Saturday, June 11, 2011

Riggleman's Sabermetric Lineup

Jim Riggleman's lineup card today is sure to get a lot of attention and criticism, with Jayson Werth batting lead-off, John Lannan hitting eighth, and Roger Bernadina ninth.

It's unconventional, but sabermetrically sound. First, we know that the additional at bats you get by hitting lead-off are worth more than the additional RBI opportunities you get hitting clean-up. And the most important skill for a lead-off hitter is on-base percentage.

And by hitting Bernadina 9th, Riggleman reduces the extent to which Werth will lose RBI chances hitting lead-off. He'll come up with the bases empty in the first inning, but he won't have an automatic out hitting immediately before him.

Now, Riggleman messes it up a little by hitting Ian Desmond and his .271 OBP in the #2 hole, which is actually the most important spot in the line-up. If he put Mike Morse or Danny Espinosa in the #2 hole and the other in the #4 hole, with maybe Wilson Ramos in the #3 hole, that would be pretty close to perfect.


Positively Half St. said...

Let's have this approach again once Zimmerman returns this week.

Keith said...

No, what would be 'pretty close to perfect' would be a line-up that included Albert Pujols, Jose Bautista, Curtis Granderson, Nelson Cruz, and maybe Adrian Gonzalez -- of course we'd have some issues with defensive positioning, but I could live with those...