Playing A Little Pepper

Tonight’s game will be on 97.9 FM and 1250 AM locally due to the NFL Draft…If we assume the catcher platoon to be a single player, the most common lineup last year was used just 5 times. Tonight’s lineup will be the ninth time it has been used in 24 games against right-handed starting pitchers.

Game Graph

[Will be up at game time]

Source: FanGraphs

Lineup…

  1. Ben Zobrist, 2B
  2. Flash Jennings, CF
  3. Matt Joyce, LF
  4. Evan Longoria, 3B
  5. James Loney, 1B
  6. Wil Myers, RF
  7. David DeJesus, DH
  8. Yunel Escobar, SS
  9. Jose Molina, C
  10. David Price, SP

 

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17 Comments

  1. Rob says:

    Anyone know Zobrist's OBP, runs scored, etc when he bats lead off? I thought I would like him at the top of the order, but his performance has been underwhelming according to the smell test.

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    • jason says:

      http://espn.go.com/mlb/player/splits/_/id/28536/ben-zobrist

      Much much much better #2 and #3 hitter.

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      • Rob says:

        I didn't realize those splits were available - thanks for sharing. So, the stats back up the smell test - wonder why Maddon keeps putting him up there then? I see three other options - DeJesus when he is playing, Jennings (though he seems to do better lower in the order) and Myers. Myers has been so-so this year at the plate - maybe he could jump on some early fatsballs at the top. Seemed to work out in spring training.

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        • Dave L says:

          Because if you think Zobrists are bad

          Dejesus are worse

          http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/split.cgi?id=jennide01&year=2014&t=b

          Jennings are horrific

          http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/split.cgi?id=jennide01&year=2014&t=b

          Zobrist is still the best option right now

          And Dejesus

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          • Dave L says:

            Sorry this is Dejesus I hope this works

            http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/split.cgi?id=dejesda01&year=2014&t=b

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          • Rob says:

            Yes, you are absolutely correct that DeJesus hasn't done anything this year in that spot. However, if you look over a larger sample size (the last three years) here are the numbers (something else to consider is that DeJesus had a horrible start - didn't get a hit for two weeks - I'm not sure you can contribute that to leading off):

            #1 Spot (avg/obp/slug/ops)
            DeJesus: .263/.350/.397/.747
            Zobrist: .248/.346/.447/.793

            #2 Spot
            Zobrist: .290/.393/.445/.838

            #5 Spot
            Zobrist: .291/.386/.535/.921

            In the leadoff spot OBP is about that same and Zobrist has a higher slugging %. But my argument is not who is best to put in the #1 spot, but where are guys best placed to succeed? Clearly Zobrist is better (similar # of ABs) in the 5 hole and DeJesus would be a nearly an equivalent replacement at the top of the order. You need Zobrist driving in runs.

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        • Dave L says:

          I wouldnt factor in what anyone did in the NL three seasons ago.

          I thought those links would be self-explanatory. I dont want Dejesus leading off until he can hit SOMEWHERE in 2014 first.

          Jennings never produced like he is now at any point in his career until this his extended first stint at anywhere other than out of the leadoff spot.

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          • Rob says:

            I will respectfully agree to disagree. I would rather have a productive Zobrist where there is significant historical precedent to suggest he is much better elsewhere in the lineup and be patient with the leadoff spot. DeJesus is not going to hit .130 the entire year there.

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          • Dave L says:

            Look at the numbers closer.

            While you were lamenting Zobrists .100 drop in OPS at leadoff, Dejesus and Jennings drops in production were less than half at leadoff. They were horrible leading off and he is getting twice the OPS they did.

            So must not have read the links. The numbers are dramatic and speak for themselves

            Thats why he is there. You ask a question why he's there and I give you concrete evidence of exactly why.

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          • Rob says:

            I looked at the links, but you are talking about 38 ABs for DeJesus and 11 ABs for Jennings. That's not enough to go on. I also already admitted Jennings seems to perform better lower in the order.

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  2. Rob says:

    The Rays have a seriously bad habit of making marginal big leaguers loom like All-Stars. I saw that Steve Pearce HR off Price coming from a me away.

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  3. Rob says:

    Anyone think Lueke or Bell would have dominated hitters like Boxberger did tonight, striking out the side in 9 pitches with the bases loaded?

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    • Rob says:

      That was only the 48th time ever that a pitcher struck out the side in 9 pitches. Need to find out how many of those were with the bases loaded (and in relief).

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