Kevin Cash

We can expect the quiet, no-nonsense Kevin Cash to be a lot different from Joe Maddon with the media and in the clubhouse. However, it is unclear just how different he will be during games since much of the Rays’ gameplan is data-driven and comes from the front office.

However, one area where we may see a difference is in the lineup as Cash recently told Marc Topkin of TampaBay.com that he wants a stable lineup, something Maddon was not known for.

“Ultimately we would like our core guys to have a good sense of where they’re hitting in the lineup … Some would be planted, whether in the No. 3 spot or No. 4 spot or wherever. And some we’d like to have it be, ‘You’re going to hit either fifth or sixth’ or ‘You’re going to hit first or second,’ something of that degree. Our goal coming in is to have a righty lineup and a lefty lineup, and have that be very similar on a daily basis.”

While Maddon certainly was known for constantly tinkering, his actual batting order has been more stable than most people realize.

Here is a look at the number of different batting orders used by teams in the AL East last year. The Rays were third, just ahead of the Blue Jays and well-behind the Red Sox and Yankees.

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OK, maybe Maddon didn’t tinker with the batting order that much, but clearly he loved to move players around defensively, right?

Nope, he didn’t do that as much as other teams either.

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The 129 different batting orders used in 2014 were down from 2012 (151) and 2013 (147). But if we ignore Maddon’s rookie season when the team was still trying to figure who was staying and who was going, 2012 and 2013 were actually the outliers and this past season was more like the norm.

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In other words, Maddon liked to tinker with the lineup, but he wasn’t doing anything with the batting order that other teams weren’t doing and Cash probably won’t be much different.

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3 Comments

  1. FortMyersDave says:

    Its not how many times a manager tinkers with a lineup, it HOW he does it! Joe simply made some head scratching decisions with his lineups last season; using Molina excessively and having BallFour and Peralta blow saves and leads night after night come to mind for this fan... I think when Cash talks stability; he is referring to being a bit less "off the reservation" when it comes to lineup changes, the bullpen and other quirks that really started to backfire on wine-sipping Joe and it probably began to wear thin in the clubhouse if you read between the lines....

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  2. Mr. Smith 1980 says:

    I guess perception is everything, because I would've argued 'til I was blue in the face that Maddon far "out-tinkered" all other managers. Thanks for the graphs- hard to argue with facts (for most of us).

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  3. Alex says:

    You have to take injuries into consideration though...The Red Sox and Yankees had a lot of injuries last year

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