Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Mets Geek column: Fun with lineups

Check out my latest Mets Geek column, where I try to create the optimal Mets lineup based on a couple statistically based methods of lineup construction. No matter what the lineup is, I can say with certainty that it makes no sense for Luis Castillo to bat 2nd. Here's my lineup:

Jose Reyes
David Wright
Carlos Delgado
Carlos Beltran
Daniel Murphy/Fernando Tatis
Ryan Church
Luis Castillo
Brian Schneider
Pitcher

13 comments:

AndrewDeJo said...

What grinds my gears is this notion of batting Castillo 2nd to be a "productive out". The idea is if you put a high OBP guy first, you can put a crappy guy 2nd just to move the runner over for the number 3 hitter........ yeah or you could put a good hitter in the number two hole so that there are two men on base for the number 3 hitter! I guess you wouldn't want that though. You don't want to score TOO many runs. Your team could come off as selfish.

Mets Tailgate said...

It's amazing how much strategy in baseball is governed by doing things that no one can objectively justify (i.e bunting, moving runners over). Ask John Kruk or Dusty Baker why these are good strategies and you'll get an answer like "it's the right way to do things" or "smallball wins championships." Ask Tom Tango or one of the other sabermetric guys why these strategies are dumb and they can prove it with pages of research.

If Castillo bats 2nd on opening day I'll be pretty annoyed. Although Jerry Manuel had Damion Easley batting 3rd atleast once last season so who knows what that crazy gangsta will do next!

metrock329 said...

i think you just posted a terrible lineup, Wright should hit third, followed by Delgado, and Beltran should be second.

Mets Tailgate said...

Metrock,

Care to give any reasons for that lineup? Cause if you read my column you'll see objective, statistically-based reasons why I chose my lineup.

Anonymous said...

Try switching Beltran and Wright.
SS Reyes S
CF Beltran S
1B Delgado L
3B Wright R
RF Church L
LF Tatis/Murphy
2B Castillo S
C Schneider L

metsrock329 said...

well i just read it. and i apologize, i was actually wondering why you had posted such a terrible idea of a lineup, i usually agree with what you have to say. when i had read it though, i had just skimmed through it.

but i did read your column and i see that you were just going by what the book said.

and the reason why i had put Beltran in the two spot was because i liked him there last year the few times he was there, and why have Castillo who is accident prone and who might not even produce like he once did, in the two hole. i just don't see it. as for wright in the three spot. the best hitter IS supposed to go there and he is the best on the team, and he has a lot of pop. and Delgado in the fourth spot obviously because of his power.

but my lineup would go like this:
Reyes
Beltran
Wright
Delgado
Church
Tatis/Murphey
Schneider
Castillo

what would your lineup be without using the book?

Mets Tailgate said...

Anonymous,

I'm OK with switching Beltran and Wright. That's probably my 2nd preferred lineup. I put Wright 2nd because his OBP is better than Beltran's.

Metsrock,

I'll just answer each of your comments one by one:

"i see that you were just going by what the book said"

This is not true. 'The Book' lineup has Wright batting 1st, Beltran 2nd, and Reyes 4th. My lineup is Reyes 1st, Wright 2nd, and Beltran 4th. I used a combination of "The Book", "Lineup Analysis" and my own thoughts to make my lineup. If you notice, neither of these methods has Reyes batting leadoff and my lineup does.

"Castillo who is accident prone and who might not even produce like he once did, in the two hole. i just don't see it."

Correct - and I wrote that on my post. I said that there's no way Castillo should be batting 2nd. Not sure why you mentioned this.

"as for wright in the three spot. the best hitter IS supposed to go there and he is the best on the team, and he has a lot of pop. and Delgado in the fourth spot obviously because of his power."

Can you tell me why the best hitter should bat 3rd? I'm thinking you've been told this and heard it for years from coaches and announcers and are taking it as Gospel. Objective extensive research has proven that the 3 best hitters on the team should bat #1, #2 and #4. Delgado is the 4th best hitter, and therefore should bat 3rd.

Think of it this way - the most likely outcome for the 1st 2 batters of the game is that they both make an out. The #3 batter is then coming up to bat with 2 outs and no one on in the 1st inning a lot of the time. Why would you want your best hitter in this spot? Anyways, I'm not sure if you buy into statistical analysis or not, but there's plenty of evidence to back up what I'm saying here. One last thing - Castillo projects to be a better hitter than Schneider, so Castillo should hit 7th and Schneider 8th.

metsrock329 said...

well, what i meant by " you were just going by what the book said " i meant that you were just incorporating what book said into your lineup, but i still don't like it. and your right, i guess you could say that i AM using what coaches and announcers say as gospel. i really just can't see it any other way.

but off the topic of the lineup, how come you had never pushed or really voiced your opinion on signing Orlando Hudson, like you did Derek Lowe? i know he was injured at the ended of the year and that could affect him this season. but i would much rather see Hudson scooping grounders at second then Castillo.

Mets Tailgate said...

"i really just can't see it any other way."

Metsrock, that's not the right attitude. Keep an open mind about this stuff, it's pretty interesting. That's how I got interested in sabermetrics in the first place - by keeping an open mind.

Regarding Hudson, obviously he'd be an upgrade to Castillo, but it's not as simple as "I'd rather have Hudson than Castillo". Castillo's contract makes him basically untradeable, and given the limited budget this offseason it made no sense to release him or trade him and eat a lot of the money. It's very possible Castillo has a bounce back year. Meanwhile, Hudson is solid player, but he's a 31 year old 2nd baseman who's had season ending injuries in each of the last 2 seasons and would cost the team that signs him a draft pick since he's a Type A free agent. Plus his offensive numbers were inflated by hitter-friendly Chase Field (the D-Backs home field). Look at his home and away splits the last 2 seasons:

2007
Home: .302/.382/.511
Away: .286/.370/.369

2008
Home: .321/.382/.480
Away: .269/.336/.385

Again - don't get me wrong, I'd much prefer Hudson to Castillo, and the Dodgers signing of Hudson is a nice bargain. But given the circumstances, signing Hudson just didn't make sense for the Mets.

metsrock329 said...

Point made. but it doesn't really matter anymore though now that he is with the Dodgers.which bums me out because i was kind of hoping that we were going to offer him something.

do you think that the way MLB is handling the steroid situation is the right way? or do you think we should take the approach David Ortiz said we should? i personally agree with what some of David Ortiz said, like when he said that the players should just be banned season long, i liked that outcome.

any thoughts, Mets Tailgate?

Mets Tailgate said...

Metsrock,

I'm not too interested in the steroids stories. Read this post for my take on the A-Rod thing:

http://www.metstailgate.com/2009/02/rod-allegedly-tests-positive-for.html

Since 2004, there have been punishments for use of steroids. They're pretty stiff - 1st time is a 50 game suspension, 2nd time is 100 games, 3rd time is a lifetime ban from the game. I think this policy is just fine.

However, anyone who used steroids before 2004 should not and will not be punished. Furthermore, anyone who used steroids before 2004 (A-Rod, McGwire, Clemens, Bonds) should not be denied entry to the HOF, as there was no punishment back then for use of PED's.

metsrock329 said...

i agree. i think its ridiculous that McGuire is denied the hall of fame. they were not doing anything that was punishable.

i have to say that i am a faithful reader, although i just started checking out your blogs since the beginning of this off season, and most of the time i agree with your thoughts and ideas. so i will definitly share my ideas on some blogs to come

until next time.....

Colin said...

How about:

Wright
Beltran
Scheinder
Delgado
Murphy
Church
Reyes
Pitcher
Castillo

That's just me. I'm a stathead. Wright has the highest OBP. Most of you will look at Scheinder batting third and throw it out as BS. Most of you like Reyes at leadoff, but his OBP was .358 last year, ok but really not leadoff material.