6:47 pm June 28, 2011, by David O'Brien
June 29th, 20112:45 pm
You know that less than 1% chance that we have to manage our entire Pinch Hitting philosophy around?
It may be a small chance in any single game, sure. But risk is cumulative; accept that small single-game risk often enough, and you increase the odds that the small chance will indeed occur.
ncscoots, the key spots to fill in first, with your best hitters, are first, second, fourth and fifth. Once those spots are established, then you fill out third and sixth through ninth.
But it’s obviously sort of fuzzy. You want to separate out lefty and righty hitters so the other team doesn’t have a strong platoon advantage when they start bringing in their good relievers, and often times your hitters won’t fit neatly into ideal spots.
For example, you want a high on-base guy with little power at leadoff because his power is wasted there, but his on-base obviously isn’t. You want a high on-base guy who can also slug well hitting second. You want another high on-base, slugger to hit fourth. You want your best on-base slugger or your best hitter who lacks homerun power to hit fifth. After these spots are filled, put your next best hitter third. Then fill out the rest of the lineup with the players left over, with the stolen base threats higher and the singles-type hitters behind them. It’s not always so neat and cut-and-dry, obviously.
Basic summary, as I’ve linked to before, is here: http://www.beyondtheboxscore.com/2009/3/17/795946/optimizing-your-lineup-by
June 29th, 20112:47 pm
I just can’t believe the Dodgers owe Marquis Grissom money. He played with them a decade ago and for $5M a year. It’s amazing how much crap is on their books.
Ross, in an effort to keep up with BMac, will go 5-5 today with 3 HR and finish a triple shy of the cycle while driving in 8 runs.
After the game he will surpass BMac in voting for the all-star game but will graciously pass, saying he would rather spend the time rebuilding houses in tornado-ravaged Joplin.
At the trade deadline the Giants will offer Lincecum for Ross but Wren will pass saying that Ross is too valuable to the team to trade.
Hugo Z Hackenbush
June 29th, 20112:49 pm
Tim, tennis players hit balls while on the run all the time. And I think Ichiro belongs in the HoF.
I think he will be a 1st ballot HOF.
June 29th, 20112:50 pm
Hello every one! I have some bad news on trade rumors. Wren wants to wait, and see what Schafer, and Nate do, and the Phillies are getting ready to make a strike.They are checking into Pence, annd Josh Willington.According to Buster Onley they want to get another Rh bat too,so Wren could miss the boat again.
Save your pedantry, Shaun. You, explaining lineup construction, to me, is pretty much beyond ludicrous.
Ichiro is baseball’s version of Happy Gilmore.
scoots, sure that’s true, but the chance that Ross could affect the game positively while pinch hitting instead of using guys like Diory or Lugo or Hicks or Mather far outweighs the negative. It just does not make sense especially when its the reverse Fredi has no problem using McCann as a pinch hitter and replacing Ross in the 7th or 8th inning. What’s the difference?
June 29th, 20112:51 pm
Ward, who is your source within the Braves’ organization? Can you name names or is it confidential?
June 29th, 20112:52 pm
If Wren gets someone I hope it isn’t a rental.I’d try and get both Bourn and Pence.
June 29th, 20112:53 pm
Ward on MLB the show 11 I cant seem to get the Astros to trade Pence for anyone on the Phillies so I don’t think that could happen.
June 29th, 20112:54 pm
But I can get the astros to trade Pence for Conrad and Mclouth so that should be going down anytime!!!
June 29th, 20112:56 pm
I’m quite sure FW is diligantly working to get it done as we speak.
when its the reverse Fredi has no problem using McCann as a pinch hitter and replacing Ross in the 7th or 8th inning. What’s the difference?
Likely, the probability of reward. I know Ross can start for 43 other ML teams (and the contracting crew in Joplin), but I imagine that most managers would think McCann is more likely to be successful in that PH slot. Thus, the higher risk is justified by the higher likelihood of reward.
(I seriously doubt that a manager would articulate it quite that way, LOL, but I think that’s the heart of it.)
Nova Scotia Steve
Can’t wait…off work soon then off to catch the Braves!
June 29th, 20112:57 pm
Isn’t Jackie Robison on the Dodgers payroll?
McFann ;Ô; ;Ô;
Tom O’Hawke Hey, if I’m wrong, wait until there’s hardly anyone on here before you tell me.
I’ll do that…
I think my Dad’s mentioned BTtF, but I can’t recall if he liked it or hated it…
Murph @ 2:47—
Ichiro is a tuff one, there really isnt a precedent. I think the HOF votes would have to be decided by taking an average of his numbers and putting them in place of say age 22 to 27 when he joined MLB. IF thats the case, then most def. he is a hall of famer.
Im not sure….
June 29th, 20112:58 pm
Buster Onley reoported Wren wants to see what Uggla can do,as well as Heyward. It could take two weeks or more to evaluate. Mean while he will wait to long,and the same old crap.Frustrating sh!t.
ncscoots, okay. So let Tom Tango, Mitchel Lichtman, and Andy Dolphin explain lineup construction to us via a summary of their work by Sky Kalkman. These three guys have dug into the issue of lineup construction probably more than all of us combined.
Wow! That’s something! Poor baby…
That’s a LOT of turtles! Cool…
Ichiro sure-fire HOF. What, I think ten consecutive 200 hit seasons and the single seasons record too.
CraZy has run the trade through the simulator several times and the Pence trade wouoldn’t go through. Based on that statistical information, that trade can be laid to rest.
June 29th, 20113:00 pm
I’m going to keep rooting for my team,but we could get a first round exit if Wren doesn’t make a trade,because the Phillies are.Frustrating………………………………….
Shaun – We all know your opinion about lineup construction. You act like your opinion is the only one which is valid, because, of course, all others are illogical.
Many disagree. For example, many feel that your best hitter should hit 3rd, followed by your powere guys 4 & 5. Many people have a totally different philosophy about #2. Apearantly the vast majority of people who are actually paid to make those decisions disagree with you. But then you know that, or you wouldn’t repeat yourself to ad nausium.
Jimmy: I agree,but remember sports writers vote.
June 29th, 20113:03 pm
Radio link for those that need it:
Pregame on now.
Almost game time What say we dethrone King Felix today? I like it
Jimmy, exactly its would be preposterous to even discuss Pence to Philly any longer.
June 29th, 20113:04 pm
Tom Tango, Mitchel Lichtman, and Andy Dolphin explain lineup construction to us via a summary of their work by Sky Kalkman.
3 out of 4 of those guys are convicted child molesters… look it up.
I don’t know about you, but I don’t want child molesters constructing my lineups.
June 29th, 20113:05 pm
John Leonard – yes, but those numbers are hard to ignore. He is having an UnIchiro year this year though.
June 29th, 20113:06 pm
Dont get sucked into it man. That’s what he wants – more people to argue with.
It would be crazy, CraZy. In fact, I won’t even mention it in this post.
June 29th, 20113:08 pm
So Murph, what you are saying is that 3 of those 4 mentioned have actually BEEN in a lineup.
raleighbravefan, my views on lineup construction isn’t based on my opinion. If it were, I’d probably think the same as those who would put their best hitter third, etc.
My views are based a lot on the guys who did extensive research on lineup optimization, Tom Tango, Mitchel Lichtman, and Andy Dolphin. These guys have probably dug into the issue as much or more than anyone around. If you know of more extensive research or if you’ve looked at the issue more in depth, perhaps you can refute what they found.
My views aren’t based on opinion or philosophy, per se. It’s based on extensive research. Perhaps we should ignore data and just go by what is regurgitated to us.
June 29th, 20113:10 pm
I’d like to see
1.Gonzo 2.McLouth 3.Schafer 4.Ross 5.Freeman 6.Chipper 7.McCann 8.Heyward.
For the simple reason that Shaun’s head would explode and we wouldn’t have to read his rants that go on for days.
Man, we will have another head-ach,because Phillies do want to make another splash.Wren should stop clowning around, and make the strike first.
June 29th, 20113:11 pm
Mean while he will wait to long,and the same old crap.Frustrating sh!t. _ Ward
Okay what have you done with the real Ward?
I shouldn’t say read his rants …….. what I meant was see his rants that go on for days.
June 29th, 20113:12 pm
Haha, exactly Jimmy.
Anyways I will focus on the the game,as of today. I will watch it tonight after work. Hope the net work shows it again.
June 29th, 20113:13 pm
raleighbravefan- Dont get sucked into it man. That’s what he wants – more people to argue with.
Yeah, I fell weak today. Got sucked right in.
Lemmer said on the radio that “the Braves have their worked cut out for them today” about facing King Felix. Made me think, what does that really mean? Seems if your work is already cut out for you, it would be easier. You don’t have to cut it out – that part is already done for you.
Ward, you’ve got such negativity today… what’s going on here?
Wren should stop clowning around, and make the strike first.
Strike first, strike hard, no mercy Sir!
Sweep the leg, Wren. You have a problem with that?
June 29th, 20113:14 pm
1.Gonzo 2.McLouth 3.Schafer 4.Ross 5.Freeman 6.Chipper 7.McCann 8.Heyward.
Dude – you got it all wrong. Flip McLouth and Schafer. The lower OBP at number 2 does wonders.I would actually prefer to put Mac at 1 because of his speed, but I worry that his high OBP will mess it up.
June 29th, 20113:15 pm
Nice line at 3:08
Bat: Hope this isn’t the real world of the Braves,but maybe Wren is just keeping it silent too…….I still Have High Hopes,as of now,but didn’t like the news.
Wren should stop clowning around
Hey that would be a good comercial…….
Nate Mclouth traded to ATL headlines scrolling across the screen……KK signing his contract……and Uggla signing his contract…….Then show FW counting money in the corner wearing a Doink the clown costume.
June 29th, 20113:16 pm
Seems if your work is already cut out for you, it would be easier. You don’t have to cut it out – that part is already done for you.
Are you a carpenter?
Ward – Buster Onley reoported Wren wants to see what Uggla can do,as well as Heyward.”
I don’t understand. I mean, I like Uggla and Jason, but it is game 82 today and Wren wants to wait and see?
Either make a flippin trade or stay with what we have and hope this team can break out of a season long hitting slump.
June 29th, 20113:17 pm
Arkansas Transplant: Feeling the Play-Offs Blues…….I will snap out of it.
June 29th, 20113:18 pm
Maybe not lineup constructors but if child molesters were GM’s you wouldn’t have to worry about not getting the High school draft picks signed.
June 29th, 20113:19 pm
Wren thinks Want to see What Uggla does, and Heyward. He’s not going to trade them,but could trade some one else.
ahhh, there’s nothing wrong with those guys; I’ve read their work, in the original (Shaun probably thinks that only he has had access to this stuff, but, truly, others of us have been able to overcome our doodie-head-ed-ness at times and venture into the cosmos of advanced analysis). I don’t have a problem with it, for the most part.
I only have a problem with some folks’ jihadi attitude to proselytizing that view, and their misplaced righteousness of belief in it as The Holy Grail.
June 29th, 20113:20 pm
Forget thinks in there.Meant say Wren wants.
Ah theres my broom
June 29th, 20113:22 pm
All have fun,and will talk tonight. Just a little shook up! I’ll be O.K. Peace, and have fun.
June 29th, 20113:23 pm
scoots, good point but one could argue the difference between say McCann and Conrad/Hinske (in just a pinch hitting role) is not as great as the difference between Ross and the 4 boneheads I listed before.
It just seems to me another example of Fredi using the “handbook” to manage and giving these things no thought. Maybe it gives us 1% higher chance to win 1 game more a year, but still it would be nice to have faith that your manager is managing the game the way he thinks is best and not merely the way that will get him the least questions or scrutiny.
Feeling the Play-Offs Blues…….I will snap out of it. — Ward
You better snap out of it now, fellow! I don’t wanna see you going off to work all down & depressed. SNAP SNAP SNAP (fingers snapping loudly)
June 29th, 20113:24 pm
probably more than all of us combined.
Probably not. Wait, I missed the list of those included in the term “us.” Are we back to your incite into the thoughts of each individual in the worlds populous?
June 29th, 20113:26 pm
Snotboogie – “Are you a carpenter?”
No. But if I were, my job would be easier if the boards were already cut to fit.
I tried to work in a Karen and Richard joke, but my brain is still fried from Shaunitius.
but still it would be nice to have faith that your manager is managing the game the way he thinks is best and not merely the way that will get him the least questions or scrutiny
There’s really only one person who talks like this.
CRICKET…………..Thanks for posting that link inre: to Burroughs.
June 29th, 20113:27 pm
the difference between Ross and the 4 boneheads I listed before.
Well, yes, I did discount boneheads. Look at this way, though: if Fredo once ignored the small risk and used Ross to PH, could we then trust him to refrain from doing it so much that the cumulative risk increased past the point of no return, LOL?
June 29th, 20113:28 pm
ncscoots, most of those folks are just pointing out what the data says and answering those who attempt to refute it without any evidence to do so other than, “those guys are child molesters” or “those guys live in their parents’ basements” or “those guys just sit and look at spreadsheets.” If that data showed something different, folks would gladly change their views, therefore what you called advanced analysis is not viewed as The Holy Grail. It’s simply viewed as the data that is there.
Been drinking a bit today Ward?
June 29th, 20113:30 pm
no new bloggage for today’s game? Whats going on here.
Nah, not the same guy. Seriously, can you imagine Shaun, even in an alter ego, starting a post with “good point”? I find such a probability to be less than zero.
June 29th, 20113:31 pm
Shaun, I’m certainly not refuting their data. Long days in prison spent analyzing baseball lineups and all… I’m sure they probably are correct.
June 29th, 20113:32 pm
Good point, scoots
CraZy, bringing the comedic thunder to the blog today. Keep the sarcasm rolling buddy. I’m loving it!!!
June 29th, 20113:33 pm
TennesseePaul, so where is your study on lineup optimization? You’ve done more extensive research than the writers of The Book, Tom Tango, Mitchel Lichtman, and Andy Dolphin? “Us” means everyone posting comments here. I would love to see someone who has researched lineup construction that could rival that of The Book. If someone can produce such research and refute the research found in The Book, I’ll gladly change my views about lineup construction. I’m just trying to get at what the evidence points to, that’s all.
June 29th, 20113:35 pm
Buster Onley reoported Wren wants to see what Uggla can do,as well as Heyward.”
Jimmy, …that doesn’t make much sense to me either… what Uggla and Heyward can do… I thought Wren knew what they were capable of. I’m not sure why that would make him wait to improve the team.
I figured if Wren was going to make a move, he would be aiming for a CF or SS as those two spots are not blocked by anyone what-so-ever after this season (or even this season really). They’re essentially open fields, blank spaces, prime for development, investment and improvement in both the near and short term. But, perhaps Wren views these other spots differently than all the fans. Where we all see carved-in-stone names, perhaps Wren sees it merely as pencil on paper. So perhaps he’s waiting to see what they will do… and if that ain’t much more than what they have done this season, he could aim for an acquisition to platoon them or replace them in some fashion.
I would love to see someone who has researched lineup construction that could rival that of The Book.
I would love to see someone who has researched lineup construction that could rival that of The Book who has actually touched a girl. It’s like sasquatch… it might exist, but I wouldn’t want to shake it’s hand.
scoots, the more I think about it the more I dont buy the accumulating risk theory. Why would the 2nd time Fredi used Ross mean that the chance of McCann getting injured has risen? Sounds like when announcers say a guy is due because he is 0 for 20. McCann getting injured to the point of him leaving the game is an isolated event, the only way the chance rises is if the game goes into extra innings. Maybe I don’t understand your use of the term cumulative?
June 29th, 20113:36 pm
“those guys are child molesters” or “those guys live in their parents’ basements” or “those guys just sit and look at spreadsheets.”
You’re a person that likes to talk facts yet you get mad when people discribe stat heads with facts that discribe them as a person. Nothings wrong with a 30 year old man living in there parents basement as long as he’s happy still being a virgin more power to him.
Shaun – “I’m just trying to get at what the evidence points to, that’s all.”
Shaun, the evidence points to the fact that you are……
Nevermind. Game time.
4 minutes to game time. See y’all tomorrow.
These Mangers must have been stupid.
Walter Alston hit HOF Duke Snider 3rd in 1955.
Miller Huggins hit HOF Babe Ruth 3rd in 1927.
Casey Stengel hit HOF Mickey Mantle 3rd in 1956.
Sparky Anderson hit HOF Joe Morgan 3rd in 1975.
Each team won the WS. Imagine how good they would have been if the mangers only knew the proper way to construct a lineup.
June 29th, 20113:37 pm
I am sure The Book is a great read and the studies that are done are done perfectly.
But why has no major league team, no minor league team, no college team ever followed and used the line up construction information that comes from The Book?
Are you saying that people that actually get paid to make baseball decisions are either to dumb to read and understand The Book or that they just don’t give those views any credibility?
10Paul, really honestly and truly there is at least 2. Also, dear God am I not funnier than Shaun too? Is this so hard to see?
June 29th, 20113:39 pm
just seems to me another example of Fredi using the “handbook” to manage and giving these things no thought.
You know how “the book” gets to be “the book”, right? Over time, one course of action leads to success more often than other courses of action? I’m not saying that following “the book” is a good thing, nor that a little out-of-the-box thinking is a bad thing. Still, tried-and-true is more likely, more often, to win the race than radical improvisation. And 162 is a great leavening agent in favor of playing the percentages.
Snotboogie – “Are you a carpenter?”
No. But if I were, my job would be easier if the boards were already cut to fit. jimmy
Maybe, maybe not. It could be much easier to be the cut man than say, climbing ladders or scaffolds to work around the ceiling, or bending over all day working at floor level.
Maybe you work in a cabinet shop and a machine does all the cut out and you assemble the parts, your partner is out and you have a deadline.
I would love to see someone who has researched lineup construction that could rival that of The Book who has actually touched a girl. It’s like sasquatch… it might exist, but I wouldn’t want to shake it’s hand. — Murph
Funny stuff, Murph.
I betcha Tom Tango, Mitchel Lichtman, and Andy Dolphin know a thing or two about hand shaking.
June 29th, 20113:40 pm
CraZy “Nothings wrong with a 30 year old man living in there parents basement as long as he’s happy still being a virgin more power to him.”
First of all, Shaun is not 30. He is 27. Get your facts straight sir.
Secondly, at 30, his performance will start to decline, and if a virgin, there is no future. None.
DOB, did Chipper sound like he would be playing this weekend?
June 29th, 20113:41 pm
keep the game updates going if you all can – at work and can only sneak a peak here every now and then
Payne, since you have incite into all the minds of all the souls on the planet, you should know the answers to your queries. I do feel blessed that you still chose to mingle with we commoners and I look forward to learning more about what I know and think.
Well, JS with the K
June 29th, 20113:42 pm
George @ 1:09 – “Not so sure Chipper is done, look at hot streak late last year just before he went down.”
My point exactly. I dunno if it’s the water, but Chipper Jones is the Atlanta baseball equivalent of Chris “Chandelier” Chandler, a player so brittle that just playing all nine innings on a given day is a miracle in and of itself. Age is a mutha; time for Chip to hang ‘em up one year early, and not use a walker to collect 2012 dough, mercenary style.
Now, does he deserve his last year? Yes! But I am sure the Bravos can Chip can get creative on a club services contract that’ll see to his getting his last year’s moolah on some kind of a prorated basis. Chipper “playing” in 2012 is a waste of a roster space – no matter how you chip it up.
June 29th, 20113:43 pm
scoots, yeah but the game changes, the value of one run used to be way higher than it is now. There is hardly any reason anymore to play for one run by sacrificing in the early innings of a game. Or should I say 2 or 3 years ago at the height of offense, but you still had managers bunting after the leadoff guy got on. Hell, I saw Dusty Baker the other day down 3 in the bottom of the 1st use brandon phillips to sacrifice the leadoff guy from 1st to 2nd with 0 outs. I dunno, whatever good discussion, Go Braves!
Wow. What seven pitches or so.
scoots, the more I think about it the more I dont buy the accumulating risk theory.
Fly on an airplace one time, and it’s safer than driving a car. Fly on one 100000 times, and you’re nearly guaranteed to be in a crash. Risk does accumulate. You’re thinking more along the lines of “dice have no memory”, maybe, but that’s a different thing.
June 29th, 20113:44 pm
scoots, perhaps. But it’s such a blatant paynism that I didn’t have to name names… you picked up on the inference quite swiftly.
June 29th, 20113:46 pm
Props to Joe Simpson for drawing attention to another of Chip’s stupid statements.
Chip: “Well, your question from the open may get answered right here. ‘How many hits will Brian McCann get today against King Felix?’”
Joe: “Does that mean if he doesn’t get a hit, he won’t get any all day? Or that if he gets a hit in his first AB, he’s gonna get a bunch?”
Chip: “I think he’s gonna get a bunch today. I’m an optimistic guy.”
June 29th, 20113:51 pm
Good first inning for Lowe.
June 29th, 20113:52 pm
flange1, at least at times I think some major league teams has followed the research. Earlier this season Jayson Werth hit second a few games. Some managers have hit the pitcher eighth, and this is definitely something that the research shows can lead to a few extra runs.
I don’t think it’s completely about a baseball team being dumb. I think some baseball people prefer to follow tradition over data and research. Also, if the crowd is not optimizing their batting order according to the data, what’s the motivation to change. As soon as someone does it and it clearly gives them an obvious competitive edge, things will change. Right now if a team does it and fails to score, even if it has nothing to do with lineup construction, a million questions start.
It’s kind of like going back to the four-man rotation. What’s the point? Everyone else uses a five-man. If everyone else is doing it wrong, why bring that scrutiny onto your team, if you go to a four-man rotation and your starters don’t pitch well?
Change is slow when you are battling tradition, even if the tradition is wrong or isn’t optimal. People are afraid that if they do something against the grain and they fail, even if the failure has nothing to do with the change, they are going to be second guessed. A progressive GM or manager is going to be scrutinized more for being different than a more conservative GM or manager.
June 29th, 20113:59 pm
Sorry, that answer does nothing for me.
If a tam feels that they can get an advantage by using superior lineup construction, I think they would do it no matter what “popular opinion” may be.
We talk baseball, other sports, music, movies, BBQ and whatever (except politics or religion)
Atlanta Braves RSS feed
Previous entries »
Send a feedback technical issue
Vacation stops, manage subscriptions and more
Visitor Agreement | Privacy Statement© 2013 The Atlanta Journal-Constitution