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Article: Do the Twins Have the Best Bottom of the Order Ever?

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#21 Doomtints

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Posted 12 June 2019 - 12:03 PM

 

I expect the Front Office didn't think they would be this good either, or they would have solidified their bullpen better.

 

They didn't expect it. They said the "window isn't open" yet.

 

It's open, mofos. :P

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#22 Minfidel

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Posted 12 June 2019 - 12:19 PM

 

some of this will depend on how much longer Buxton hits at the bottom of the order. will they decide to move him up so he can get more ABs, or will they decide it's not as important as keeping him in a comfortable rhythm?

It's not just Buxton's rhythm - his presence in the 9-hole is creating opportunities for the top of the order. He's getting fewer ABs, but the team is getting a lot of runs. 


#23 Minfidel

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Posted 12 June 2019 - 12:24 PM

There's just no place in the lineup that an opposing pitcher or manager can relax. Castro and Buxton used to be a little refresher, but not any more. And if the rare case where the Twins want to pinch-hit, you've got good bats that are getting regular playing time to choose from. They flat wear you down as a series goes on. 

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#24 Doomtints

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Posted 12 June 2019 - 12:42 PM

I'm not sure how much the bottom of the order matters. The Cubs had a great lineup when they won the series recently, but they had great pitching too.

 

Having ten great positional players seems like a miscalculation. The team should have probably shot for 7 or 8 elite position players and added a couple of pitchers instead.

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#25 Don Walcott

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Posted 12 June 2019 - 12:52 PM

 

Doesn't Garver or Polanco usually lead off against Lefties? With Kepler hitting 6th?

So moving Buxton would results in another move as well.

I love that the offensive is so good we are talking about small tweaks in the lineup and not replacing holes in the lineup.

Sort of. Having Buxton lead off against lefties would leave Polanco in the #2 spot, where he's started 51 times out 61 games. While Garver has mostly lead off against lefties, he's also batted in every other spot in the order so far. So it's not like we'd be displacing anyone. And although Garver has a .513 OBP against lefties generally, his OBP is .316 when he leads off.

 

Basically, I'd like to see Buxton get more ABs. And hitting him leadoff against lefties and swapping him and Kepler in the 1 and 9 positions would be a very easy and justifiable way of doing that. He's also a scoring machine when he gets on base, which would add something to the leadoff spot that Garver doesn't have.


#26 diehardtwinsfan

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Posted 12 June 2019 - 02:18 PM

Perhaps it was just the one game and some SSS magic, but I seem to remember Houston sporting 800+ OPS players 1-8 or 9 a year or two ago..


#27 wsnydes

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Posted 12 June 2019 - 02:52 PM

 

I'm not sure I move Mr. Buxton until the current lineup is no longer producing.

 

Over the years, the number 9 hitter has been a rally killer, but, this year, it's not.

I actually really like Buxton hitting in the 9 hole. That's a pretty potent weapon for the top of the order coming up. When he gets on base, he's basically always in scoring position. Plus, forcing the opposing pitcher to throw more fastballs and the added distraction of him on the basepaths is nothing but a positive. I'd rather he hit there than 6 or 7 in all honesty. 

 

Ideally he'd be at the top of the lineup, but I'm not sure that's the wise move at this point.

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#28 Monticore

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Posted 12 June 2019 - 03:38 PM

Leave Buxton where he is. Less pressure leading to more production. He's coming off a year where his future was cloudy.

#29 mikelink45

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Posted 12 June 2019 - 03:54 PM

 

The more I think of your question, Andrew, it is a bit unfair. 

 

The National League and both leagues prior to whenever the AL got the DH had their pitcher usually batting in the 9 spot.Except back when Babe Ruth was on the mound, that spot would normally destroy the OPS for the last three spots in the linuep.To be fair, you probably should be looking at only the 7-8 spots.

Thanks for catching this.It really is a significant point.We would be looking at the best hitting pitchers otherwise. Take my favorite all time team - 1957 Milwaukee Braves and all of their eight regulars had and OPS over 720 (Johnny Logan - great SS, but lowest of batters. and Spahn and Burdette had OPS in the 400s and Gene Conley in the 600s, only when cluesless batter - Bob Buhl came to bat did their bottom of the order crash.  

 

It is just too easy to always claim the best players are the current and the best teams are the current.Batter approach, pitching styles, baseballs all change too quickly for definitive judgments.  


#30 Andrew Thares

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Posted 12 June 2019 - 04:25 PM

 

Thanks for catching this.It really is a significant point.We would be looking at the best hitting pitchers otherwise. Take my favorite all time team - 1957 Milwaukee Braves and all of their eight regulars had and OPS over 720 (Johnny Logan - great SS, but lowest of batters. and Spahn and Burdette had OPS in the 400s and Gene Conley in the 600s, only when cluesless batter - Bob Buhl came to bat did their bottom of the order crash.  

 

It is just too easy to always claim the best players are the current and the best teams are the current.Batter approach, pitching styles, baseballs all change too quickly for definitive judgments.  

This was addressed in the article!!

 

"Another benefit of using the Play Index is it excluded plate appearances by pitchers, which would have skewed the results against National League teams along with all MLB teams prior to 1973."


#31 RatherBeGolfing

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Posted 13 June 2019 - 07:51 AM

"We have the best bottom of the order ever!" may be one of the oddest brags I've ever heard


#32 ashbury

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Posted 13 June 2019 - 08:01 AM

"We have the best bottom of the order ever!" may be one of the oddest brags I've ever heard

"Our mop-up reliever is red hot! Your mop-up reliever ain't doodly squat!"

 

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#33 Craig Arko

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Posted 13 June 2019 - 08:42 AM

"We have the best bottom of the order ever!" may be one of the oddest brags I've ever heard


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#34 Brock Beauchamp

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Posted 13 June 2019 - 08:48 AM

 

Hard to compare anything during the juiced ball era to days of the past. Good to know that we are raking this year and I hope it continues

It's not only the juiced ball. Anyone over 40 remembers what the back of lineups looked like in the 70s and 80s. They were pathetic. It was an era when Mario Mendoza received ~1500 PAs and hit for a 41 OPS+ because reasons.

 

It's also part of the reason why pitchers no longer go eight innings a start. It was a lot easier to go through a lineup four times when 33% of the opposing lineup couldn't hit their way out of a paper bag. Just lob an 86mph fastball over the plate and let your defense do the work for you.




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