Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Beating the Shit Out of a Dead (and Short) Horse

I acknowledge that we might have bigger problems right now than our leadoff spot - like the fact that our #1A just got roughed up by a glorified AAA lineup.

But seriously, can anyone articulate a single good reason why Eckstein is leading off while Hill languishes in the lineup's nether regions?

I acknowledge that the little dude seems to have a preternatural ability to drop in bloop hits and force errors out of otherwise decent fielders, but the fact of the matter is he's taking ABs away from Hill.

Taking as a given that lineup order means dick except insofar as it affects who gets how many ABs, the lineup as presently constituted makes no sense to me. If it stays as is, when all is said and done Eckstein will have 50-100 more ABs than Hill over the course of the year. If there is anyone who thinks he will make better use of those ABs than Hill would, please speak up so I can punch you in the face now and mock you in September (when I take a break from mocking Canate for being so wrong about VW).

I can't help but think Gibby is resorting to the old fall-back position of "small scrappy guy with some speed and no power = leadoff guy", and this disappoints me because I thought/hoped he was better than that.

Maybe I'm just pissed that we lost.


Portnoy said...

Hill should be the leadoff hitter, perhaps moving down to #2 when Stewart starts against a LH. Eckstein is a #9 all the way.

Canate said...

Even if he does think that small scrappy white guy with some speed and no power = leadoff guy, doesn't Hill almost fit that description. A lot of studies have been done showing that line-up order is pretty significant but playing time/Ab is key. The bottom of the order should be Zaun, Eck, and Scutaro (for now.) There is no debate. AND thank god we have Wells signed for the next 7 years! We'll never regret it! I will be addressing the issue after he cools down so that my detractor's won't be infused with the power of small sample size statistics. But BTW please please have an OPS of 1200 Wells. Prove me wrong!

Razzer said...

Because of my man(agerial) crush on Gibby I'm going on the record and state that it is JP that is forcing Gibby's hand on where Eckstein bats. There is no other way to explain it. Last year Gibbons showed an understanding for the more at bat thing by constantly having his best hitters batting in the top 4 or 5 spots in the order. Even if it meant Stairs, Wells or Rios were leading off at times. (Although the Reed Johnson experiment might be used to foil my post, I am blaming that on JP as well). If Gibby had his way, the order would resemble what I said it should in one of my first posts of the season. With Hill second, Wells 7th(once Rolen returns), and Eckstein 9th)

Portnoy said...

Doesn't Wells have an opt-out in a couple of years? So if he plays well, he might become a free agent at 31 and we won't be on the hook for the next 17 seasons? It's possible....

Canate said...

I meant to write "line-up order is insignificant."

Also it's ironic/paradox that the only thing that can save us from Wells monstrous contract is a monstrous season before his opt out clause.