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BATTING ORDER: Is the 2-Hole the New 3-Hole

This is all just food for thought. It would appear that some teams are placing their “best” hitter in the second spot now instead of third. Cases in point: Joey Votto now bats second behind speedster Billy Hamilton for the Reds. Anthony Rizzo batted third last year for the Cubs but this year Joe Maddon has started the slugger in the 2-hole.

In days of yore not much attention was placed on the lineup, per se. Oh yeah, the fourth batter was supposed to be the “clean-up” hitter, in the hopes of coming to bat in the first inning with the bases full. The eighth batter was the manager’s idea of the worst hitter of the lot. The leadoff hitter was a man who was generally the fastest on the squad. That was the extent of it, at least from a fan’s point of view.

Sabermetrics came onto the scene and things started to crystallize. Some began to think that OBP (on base percentage) was as, if not more, important as the batting average. The thinking there is that what difference does it make if you get a hit, draw a walk, or take one on the hip for the team. Either way you get to first base safely. That particular metric is one that I really like. I mean, would you rather have a man with a BA of .275 and an OBP of .300, or a man batting .260 with an OBP of .415 batting second in your lineup? Good food so far?

Dusty Baker use to catch a bunch of lip for having Brandon Phillips bat high in the order. His OBP was only .310 in 2014 but batted in the first four spots exclusively that year. Phillips won’t walk! The most base on balls he has accrued in any season is 46, and that is with 687 trips to the plate. That is a 6.7% clip. His career SO/W ratio is 2.5, while the average for MLB during that time is 2.15. This article isn’t about Phillips so obviously I have digressed.

Ted Williams was OBP personified, not that anyone knew what it meant at the time. They just saw him on base every other time he came up to the plate. That statement is nearly literally correct. In fact his career OBP of .482 is the best anyone who ever played has amassed. That accounts for the reason you do not see any 200 hit seasons, or seasons which he had the most hits on his resume.  He took the old axiom, “a walk is as good as a hit” to heart. He did lead the league in base on balls eight times. Where did Teddy Ballgame bat in the lineup?  Mostly in the three-hole.

Managers will continue to fill out the lineup card as they wish, and writers will continue to criticize them. That is the nature of the beast. Just remember the mantra, “get ‘em on, get ‘em over, and get ‘em in.” Many things play into account when figuring batting orders. There is speed, base running (some speedsters are terrible base runners), power, clutch hitting and more. So just because a player batting second has an OBP of .410, but can barely run from first to second, doesn’t mean he is the right man for the spot.

 
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Posted by on April 14, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

The Cincinnati Reds Are Kicking the Tires on Carlos Beltran

Carlos Beltran

According to C. Trent Rosecrans, the Cincinnati Reds have expressed an interest in Free Agent outfielder, Carlos Beltran. He has been courted heavily this offseason by the New York Yankees and many feel they have the upper hand in negotiations with the 36-year old Beltran. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on November 27, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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Life Goes On. Where Did the Thrill Go?

Evolution

John Mellencamp wrote a song called Jack and Diane. The hook to that song is this:

“Oh yeah, life goes on, 

Long after the thrill of livin’ is gone…” Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on October 18, 2013 in Historical, Uncategorized

 

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Paul O’Neill as Reds Manager – Keep it Behind The Mic

Paul O'Neill

Like cockroaches in a fleabag motel, managerial wannabes come to surface wanting to manage a sure winner. Paul O’Neill is the latest to gravitate to the light in the wake of Dusty Baker being fired by the Cincinnati Reds. Really? I have already written about three other men supposedly being considered for the position, LaRussa, Bell and Riggleman. Click on their names to read the articles. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on October 13, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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Fans to Jim Riggleman: Quitting is a Felony

Jim Riggleman
This is the third managerial ‘candidate’ to succeed Dusty Baker that I have written about. I first expressed my own opinion that Tony Larussa would be the best bet. You can read it here if you missed it. That was followed by David Bell, whom I do not view as a candidate. Here is what I said about him. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on October 13, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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Does Anyone Think David Bell is Qualified to Manage the Cincinnati Reds?

David Bell
Who is David Bell and why does his name continually pop-up during managerial discussions? In case it didn’t land, that was a rhetorical question. Outside of Cincinnati, his name is not quite the household word. Ever since the firing of Dusty Baker his name has been whispered in hush tones all over the internet. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on October 9, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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Is Chris Carpenter’s Career Over?

 

Chris carpenter

St. Louis Cardinal ace Chris Carpenter may have thrown his last pitch in his excellent career. According to MLB Trade Rumors, Carpenter will miss the 2013 season and probably end his career. The CYA winner in 2005, Carpenter has fashioned a brilliant 15-year career. He has a record of 144-94 with a 3.76 ERA. The three-time All-Star has a 3-0 record in World Series play with 2.00 ERA.

Carpenter, 37, missed almost the entire season in 2012 due to thoracic outlet syndrome. “If I have more health issues I’m not going to continue to try to battle through,” Carpenter said, according to the Post-Dispatch.

 
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Posted by on February 5, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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