Saturday, November 22, 2008

Zimmy on Lineup Protection

I just wanted to draw some attention to a comment in the Chico Harlan interview with Ryan Zimmerman this week about how the importance of "lineup protection" is greatly exaggerated in the mainstream media. All the statistical evidence shows he's right, and it's nice to hear it from a player. I'm also just increasingly impressed with what a bright guy Zimmerman shows himself to be in these candid interviews. Whether he's commenting on his own contract status, the state of the Nationals, or whatnot, I find myself often thinking, "yeah, he's right, but that's not something you usually hear from a ballplayer."

Anyway, here's the latest dollop of wise-beyond-his-years goodness from The Mighty Zim:

Q: I've heard theories both ways, whether the person batting behind you really makes that much difference. So my question -- with an ideal No. 4 guy behind you, are you a different player?

RZ: Um, you know, I don't really buy into that. I used to buy into that a lot, but I mean, you're always gonna get a certain number of pitches to hit or not hit no matter who's hitting behind you. What it really comes down to is whether you hit the pitches you have. Does it help to have legit guy behind you? Maybe a little bit. But I think through the course of the season it doesn't really influence the way guys pitch you. I think it's one of those things that gets way too much hype. If you were to take a guy who's hit No. 8 his whole life and then put him in front of Alex Rodriguez, is his average gonna jump 40 points? I don't think so. He's still the same player. I think the bigger factor is more the guys in front of you, because you want to drive in runs, and having guys on base, guys who can get on base and put pressure on a pitcher, that makes a bigger difference.

1 comment:

Steve Shoup said...

I agree somewhat with Zim I think the guys in front of you are more important than those behind you. b/c like he says if they are on base than the pitcher has them to worry about and is probably pitching from the stretch. Thats not to say I don't think it matters at all about those behind you I just think having runners on is a better advantage than a bit bat behind you. For instance having runners on affects the entire at bat, having a Teixeira behind you I think is a more of a situational advantage.