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View Full Version : Article: CAMPAIGN: Elect Joe Mauer for #2 Hitter



Cody Christie
01-19-2013, 02:46 PM
You can view the page at http://twinsdaily.com/content.php?r=1318-CAMPAIGN-Elect-Mauer-for-number-two-hitter

Expression451
01-19-2013, 03:39 PM
I agree with you. Mauer should be the number two hitter or the leadoff hitter, but you brought up one of the biggest problems in all of Twindom... Gardenhire is the manager.

Oldgoat_MN
01-19-2013, 04:42 PM
The old adage is that the best hitter on your team should hit third. I would be very interested in data to support or argue this point.
Regardless of what the age old wisdom is, we have no one on our team with a high enough OBP to keep Mauer batting third. I vote Mauer for number two hitter.

edavis0308
01-19-2013, 04:48 PM
The old adage is that the best hitter on your team should hit third. I would be very interested in data to support or argue this point.
Regardless of what the age old wisdom is, we have no one on our team with a high enough OBP to keep Mauer batting third. I vote Mauer for number two hitter.
yeah, old adage also doesn't account for a manager that insists on following the play second bat second philosophy. Especially when we can't find a second baseman that can OBP over.. what...275?

Shane Wahl
01-19-2013, 05:39 PM
Obviously a hell yes from me.

The old adage is wrong. The best OBP and overall hitters should be batting 1,2, and 4, with a speedier type batting first and a power guy 4th. The guy batting 3rd should be a slugger because he often comes up with no one on base and two out in the first inning (Willingham). Batting fifth should be another slugger, but one who shouldn't live and die with it and simply be a HR or K guy.

Disclaimer: lineup construction is somewhat overrated and does really only take shape in the first inning (though it can still be the case in 1-4 innings in tight games).

That said:

X
Mauer
Willingham
Morneau (here's to hoping that he returns to form in 2013.
Doumit
Plouffe
Parmelee
X
X

would seem to make the most sense.

Ultima Ratio
01-19-2013, 06:00 PM
Hells yeah.

ThePuck
01-19-2013, 06:03 PM
For me, Mauer hits too well with RISP to be batting 2nd.

Thrylos
01-19-2013, 06:08 PM
Obviously a hell yes from me..

But that would mean moving him to second base or short stop, no? Isn't it illegal to not have a middle infielder in the second spot?

snepp
01-19-2013, 06:09 PM
For me, Mauer hits too well with RISP to be batting 2nd.

Here's the problem I have with this, he's going to be hitting behind the same couple of guys regardless of if he hits 2nd, or 3rd.

You can either move him, along with the rest of the good hitters up in the order, giving them all additional plate appearances, or you can leave him where he is and have two weak players at the top of the lineup instead of just one.

lee_the_twins_fan
01-19-2013, 08:05 PM
This is exactly why we need Hicks here at the beginning of the season. We don't have an effective leadoff hitter. *There's news the Twins are seeking Scott Podsednik . He would be a good addition to the team, but the question is where? As the CF? As a fourth or fifth outfielder? If the Twins got him, and kept all of their present players, he could be an effective #2 hitter. But I don't think he's an effective defensive CF; he would be a 4th or 5th outfielder.

jctwins
01-19-2013, 09:09 PM
But that would mean moving him to second base or short stop, no? Isn't it illegal to not have a middle infielder in the second spot?
Great question, and I believe the answer is yes.

Paul Pleiss
01-19-2013, 09:31 PM
I like Mauer at 2, Eric and I discussed just this idea a couple episodes ago on Talk To Contact, Mauer looks good at 2, especially with the big bats behind him to bring him around the bases.

glunn
01-20-2013, 03:18 AM
I would vote for this as well. More ABs for Mauer would be a good thing, unless Mauer starts showing more power.

snepp
01-20-2013, 04:22 AM
I would vote for this as well. More ABs for Mauer would be a good thing, unless Mauer starts showing more power.

So if Mauer starts showing more power you want to give him fewer plate appearances?

kab21
01-20-2013, 04:55 AM
This is exactly why we need Hicks here at the beginning of the season. We don't have an effective leadoff hitter. *There's news the Twins are seeking Scott Podsednik . He would be a good addition to the team, but the question is where? As the CF? As a fourth or fifth outfielder? If the Twins got him, and kept all of their present players, he could be an effective #2 hitter. But I don't think he's an effective defensive CF; he would be a 4th or 5th outfielder.

I would not count on Hicks to be an effective leadoff hitter this year nor would I would put him there.

If Podsednik is brought in then the Twins are clearly planning on keeping Hicks in AAA. Podsednik fits as a platoon partner with Mastro. His defense in CF will be another reason that our pitchers are crying though. And there isn't any room for 5 OF'ers on the team with 12 pitchers, 3 catchers (1 at DH) and a mess in the IF. The team needs 2 backup IF's although I wish one of them was a better hitting 3Bman.

As for Mauer? He gets my vote as a #2 hitter. The team has 4-5 power hitters to put behind him (Morneau, Willy, Doumit, Plouffe and Parmelee) and a few wimpy contact hitters in front of him. The OBP's of these hitters aren't awful but I prefer not to give them extra AB's.

Miraclemat
01-20-2013, 07:14 AM
I don't like it. Mauer is a double play machine if the leadoff hitter happens to get on base. We need a guy who can lay down a bunt, hit the opposite way, etc to give Mauer a guy standing on 2nd base when he comes to the plate.

kab21
01-20-2013, 07:34 AM
i think my head exploded reading the last post.

Brandon
01-20-2013, 08:46 AM
Mauer should bat leadoff. Just think of how many double plays he wouldn't be able to hit into. Plus a 400+on base percentage would be a great way to start off the game. Podsedinek would be a CF/4th OF placeholder till Hicks comes up and to provide competetiton to make sure Hicks is ready. He would be a solid 1 or 2 hitter. Carroll would work as a 2 hitter as well just not as top choice.

ThePuck
01-20-2013, 09:41 AM
i think my head exploded reading the last post.

I'm not sure there's a more worthless stat to judge a batter by than GDP.

PopRiveter
01-20-2013, 10:06 AM
You've got my vote. I like:
1. Mastro
2. Mauer
3. Morneau
4. Willingham
5. Parmelee
6. Doumit
7. Plouffe
8. Carroll
9. Dozier

I think Morneau will be the best overall hitter on the team next year, and I don't think you hurt yourself by having 2 lefties in a row. When healthy, both Mauer and Morneau have had great splits. I expect Morneau is returning to that type of production. If he doesn't, batting order is moot as the offense won't be effective.

DelawareTwinsFan
01-20-2013, 07:33 PM
Always felt Mauer was a prototypical #2 hitter. Great bat control, hits to all fields but maybe a bit too often to left. I would be concerned about his propensity to hitting into double plays. Am I wrong but does it seem that Mauer doesn't like hitting when runners steal?

glunn
01-21-2013, 02:31 AM
So if Mauer starts showing more power you want to give him fewer plate appearances?

Yes, but hopefully with more men on base. It seems to me that if he increases his extra base hits, it might make more sense for him to bat #3.

jokin
01-21-2013, 05:50 AM
Obviously a hell yes from me.

The old adage is wrong. The best OBP and overall hitters should be batting 1,2, and 4, with a speedier type batting first and a power guy 4th. The guy batting 3rd should be a slugger because he often comes up with no one on base and two out in the first inning (Willingham). Batting fifth should be another slugger, but one who shouldn't live and die with it and simply be a HR or K guy.

Disclaimer: lineup construction is somewhat overrated and does really only take shape in the first inning (though it can still be the case in 1-4 innings in tight games).

That said:

X
Mauer
Willingham
Morneau (here's to hoping that he returns to form in 2013.
Doumit
Plouffe
Parmelee
X
X

would seem to make the most sense.

That order does make a lot of sense and is why Gardy won't use it. He'll have Mastro/Hicks at the top and Carroll/Dozier in the 2-slot, with Florimon or one of the above in the #9 spot. I could see one minor adjustment, keeping the L/R splits going by flipping Plouffe and Parmelee.

On the matter of Parmelee, I think with the dearth of punch at the top of the order and the likelihood that Hicks won't be seeing action until at least his Super2 Arb date at the earliest, it's time to consider the highly unconventional as a possible antidote to the hitting conundrum the Twins have placed themselves into:

Chris Parmelee in the #2 slot.

That's right, I said it. Left-handed pull hitter? Check. Contact hitter? Check. Low GIDP rate? Check. High OBP rate? Check.

Before you completely dismiss the notion because of his obvious (conventional) flaws in the 2-hole, consider the following points:

1) Parm would greatly benefit hitting in front of Mauer and behind the always-baserunning threat represented by Mastro and eventually, Hicks....versus....hitting in front of an automatic out and behind the lumbering herd in the #7#8 spot.

2) Bill James projects that Parmelee will have the #2 OBP on the team @ .359 with Mauer #1 (.407) and Willingham #3 @ .354. This fits perfectly within your definition of having Parmelee up at the top of the order, not at the bottom! Since Mauer is never going to be moved from the 3 spot, the logical choice is Parmelee.

3) The AL average slash line for the #2 spot in 2012 was : .254/.314/.389/.703 Bill James projects Parm to produce this slash in 2013: .274/.359/.457/.816. Even if this is optimistic, it leaves considerable room on the downside for Parm to significantly outproduce the league at the spot.

4) The top team in production for the #2 spot in the AL in 2012? I'm glad you asked. Why, that would be the New York Yankees, here's their slash: .253/.341/.479/.820 (The next closest OPS was .771 by the Angels!) This was produced with Nick Swisher getting a big chunk of the ABs. Here's his slash in the 2-hole: .244/.347/.449/.796 Granderson got a little over 50% of the ABs in the spot with this slash: .249/.341/.517/.858
According to James for 2013, Parmelee projects to walk at or near the same rate as both (11.0%) and strike out much less than either (only 18.3%).


5) JJ Hardy batted primarily lead off or #2 in 2011. Here's his slash line for both: .269/.310/.491/801 Batting almost exclusively in the #2 spot in 2012: .238/.282/.389/.671 He added 20 HRs to his total. Shouldn't the Twins be thrilled if they got production (including a 20HR season) somewhere inbetween those 2 seasons in the 2-spot? I have to believe that might be the best #2 line in Twins history short of a terrific Carew season when he got the bulk of his ABs in the #2 spot. BTW, Hardy had ZERO SBs in 2012, Swisher had all of 3 SBs, Granderson had 6 SBs in the #2 spot. Swisher and Granderson each had only 1 sacrifice bunt in 2012, Hardy had 2 in 2011.

6) I would venture to guess that Bill James' projections would tend to be made based on Parmelee batting at the bottom of the order. Isn't it possible that if Parmelee can handle the pressure and responsibility of batting 2nd that it would give him greater hitting opportunities to have a shot at meeting and possibly exceeding the James projections?
Why don't we take a chance and find out?

snepp
01-21-2013, 06:03 AM
Yes, but hopefully with more men on base. It seems to me that if he increases his extra base hits, it might make more sense for him to bat #3.

It seems to me that this has more to do with the players hitting in front of him than it does with him hitting for more power. If the guys in front of him aren't very good, all hitting 3rd is going to accomplish is to give more plate appearances to poor hitters.

If you have these two options, which one makes more sense?

1. Lousy Hitter
2. Putrid Hitter
3. Mauer
4-9 other guys

or

1. Lousy Hitter
2. Mauer
3-8 other guys
2. Putrid Hitter

You've got the same guys leading up to Mauer in both instances, with option two giving a bad hitter 150 fewer plate appearances in the process. He isn't going to magically get more players on base if he hits 3rd instead of 2nd unless the players hitting in front of him get better in the process.

PopRiveter
01-21-2013, 09:37 AM
Jokin, I enjoyed reading your Parmelee argument. It seems pretty reasonable. I'd add that for those who fear Mauer's GiDP numbers, Parmelee should double a lot. Certainly more than Carroll/Dozier/Escobar/Florimon.
P.S. I really dislike even writing Escobar and Florimon's names in that sentence. Here's hoping a waiver claim or MiLB free agent can knock one of 'em off the depth chart.

edavis0308
01-21-2013, 09:44 AM
To kind of piggyback the idea of batting Parm in the #2 spot, Nick Johnson has the most AB in his career out of the #2 spot. Granted he is a career .399 OBP, but the point is puttng someone there that can get on base. Not play second base.

kab21
01-21-2013, 11:23 AM
Bill James is probably the most optimistic projector on the web. Having room for downside doesn't include the chance that Parmelee falls completely flat on his face. Again. Imo the Twins should keep as much pressure off of him (and Plouffe) as possible and keep them behind the Twins big 4 hitters.

jokin
01-21-2013, 02:00 PM
Bill James is probably the most optimistic projector on the web. Having room for downside doesn't include the chance that Parmelee falls completely flat on his face. Again. Imo the Twins should keep as much pressure off of him (and Plouffe) as possible and keep them behind the Twins big 4 hitters.

I agree on the pressure argument being the prime negative to the prospect of moving Parmelee up. Sadly, this is probably the argument that Gardy & Co. would least likely consider in their conventional opposition to making the move. They would no doubt publicly counter with his inability to play at 2nd base, lack of bunting skills and speed, career SLG and OBP averages way too high for the #2-hole, etc. I've already shown that at least 2 teams have been quite successful throwing that old-school "conventional wisdom" on its ear.

I just think that in a lost season, no chance for slotting Mauer at #2, the incentive at keeping Carroll's PAs under 401 and with the remaining alternatives being simply dreadful, it sure seems worth the small gamble at giving Parmelee a shot and see if he responds to the challenge. If he does fall flat on his face, my answer would be "so what?"; the Twins have already thrown up the white flag, time to experiment a little and see what ya got, nothing ventured, nothing gained.

jokin
01-21-2013, 02:25 PM
To kind of piggyback the idea of batting Parm in the #2 spot, Nick Johnson has the most AB in his career out of the #2 spot. Granted he is a career .399 OBP, but the point is puttng someone there that can get on base. Not play second base.

What Twins fan wouldn't be stoked if Parmelee could have a Nick Johnson-type career? What the heck, why not just sign Johnson and make him your #2-hole guy, batting DH to show Parmelee how it's done. He'll undoubtedly sign for cheap, perhaps a minor league deal. You could move Mauer to a platoon slot @ Third and pt Catcher to make room for Johnson's bat in the lineup. If it proves that Johnson has nothing left in the tank, you can soon part ways early in the season with nothing lost and perhaps something gained with Parmelee learning something from the old pro.

Shane Wahl
01-21-2013, 03:00 PM
Interesting to see the Parmelee and Nick Johnson discussion. I always liked Johnson a LOT when he was healthy. But therein lies the problem.

Parmelee batting second is interesting to me (if Gardenhire is simply unwilling to bat Mauer there).

Of the MI options, only Carroll could conceivably be considered in the top two spots. And I really fail to see any real reason to worry about Carroll's 401 plate appearances. Isn't it $2 million? Who cares?

Shane Wahl
01-21-2013, 03:07 PM
I really cannot entertain any arguments that Mauer should be the 3 hitter. He should be the leadoff hitter, if speed and power weren't the two vital components after OBP in terms of scoring runs. So failing 1 or 3, he should bat second.

One alternative that I would be willing to consider would be leading off Mastro (absent Hicks) against lefties only, and then either batting Mauer leadoff against righties, or um, Parmelee or something.

That leads to a further point: there is a way to really maximize this lineup based on R/L splits (especially if Herrmann and/or Colabello were on the roster, but alas). Gardy won't do that, we know, but still. For instance there is just ZERO reason not to have Mastro-Mauer-Willingham in most games against lefties (and some of those times substituting Mauer out for Carroll or whomever). Plouffe could bat 5th behind Morneau in such a situation.

jokin
01-21-2013, 03:27 PM
Interesting to see the Parmelee and Nick Johnson discussion. I always liked Johnson a LOT when he was healthy. But therein lies the problem.

Parmelee batting second is interesting to me (if Gardenhire is simply unwilling to bat Mauer there).

Of the MI options, only Carroll could conceivably be considered in the top two spots. And I really fail to see any real reason to worry about Carroll's 401 plate appearances. Isn't it $2 million? Who cares?

Not yours or my money, so, yeah, "who cares?" The Twins FO certainly does and carrying the risk of a 40 year old utility guy at $2M when you will have plenty of alternative options for less than $1/2M by 2014 makes it likely that Carroll will be gone. If he is having a good season at the top of the order in 2013, the Twins would be guilty of malfeasance if they didn't consider moving him for a prospect before the deadline. You're correct, the only MI they should consider for the top 2 spots should be Carroll, but that won't stop Gardy from jamming square pegs (Dozier, Flori, Esco) into round holes- remember that Gardy loved himself a lot of Lil' Nicky's first-base sliding, lousy OPS/OPB in the #2-hole in Punto's early days with the Twins.

jokin
01-21-2013, 03:47 PM
P.S. I really dislike even writing Escobar and Florimon's names in that sentence. Here's hoping a waiver claim or MiLB free agent can knock one of 'em off the depth chart.

The Rays have 6/7 SS on their 40-man roster, with Escobar, Zobrist and Elliot Johnson listed as the top 3 on their depth chart. They also have a superstar in the making on the 40-man in Hak-Ju Lee, just 22 years old. The Twins could trade a legit prospect to get him or get one of the 2 guys the Rays might be forced to waive due to the numbers game. I really like Sean Rodriguez (age 27), or take a strong look at former top draft choice, Tim Beckham, playing AAA ball at age 22 and in severe need of a fresh start with a new organization. Blacklisted Ryan Brett would be a great get at 2B, possibly available in an inconsequential trade and maybe only a year and a half away from taking over Second Base at age 22.

SweetOne69
01-21-2013, 04:37 PM
I'm not sure there's a more worthless stat to judge a batter by than GDP.

I agree. Based on GDP, Miguel Cabrera is the worst hitter in baseball.

All the GDP tells you is that the batter puts the ball in play a lot. Mauer has a low K rate and gets out 67% of the time so that means that he puts the ball in play a lot.

Over his career, Mauer has 3933AB, 1270H, 475K and 130 GDP. Which means he grounded into a DP 130 times out of the 2188AB where he put the ball in play to record an out. Less than 6% of his non strikeout outs resulted in a DP. What a terrible hitter.

ThePuck
01-21-2013, 04:46 PM
I agree. Based on GDP, Miguel Cabrera is the worst hitter in baseball.

All the GDP tells you is that the batter puts the ball in play a lot. Mauer has a low K rate and gets out 67% of the time so that means that he puts the ball in play a lot.

Over his career, Mauer has 3933AB, 1270H, 475K and 130 GDP. Which means he grounded into a DP 130 times out of the 2188AB where he put the ball in play to record an out. Less than 6% of his non strikeout outs resulted in a DP. What a terrible hitter.

exactly...hitters who strike out little, make a lot of contact, and have runners on base in front of them often will occasionally GDP. Last year, Mauer GDP in less than 4% of his plate appearances.

In 2011, the top 5 in GDP were Pujols, AGone, Hunter, Ortiz and Miguel Cabrera.

I mean, seriously, you have to be grasping at straws to worry about GDP...

jokin
01-21-2013, 04:51 PM
exactly...hitters who strike out little, make a lot of contact, and have runners on base in front of them often will occasionally GDP. Last year, Mauer GDP in less than 4% of his plate appearances.

In 2011, the top 5 in GDP were Pujols, AGone, Hunter, Ortiz and Miguel Cabrera.

I mean, seriously, you have to be grasping at straws to worry about GDP...

They don't call him "Grasping Gardy" for nothing.

jokin
01-21-2013, 06:31 PM
exactly...hitters who strike out little, make a lot of contact, and have runners on base in front of them often will occasionally GDP. Last year, Mauer GDP in less than 4% of his plate appearances.

In 2011, the top 5 in GDP were Pujols, AGone, Hunter, Ortiz and Miguel Cabrera.

I mean, seriously, you have to be grasping at straws to worry about GDP...

GDPs as a negative stat are over-emphasised, to be sure. But on the downside and possibly somewhat concerning long-term, Mauer's GB/FB was almost as bad as his especially bad 2011 season (2.35 vs. 2.57), his GB% was 52.6% vs. his 2011 career-worst 55.4%, that and career lows the past 2 seasons in FB% indicate that he has adopted a somewhat consistently shorter and flatter plane on his swing. I would gladly trade some of those all-too-many seeing-eye carpet-crawling singles in exchange for a slightly lower OBP and more gap doubles and FBs off the wall from the #3 spot in the order. Also, his K% was a glaringly-noticeable career-high of 13.4%. That being said, minimizing his catching duties can help maintain him in producing a rich-man's version of a Wade Boggs-career set of numbers through the end of his contract (Mauer has a career OPS of .873 vs Bogg's .858 career OPS). All of this still strongly suggests that Mauer should be batting #1 or #2 ( It's arguable that Mauer should bat #1 depending on how quickly Hicks adapts to big-league pitching).

ThePuck
01-21-2013, 06:42 PM
GDPs as a negative stat are over-emphasised, to be sure. But on the downside and possibly somewhat concerning long-term, Mauer's GB/FB was almost as bad as his especially bad 2011 season (2.35 vs. 2.57), his GB% was 52.6% vs. his 2011 career-worst 55.4%, that and career lows the past 2 seasons in FB% indicate that he has adopted a somewhat consistently shorter and flatter plane on his swing. I would gladly trade some of those all-too-many seeing-eye carpet-crawling singles in exchange for a slightly lower OBP and more gap doubles and FBs off the wall from the #3 spot in the order. Also, his K% was a glaringly-noticeable career-high of 13.4%. That being said, minimizing his catching duties can help maintain him in producing a rich-man's version of a Wade Boggs-career set of numbers through the end of his contract (Mauer has a career OPS of .873 vs Bogg's .858 career OPS). All of this still strongly suggests that Mauer should be batting #1 or #2 ( It's arguable that Mauer should bat #1 depending on how quickly Hicks adapts to big-league pitching).

He hits way too well with RISP to do that. He hits better than Willingham with RISP, even this last season in WIllingham's career year. I like Mauer in the 3 spot.

Mauer needs to stop listening to the masses and stop trying to pull the ball so much. Those GB rates would go back to normal.

BrentMpls
01-21-2013, 06:51 PM
Not Gardy's way. While this might be his last year, and I wouldn't put it past him to finally make this change, I kinda doubt it.

jokin
01-21-2013, 06:53 PM
He hits way too well with RISP to do that. He hits better than Willingham with RISP, even this last season in WIllingham's career year. I like Mauer in the 3 spot.

Mauer needs to stop listening to the masses and stop trying to pull the ball so much. Those GB rates would go back to normal.

Not much use for a high BAw/ RISP when there won't be many RISPs in the first place (and hitting W/ RISP has an element of luck, anyway), it can't be emphasised enough how bad the Twins project to be at the top of the order, I'm talking Seattle Mariners bad. BTW, I'm not one of the fans you're talking about in Mauer pulling the ball more, just take a few more cuts on a slight upward plane to get some more lift out of the infield. That's why the Red Sox were salivating about Mauer using the Green Monster like a billiard cushion.

TheLeviathan
01-21-2013, 06:56 PM
Not Gardy's way. While this might be his last year, and I wouldn't put it past him to finally make this change, I kinda doubt it.

To be fair, there is only one manager in the entire league I believe would bat Mauer second given this lineup. (Maddon) So I'm not sure Gardy-bashing is appropriate.

ThePuck
01-21-2013, 07:00 PM
Not much use for a high BAw/ RISP when there won't be many RISPs in the first place (and RISP has an element of luck, anyway), it can't be emphasised enough how bad the Twins project to be at the top of the order, I'm talking Seattle Mariners bad. BTW, I'm not one of the fans you're talking about in Mauer pulling the ball more, just take a few more cuts on a slight upward plane to get some more lift out of the infield. That's why the Red Sox were salivating about Mauer using the Green Monster like a billiard cushion.

Not just a high BA w/RISP, a high OBP with RISP (.500) and a pretty good slg% w/RISP as well (.514).

jokin
01-21-2013, 07:02 PM
Not just a high BA w/RISP, a high OBP with RISP (.500) and a pretty good slg% w/RISP as well (.514).

All great, but his RISP opportunities will likely be cut by at least one-third this year.

BrentMpls
01-21-2013, 07:03 PM
To be fair, there is only one manager in the entire league I believe would bat Mauer second given this lineup. (Maddon) So I'm not sure Gardy-bashing is appropriate.

Disagree with you there, especially if you look at the past several years where making that change would have been a good move.

Also, I wasn't Gardy-bashing, simply stating his (very firm) stance on the subject and unlikelihood of its change.

ThePuck
01-21-2013, 07:03 PM
All great, but his RISP opportunities will likely be cut by at least one-third this year.

Perhaps...perhaps...but really, Span and Revere's OBPs weren't THAT good last year...were they?

TheLeviathan
01-21-2013, 07:10 PM
Disagree with you there, especially if you look at the past several years where making that change would have been a good move.

Most managers are far more conventional or Gardy-like than I think people realize. I would suggest the vast majority of MLB managers would hit him third.

jokin
01-21-2013, 10:55 PM
Perhaps...perhaps...but really, Span and Revere's OBPs weren't THAT good last year...were they?

Span had an OBP of .339 in the Leadoff spot. That would have been 6th overall in AL team comparisons.
Revere had an OBP of .340 in the 2-Hole. That would have been 4th overall in AL team comparisons.

The Twins led the AL in Stolen Bases in the 1 & 2 spots combined with 72- finishing #1 in the 2-hole and #5 at Leadoff. Their percentages were high, too, around an 80% success rate.

Span and Revere provided $32.6M worth of value to the Twins. Mastro turns 28 this year and has never played significantly in the majors until last year's 77 games played. Carroll turns 39 next month. Hicks has played only AA ball and historically has taken time to adjust at each level of progression. You think he will get a cup of coffee at Rochester and then come in right away and produce numbers like Span? Again, expecting a drop-off to Mariner-type numbers (.281 OBP leadoff/ .286 OBP in the 2-hole) might be too harsh a prediction as Carroll produced a .327 OBP in the #1 and #2 spots, combined. But there's no doubt there's going to be a significant drop-off, regardless, unless Hicks and Mastroianni miraculously defy the odds. Don't forget that Gardy will experiment with Dozier, Flori and Esco up at the top of the order, too.

ThePuck
01-21-2013, 11:00 PM
Span had an OBP of .339 in the Leadoff spot. That would have been 6th overall in AL team comparisons.
Revere had an OBP of .340 in the 2-Hole. That would have been 4th overall in AL team comparisons.

The Twins led the AL in Stolen Bases in the 1 & 2 spots combined with 72- finishing #1 in the 2-hole and #5 at Leadoff. Their percentages were high, too, around an 80% success rate.

Span and Revere provided $32.6M worth of value to the Twins. Mastro turns 28 next year and has never played significantly in the majors until last year's 77 games played. Carroll turns 39 next month. Hicks has played only AA ball and historically has taken time to adjust at each level of progression. You think he will get a cup of coffee at Rochester and then come in right away and produce numbers like Span? Again, expecting a drop-off to Mariner-type numbers (.281 OBP leadoff/ .286 OBP in the 2-hole) might be too harsh a prediction as Carroll produced a .327 OBP in the #1 and #2 spots, combined. But there's no doubt there's going to be a significant drop-off, regardless, unless Hicks and Mastroianni miraculously defy the odds. Don't forget that Gardy will experiment with Dozier, Flori and Esco up at the top of the order, too.

I don't put much value in stolen bases...Bill James did a great study that showed the minimal value of the stolen base. Believe me when I tell you, I get the value of Span (was my favorite Twin behind Morny) and Revere but a lot of that was defense...and we aren't talking defense right now.

Yeah, we're gonna take a hit in the one and two spot, Mauer would likely have a dropoff of RISP situation, but it's not gonna be a third.

Shane Wahl
01-21-2013, 11:01 PM
I am still flabbergasted that anyone thinks Mauer should bat third. It just seems like such a preposterous thing. Oh well.

ThePuck
01-21-2013, 11:17 PM
From Fangraphs when talking about an offensive comparison for the MVP:

http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/index.php/trout-versus-cabrera-offense-only-context-included/

This metric is called RE24 (http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/index.php/get-to-know-re24/). It’s been on the site for years, and is available as part of our Win Probability section. We don’t use it a lot, because in general we prefer to talk about players from a context-neutral perspective, but for the purpose of this discussion, it might just be the perfect metric. RE24 is essentially the difference between the run expectancy when a hitter comes to the plate and when his at-bat ends. For example, September 16th, Cabrera came to the plate against Joe Smith (http://www.fangraphs.com/players.aspx?lastname=Joe%20Smith) with runners at first and second and two outs, a situation where the Tigers would be expected to score 0.33 runs on average. Cabrera hit a three run home run, so they actually scored three runs, and RE24 gives Cabrera credit for +2.67 runs, the gap between what they were expected to score and what they actually scored.

Unlike with context-neutral statistics like wRC+, RE24 takes the number of outs and number of baserunners into account. It does not assume that all home runs are equal, nor does it treat a strikeout with a man on third base and one out as just another out. The rewards for performing with men on base are higher, and the blame for failing in those same situations is steeper as well. This is a metric that essentially quantifies the total offensive value of a player based on the situations that he actually faced.

This is not a theoretical metric. If you hit a three run home run, you get more credit than if you hit a solo home run. If you are consistently getting hits with two outs to drive in runs, you get more credit than if those hits come with no outs and the bases empty. And, of course, it’s only an offensive metric, so there’s no defensive component, no position adjustments, and no replacement level. This is just straight up offense, adjusted for the context of the situations that they faced.

Mauer finished 6th in the AL.

Of course, that's SABR stuff, so if we look at normal stats...

He had an OPS over 1.000 with RISP. He hit better than WIllingham did with RISP. And you are surprised some think that on this team, he should bat third?

jokin
01-21-2013, 11:56 PM
I don't put much value in stolen bases...Bill James did a great study that showed the minimal value of the stolen base. Believe me when I tell you, I get the value of Span (was my favorite Twin behind Morny) and Revere but a lot of that was defense...and we aren't talking defense right now.

Yeah, we're gonna take a hit in the one and two spot, Mauer would likely have a dropoff of RISP situation, but it's not gonna be a third.

Mauer had only 192 PAs w/RISP in 2012. Span and Revere reached base 183 & 182 times, totaling 365 reaches. Combining their abilities to reach base at a high proficiency in the first place, hit for Doubles and Triples 61 times combined, efficiently steal a base, take the extra base on balls in play, and run out of the DP situations at both 1B & 2B, you don't see a chance for a significant drop off in Mauer RISP opportunities? The 192 PAs w/RISP works out to 1.31 RISP chances per game for Mauer's 147 games played in 2012, I can easily see that number dropping to 1.00 or lower in 2013. Simply put, there are going to be a lot more outs made by the 9,1 & 2 hitters in 2013..... (FYI, hitting in front of Span, Carroll was a great #9 hitter @ .357OBP! The Twins were 3rd in the league at OBP in the #9 slot @ .303. I can easily envision our #9 OBP dropping to the bottom close to Oakland As levels of OBP .258, or worse)...... combined with a lot less extra bases taken in those 3 slots just in front of Mauer.

Example: Tampa Bay's primary #3 hitter, Ben Zobrist got only 100 RISP opportunities with the Rays- with their right around 10th or 11th best OBP numbers- in the 9,1 & 2 slots.

ThePuck
01-22-2013, 06:23 AM
Mauer had only 192 PAs w/RISP in 2012. Span and Revere reached base 183 & 182 times, totaling 365 reaches. Combining their abilities to reach base at a high proficiency in the first place, hit for Doubles and Triples 61 times combined, efficiently steal a base, take the extra base on balls in play, and run out of the DP situations at both 1B & 2B, you don't see a chance for a significant drop off in Mauer RISP opportunities? The 192 PAs w/RISP works out to 1.31 RISP chances per game for Mauer's 147 games played in 2012, I can easily see that number dropping to 1.00 or lower in 2013. Simply put, there are going to be a lot more outs made by the 9,1 & 2 hitters in 2013..... (FYI, hitting in front of Span, Carroll was a great #9 hitter @ .357OBP! The Twins were 3rd in the league at OBP in the #9 slot @ .303. I can easily envision our #9 OBP dropping to the bottom close to Oakland As levels of OBP .258, or worse)...... combined with a lot less extra bases taken in those 3 slots just in front of Mauer.

Example: Tampa Bay's primary #3 hitter, Ben Zobrist got only 100 RISP opportunities with the Rays- with their right around 10th or 11th best OBP numbers- in the 9,1 & 2 slots.

You're switching from plate appearances to ABs. You mention Mauer's plate appearances with RISP to get the larger number, then Zobrists ABs to get the lower number.

Zobrist had 142 plate appearances with RISP and only had 40% of his overall plate appearances were in the 3 spot. He also had 144 PAs combined between 1 and 2 spots...

So, you're saying if Mauer gets roughly the same amount of plate appearances (641) as he did last year, he's only going to have, at MOST, 128 plate appearances with RISP...in the 3 spot. That would be 'at least one-third' of a dropoff, which is what you had said. Something to watch for that's for sure. He had more than that in 2007 when he only played 109 games and had 170 less plate appearances.

fairweather
01-23-2013, 10:43 AM
Obviously a hell yes from me.

The old adage is wrong. The best OBP and overall hitters should be batting 1,2, and 4, with a speedier type batting first and a power guy 4th. The guy batting 3rd should be a slugger because he often comes up with no one on base and two out in the first inning (Willingham). Batting fifth should be another slugger, but one who shouldn't live and die with it and simply be a HR or K guy.

Disclaimer: lineup construction is somewhat overrated and does really only take shape in the first inning (though it can still be the case in 1-4 innings in tight games).

That said:

X
Mauer
Willingham
Morneau (here's to hoping that he returns to form in 2013.
Doumit
Plouffe
Parmelee
X
X

would seem to make the most sense.

I have to think Justin would be the guy to hit 3rd because you want someone in the 3 hole who can hit for average and power. Willingham is a photo-typical #4. The lineup I want to see goes like this.

Hicks
Mauer
Morneau
Willingham
Doumit
Parmalee
Plouffe
Dozier
Florimon
Especially if you're going to lead off with a rookie you want Mauer and Morneau immediately behind him so he see plenty of fastballs.

jokin
01-23-2013, 12:29 PM
I have to think Justin would be the guy to hit 3rd because you want someone in the 3 hole who can hit for average and power. Willingham is a photo-typical #4. The lineup I want to see goes like this.

Hicks
Mauer
Morneau
Willingham
Doumit
Parmalee
Plouffe
Dozier
Florimon
Especially if you're going to lead off with a rookie you want Mauer and Morneau immediately behind him so he see plenty of fastballs.

This is the actual lineup I'd endorse (w/ the exception of Carroll substituting for Dozier) when the next manager of the Twins takes over at the All-Star break...

Willihammer
01-23-2013, 12:52 PM
Here is the thing, a PA with no outs and nobody on base is twice as important as a PA with 2 outs and nobody on base, and 50% more important than a PA with 1 out and nobody on base (http://www.insidethebook.com/li.shtml). So, if you want to argue that your best OBP guy should be hitting anywhere other than leadoff, you need to prove that he will produce enough times with enough men on base to justify forfeiting all those no out-no men on, 1st inning PAs.