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Thread: Gardy Needs a Refresher Course in Lineup Construction

  1. #21
    Senior Member All-Star Shane Wahl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SpiritofVodkaDave View Post
    Lineup construction is the most over-rated thing ever, with that said, when you are in a slump it makes sense to just "shake things up" for the hell of it. Mauer batting 2nd is nice if you have a guy who can get on base in front of him, but up until now that hasn't been the case.
    So two guys in front of him who can't get on base is better?

  2. #22
    Senior Member All-Star Shane Wahl's Avatar
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    Lineup construction is not nonsense. It means a few games a year if you do it right. If you don't think a few games matter, you are insane.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SpiritofVodkaDave View Post
    Lineup construction is the most over-rated thing ever, with that said, when you are in a slump it makes sense to just "shake things up" for the hell of it. Mauer batting 2nd is nice if you have a guy who can get on base in front of him, but up until now that hasn't been the case.
    Unfortunately, as the sample grows larger, Dozier will inevitably regress and prove to be a poor long-term option batting 2nd in front of Mauer. Hopefully, Gardy has learned from the past and will juggle the lineup before he has another 2 week stretch of Hick-like production from the top of the order. Shaking it up is a decent strategy in the short-term, but Mauer is the perfect choice in the 2-hole over the long-term.

  4. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shane Wahl View Post
    So two guys in front of him who can't get on base is better?
    Exactly. Dave himself would be the first to say (and has posted) that Dozier is not a legit choice for a major league 2nd baseman's job long-term, to further that thought, his career batting numbers don't support him batting 2nd long-term.

  5. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shane Wahl View Post
    So two guys in front of him who can't get on base is better?
    Everyone knows that two is better than one! I get why you don't see this...it's math, not philosophy

  6. #26
    Senior Member All-Star Shane Wahl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jokin View Post
    Everyone knows that two is better than one! I get why you don't see this...it's math, not philosophy
    Haha, good call. It is clear that Gardy is obsessed with the Platonic Form of the no. 2 hitter.

  7. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by SpiritofVodkaDave View Post
    Lineup construction is the most over-rated thing ever, with that said, when you are in a slump it makes sense to just "shake things up" for the hell of it. Mauer batting 2nd is nice if you have a guy who can get on base in front of him, but up until now that hasn't been the case.
    The irony with this lineup, of course, is that if he's batting third, he's likely got two guys in front of him that can't get on base so he comes up with two outs. IMO, it never makes sense to give your worst hitters more at bats by placing them at the top of the lineup.

    I don't mind Carroll at the top, though, and hopefully Dozier continues to hit.

  8. #28
    The King In The North All-Star Nick Nelson's Avatar
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    Dozier could just as easily be the No. 9 hitter as the No. 2 hitter, so the only difference made by moving Mauer down (in AL parks) is that you potentially rob him of at-bats in favor of Dozier. Or whichever suspect is hitting leadoff.

    Maybe there's some validity to the idea that Dozier's confidence will be jump-started by the nod and he'll get going. I doubt it, but maybe.

  9. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nick Nelson View Post
    Dozier could just as easily be the No. 9 hitter as the No. 2 hitter, so the only difference made by moving Mauer down (in AL parks) is that you potentially rob him of at-bats in favor of Dozier. Or whichever suspect is hitting leadoff.
    This exact situation was manifested last night. Bottom of the 8th, bases loaded, 2 outs. Brian Dozier up to bat as the #2 hitter instead of Joe Mauer. Dozier flies out on a flare to right, Mauer doesn't bat again.

    Thankfully the Twins hung on to win and I'll concede that lineup construction does generally get blown out of proportion, but we can't pretend like these little things don't matter at all.

  10. #30
    The King In The North All-Star Nick Nelson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jay View Post
    This exact situation was manifested last night. Bottom of the 8th, bases loaded, 2 outs. Brian Dozier up to bat as the #2 hitter instead of Joe Mauer. Dozier flies out on a flare to right, Mauer doesn't bat again.

    Thankfully the Twins hung on to win and I'll concede that lineup construction does generally get blown out of proportion, but we can't pretend like these little things don't matter at all.
    Well said.

  11. #31
    I like Mauer batting third. Yes, I wish we had true 1-2 in the order. I would bat WIllingham 4 and Morneau 5th and make the rest the crapshoot that it is.
    Joel Thingvall
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    rosterman at www.twinscards.com

  12. #32
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    I have not been a Dozier supporter and I think Mauer should bat 2nd if not 1st, but I really like the way Dozier is swinging right now and I would keep him at the top of the order unless he regresses AGAIN. That's not to say Carroll has to stay batting 1/2. Maybe Dozier leading off with Mauer #2 is the way. Dozier has to keep swinging the bat like he is now for a measurable stretch, then more answers we will have.

  13. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by jokin View Post
    Unfortunately, as the sample grows larger, Dozier will inevitably regress and prove to be a poor long-term option batting 2nd in front of Mauer. Hopefully, Gardy has learned from the past and will juggle the lineup before he has another 2 week stretch of Hick-like production from the top of the order. Shaking it up is a decent strategy in the short-term, but Mauer is the perfect choice in the 2-hole over the long-term.
    Remember this is Ron Gardenhire, he will shake things up in the middle of a winning streak.

  14. #34
    Super Moderator MVP ashburyjohn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shane Wahl View Post
    Haha, good call. It is clear that Gardy is obsessed with the Platonic Form of the no. 2 hitter.
    I can just imagine R. Clyde Gardenhire reading this thread and nodding, saying "Finally! someone GETS it."

  15. #35
    Owner All-Star John Bonnes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by launchingthrees View Post
    Maybe start a thread and plug all your articles in it? Seem over the top to start a new thread every time you write an article for a non-twinsdaily site.
    Sorry I didn't see this earlier.

    For the record, we actively encourage this at Twins Daily. We want readers to find independent bloggers and we want our readers to be able to find as much content as possible.

    By all means - post links to your blogs silly in the threads. For that matter, if corporate media wants to post their links in the threads, we would encourage that, too. We would like to ourselves, but have trouble keeping up.

  16. #36
    Owner All-Star John Bonnes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shane Wahl View Post
    Lineup construction is not nonsense. It means a few games a year if you do it right. If you don't think a few games matter, you are insane.
    The studies I've read (and they go back some time, like to Bill James) concluded that the difference between an absolutely optimal lineup (which is basically putting the batters 1-9 by descending OBP) and the worst (the exact opposite lineup) is about 60 runs per year. It also concludes that if you chose a lineup at random - like Billy Martin would do if his team was in a slump (the players would draw their lineup position from a hat) - it's about 30 runs per year.

    The lineup folks are advocating - Mauer batting second with the rest of the linuep as is - isn't optimal though it's close because the guys or more or less in the right order, so we're giving up a few runs there. The lineup with Dozier batting #2 is still very close to optimal - it's got most of the guys in the right order, with one extra guy in the wrong order. So how close to that desired lineup are we talking? Five runs? Three runs? Seven runs?

    And over the course of a season, that small of a difference is awfully close to nonsense. No sabrmetrician would say he can realistically predict the number of runs a team will score within that kind of margin for error. (He/she certainly wouldn't bet that he/she could).

    And that kind of difference could be made up by any number of ways. Maybe Mauer is more motivated when he's a #3 hitter. Mabye Dozier is more patient as a #2. Or maybe he prepares a little differently when he knows he's batting at the beginning of the game. Or maybe they come up in a little better way in high-leverage situations. Or maybe a butterly flaps its wings in China. The amount of runs is so small as to be insignificant.

    Virtually every study lays out two rules for lineup effect:
    1) Within reason, it really doesn't matter.
    2) To what extent it does matter, trust OBP.

    But I think because there are two rules, they are perceived as having equal weight. They don't. #1 is 96% of what we need to know. #2 is there mostly to make us feel better and better define "Within reason."

    This is why I get more worked up about people who get worked up about lineup construction than I do about lineup construction. Gardenhire is well "within reason" and it doesn't matter where the hell Dozier bats.
    Last edited by John Bonnes; 05-31-2013 at 01:26 PM.

  17. #37
    Please ban me! All-Star stringer bell's Avatar
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    The idea of having two of the best OBP guys batting 1-2 makes perfect sense. The idea of having guys hitting 3-5 who can both get on base and knock 'em in also makes perfect sense. The Twins' problem is that Mauer is far and away their best OBP guy and their best #3 hitter. I have said for years this club has far too many one-dimensional players and the trend continues. Two or three years from now we might see Buxton-Hicks 1-2 and Mauer could hit between them and Sano. I was fine with Mauer hitting second, but in this year where contention is a dream, I would like to find out about unestablished players. If Dozier can thrive hitting #2 or #1, great. If not put him in the bottom of the lineup or try someone else.

  18. #38
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    Mauer is our ideal #2 hitter. The problem is, he's also our best #3 hitter. Heck, maybe we should move Morneau to the #2 spot. We have holes all over our lineup for now so complaining about this is like complaining that we put red lipstick on the pig instead of blue lipstick.

  19. #39
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    So here's the plan. By June Hicks is a stud, and the lineup is:
    Dozier
    Mauer
    Hicks
    Morneau (who will have regained some form)
    Arcia
    2 of Doumit/Parmalee/Willingham
    Plouffe/3B
    SS

    OK, maybe "plan" overstates what it really is. But I like it, if Hicks and Arcia can hold up there end.

  20. #40
    Super Moderator MVP USAFChief's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jay View Post
    This exact situation was manifested last night. Bottom of the 8th, bases loaded, 2 outs. Brian Dozier up to bat as the #2 hitter instead of Joe Mauer. Dozier flies out on a flare to right, Mauer doesn't bat again.

    Thankfully the Twins hung on to win and I'll concede that lineup construction does generally get blown out of proportion, but we can't pretend like these little things don't matter at all.
    Your scenario misses a seemingly important point...if Dozier was hitting in the bottom of the lineup, with Mauer hitting second, the scenario would have worked the same way. Dozier would have come up earlier in the inning, and assuming he did the exact same thing...flared one to right...the out he recorded comes earlier in the inning and the Twins don't get to bases loaded with 2 out. Mauer doesn't hit that way either, because the inning is over before you get to the 2nd spot in the lineup.

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