Good Friday can quickly escalate into Bad Friday when you talk about anyone in the Blue Jays lineup who isn’t named Jose Bautista or Yunel Escobar.

From a recent ESPN article:

For years, baseball lineups followed a pretty basic logic: fastest guy hits first, contact and/or fast hitter is next, high-average guy bats third, power bat in the cleanup spot and the next few guys in descending order of general skill. There was nothing scientific about this method — it seemed tied to some old-school vision of small ball — but many managers remain obsessed with it despite evidence that refutes the usefulness of such strategies as bunting and base stealing.

The traditional lineup was debunked in 2006, when Tom Tango, Mitchel Lichtman and Andy Dolphin published “The Book,” which included an exhaustive study of lineup construction. Their conclusion was that the Nos. 1, 2 and 4 spots are most important, and the No. 3 spot is overrated because it comes to the plate with, on average, fewer runners on base than the No. 4 and 5 spots and leads off the fewest innings. According to “The Book,” your best hitters should bat No. 1, 2 and 4, with on-base percentage most important for the top spot, and speed a nice bonus.

Comments (9)

  1. given that escobar has power, it’s a waste to have him bat leadoff with nobody on.

  2. Escobar gets on base better than everybody else on the team not named Bautista though. And it’s not like he has a TON of power – at least, not enough to negate the benefit of his OBP in the leadoff spot.

  3. Those staggering four home runs last season?

  4. Regarding Hill although still early in the season it is not just his batting that may be a potential concern but also the leg injuries he appears to keep having, All the talk is about Lawrie being the Jays 3rd baseman of the future , maybe 2nd is where he will end up, that would still leave 3rd a problem position though. Financially this is a huge year for Hill and regarding his Jays future

  5. dustin, you realize power is more than just home runs? and he already has 2 home runs this year. I would much rather have rajai bat leadoff with escobar 2nd. escobar has better bat control as well so you can bunt, hit and run more often.

    and as I posted on djf, why is nix batting 8th when he has the third highest obp and 2nd in walks?

    and what has lind done to justify batting cleanup? his best career ops’ occurred batting 5, 6, 7 and his worst is cleanup, but there he sits.

    and the obvious cleanup up hitter bautista bats third so that he can walk for a guy who doens’t like hitting cleanup. bautista’s highest ops and slug occurred batting cleanup.

    the lineup is supposed to be constructed based on the highest probabilities of success. there doesn’t seem to be any logic here.

    and it was noted that the jays have the highest production from the 9th spot in the league. is that supposed to be a good thing? it isn’t. it means that you have a poorly constructed lineup.

  6. given that escobar has power, it’s a waste to have him bat leadoff with nobody on.

  7. Hey Grouchy,
    Nix being that low in the line-up may in fact be a function of his career .293 OBP. I understand that he’s having a good start to the year but something has to be said for sample size.
    Lind shouldn’t be batting 4th, Bautista should be. That would then leave a hole at #3 that most likely would be filled with Lind.

  8. Nice ‘stashe Parkes!! Great job as always guys!

  9. Molina is batting 5th today & Rivera is batting 6th!!! This can’t be right!!!!

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