve figured out why Bud keeps hitting Eck second, by looking at last year’s splits.

    With nobody on =(291 ABs): .203/.275/.251 0 RBI
    With runners on =(212 ABs): .340/.387/.448 51 RBI

    The second set of numbers looks pretty good, but is it enough to overcome that pathetic first set?

    • Melvin says:

      People like to point out Eck’s numbers with runners on / RISP, to which I have two replies.

      1. Just about every major leaguer hits better with runners on because it’s so difficult to pitch. The value of a walk is greater, therefore the pitcher is forced to throw more strikes, and the batter knows it.

      2. This is only one year of data. Eck’s career in these situations is much more in line with the rest of the league, a .733 OPS with runners on and .710 with RISP. Weird stuff can happen in 212 ABs.

  4. scionfriar says:

    How about Headley?

  5. Jacob says:

    I’d put Cabrera in the #1 spot. But, I guess that’s another subject.

    Eckstein sees a lot of pitches per AB, so I suppose that may get a few more SB & higher pitch counts. But, it would make more sense to have a LH in the #2 spot. (Nevermind, the fact that he can’t hit.) I’d probably hit him #8, & that’s if I was forced to use him. :)

    *On a side note, I always wondered what lineup that saw a boatload of pitches would do. Opposing starters would be done by the 5th inning. The next market inefficiency, perhaps?

    • Melvin says:

      Eck’s O-Swing%–the percentage of pitches outside the strike zone at which he swings–has been pretty close to average the past few seasons.

      What if you used a lineup that saw a ton of pitches to completely wear down the starter. Then you could replace them with good hitters if necessary around the 6th inning. That would rock.

  6. […] Adrian Gonzalez’s opportunities (Sacrifice Bunt). From Melvin Nieves: “I usually don’t waste effort talking about batting order, the amount of time it gets discussed far outweighs its actual impact on the team. But batting Gwynn Jr. and Eckstein first and second exemplifies a poor approach to decision making.” […]

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