Monday, March 21, 2011

Wasted Breath

There is no greater straw man in soapbox baseball punditry than the sacred batting order discussion. Parkes took an interesting, analytical approach a few weeks ago while the Tao chimed in with his specific take. Even I wrote about ongoing lineup discussions around the league for Getting Blanked.

Lineup machinations get a lot of coverage even though we, as fans and bloggers, over-emphasize their impact. But you know what? It is fun. It is fun and it is March. Nothing about March is fun so if sniffing our own farts and telling John Farrell how to organize his batting order entertains us, so be it.

As such, here's my ideal batting order.

Versus Right-Handed PitchersVersus Left-Handed Pitchers
  1. Yunel Escobar
  2. Travis Snider
  3. Aaron Hill
  4. Jose Bautista
  5. Adam Lind
  6. Edwin Encarnacion
  7. Juan Rivera
  8. Aaron Cibia
  9. Rajai Davis
  1. Rajai Davis
  2. Yunel Escobar
  3. Travis Snider
  4. Jose Bautista
  5. Aaron Hill
  6. Edwin Encarnacion
  7. Adam Lind
  8. Juan Rivera
  9. Aaron Cibia
So, yeah. That is it for today. I don't even know if I agree with what I have here, it is really up in the air. Bautista is the cleanup hitter now and forever more. I really think Escobar is a great fit for leadoff if he can regain his patience at the plate. Plus, hitting him first means he won't give away so many bloody outs with his confounding love of the first inning sacrifice bunt.

Seriously Yunel, the guy who hit right behind you last year hit FIFTY home runs. I'm sure the leadoff man can score just as well from first as third when that happens.

I have completely fallen in love with the idea of Travis Snider hitting second because it just makes sense. He's at worst the third best hitter on this team and one who benefits from getting lots of at bats AND not coming to the plate with two outs all the damn time.

Against lefties your guess is as good as mine. Rajai Davis draws more walks against lefties so I'll slide him up. Snider hits third because why not? Both he and Adam Lind aren't great against left handed pitching but they have to hit somewhere, I suppose.

I tried to take all the touchy feely stuff that inevitably factors into batting order discussions as best I could, not throwing out the established order of things too much. A post like this is clearly comment bait so I beg you take it. Same Guy Incorporated wants YOU on the Travis Snider Two Hole Bandwagon. Catch the fever!

Image courtesy of Exit 15b, apparently.


  1. Aaron Hill batting 3rd? Um, I hope he has a great year too, but he's kinda too much of an out making machine, is he not? Davis 2nd, Snider 3rd seems to make more sense against righties, and you can bury hill 7th or 8th, can't you?

    Flame on!!

  2. I'm with Greg, Hill batting 3rd just screams 'rally killer'. I'd prefer Snider 3rd, every day and Hill somewhere near the bottom of the least until he figures out how to hit a line drive again.

  3. Hill actually makes sense in the third spot as a low on base guy who can slug. You want your best players hitting 1,2 and 4, thinking that the 3 slot is going to get up a lot with two outs.

  4. To echo Parkes, when the number three hitter comes up, the rally is killed (more than) 50% of the time.

  5. Lineup construction was a lot easier back when we thought you had to put your best hitter in the three spot. Now I don't know what to do with the 3 spot anymore. It seems like you're giving way too many PAs to Hill but I don't know who those PAs should go to. Of the two right-handed alternatives (Encarnacion, Rivera), I suppose I prefer Encarnacion.

  6. Offensively, Encarnacion and Hill are basically the same guy. Might as well give the extra PA's to the guy who has an option that AA has to decide if he wants to pick up.

  7. Manute speaks the truth. GET SOME CABLE!

  8. Full endorsement of Snider batting second! While it makes a bunch of heads explode, I quite like Snider as the leadoff hitter.

    Against lefties, I'd definitely like to see Encarnacion move up. Escobar has slight reverse splits over his career, so perhaps he could be dropped down the lineup.

    And, for the record, I will be pulling my hair out and grumbling if and when Bautista hits 3rd.

  9. How does it feel to be the best Blue Jays blog now?

  10. Every time I look at Juan Rivera's name I can feel my brain erasing it from my memory. I don't know if I've ever been less excited about a player in my whole life.

  11. @anon - good question, ask Jon Hale. /onedownsmanship

  12. @Paorta I second that thought about Juan Rivera.

    @Drew re Travis Snider "He's at worst the third best hitter on this team" .... Your overall analysis is good but I don't see how you can be so sure of this. He is yet to do anything significant at the big league level and don't be surprised to see Aaron Hill and Adam Lind bounce back to have much better years. At "best" Snider could easily be better than both of them but at "worst" he is down the line.


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