Cubs Lineup Waste

(awesome illustration from Tim Souers of Cubby Blue, click on the image for the full-size)

More after the jump...

A few days ago I put up a poll on some of the lineup atrocities over the years, which Neifi ran away with at 73% of the vote, but this continued mess of Derrek Lee and Aramis Ramirez hitting ahead of Alfonso Soriano and Geovany Soto finished a distant second at 11% (with Soriano hitting leadoff finishing just behind at 10%). Anyway, how about contextualizing the current atrocity in numbers thanks to Baseball Prospectus (ROB is Runners on Base).

Player PA ROB
Ramirez 141 104
Lee 154 103
Byrd 143 97
Theriot 155 85
Soriano 121 67
Fukudome 117 63
Soto 107 62
Fontenot 85 53
Colvin 59 52
Baker 57 46
Nady 52 42

As you can see, the two guys struggling the most have had the most opportunities to drive in runs thanks to batting in the middle of the order.  On top of that, thanks to their struggles, there isn't anyone on-base for Soriano while he is hitting. It's a double whammy of lineup stupidity. Just to compare, Chris Young of Arizona and Raul Ibanez of Philly are two other NL #6 hitters with a similar number of at-bats and Young has had 95 ROB in a 144 PA and Ibanez has had 90 ROB in a 130 PA.

Now let's add a column of OBI% or Others Batted In. When we talk about a guy being a run producer, this is where they should be excelling at, driving in the other guys on base in front of them (16-17% is the average). Granted, it's a number that fluctuates quite a bit from year-to-year, but you gotta take advantage of the hot hitters.

Player PA ROB OBI%
Ramirez 141 104 11.5%
Lee 154 103 11.7%
Byrd 143 97 18.6%
Theriot 155 85 14.1%
Soriano 121 67 19.4%
Fukudome 117 63 20.6%
Soto 107 62 9.7%
Fontenot 85 53 20.8%
Colvin 59 52 9.6%
Baker 57 46 2.2%
Nady 52 42 11.9%

I wouldn't worry about Soto much, he just gets walked whenever someone is on-base so they can face the pitchers, but while Lee and Ramirez struggle, Soriano is basically just being back to a leadoff man in the middle of the order. Maybe that was Lou's plan all along.

Today, nothing changes with Theriot, Byrd, Lee, Nady, Ramirez, Soriano, Soto, Castro and Gorzelanny set to battle the Pirates lefty Brian Burres.

Comments

Hahah... very funny.

Nice one. Still waiting for my coffee table book.

Rob, wrong 'there' there, 2nd sentence after the ROB list.

Down 3-0 already. Great.

Pre-Ricketts: Cubs beat Pirates.

"Year One": Still looking for an inferior team -- no luck so far, despite playing the Pirates, Reds, Astros and Marlins.

Damn... Ramirez can't catch a break. He finally gets a big hit, and it sticks in the vines and he doesn't get an RBI.

Woo... and Soriano gets lucky with a bloop single, and we have a tie game. Over/under for total runs in this game? 15?

Life is more fun when Lee and ARam don't make outs.

It just sunk in for me that 5 guys in the Cubs lineup are hitting over 300, yet they are 15-20.

R. Theriot 2b .324
M. Byrd cf .346
A. Soriano lf .333
G. Soto c .310
S. Castro ss .364

and none of them are in the 3-4-5 spot today.

at least our main RBI men are in the #2 and #6 slots...wait.

I can kinda understand lee and aram in and around 3-4-5 but there is now way to defend Nada batting 4th every time he plays. Not with Byrd, Sori tearing the yard up now.

Maybe Lou is a big believer in regression to the mean? Err... progression to the mean?

i don't think it's a tragedy, but i'm a little sick of watching soriano waste RBI slot hits.

byrd at least gets to hit 4th/5th occasionally...

aram should be where sori is in the lineup until his bat "wakes up"

byrd and soriano are the power...and they're hitting..

be nice to see soto move up a little, too.

...and byrd hits another homer...

Marlon Byrd is the tits.

Well this is what happens when a player goes into a slump and you start jockeying the lineup all around. By time you figure out the player is back on track, you have pretty much wasted a ton of good RBI chances in the middle of the lineup.

This is knee jerk managing that the fans want.

we're a month and 1/2 into the season.

aram has almost 140 PAs with very constant suck...that's almost 1/4th of a season.

nady hitting 4th/5th so often when he plays i don't get at all...

dlee in the 3 slot i can buy because he's at least seeing the ball with occasional flashes of constancy.

uggg...

Correction - What you described might be what happens with Lou. Most of us have been calling for moving ARam out of that slot for at least a week... I agree that by the time Lou does it, Aram may be heating up...

XAVIER NADA IS BATTING 4TH on a $ 140 million team!!!

Saltalamacchia has the Mackey Sassers

http://sports.yahoo.com/fantasy/blog/roto_arc...

Is Hill hurt? I think he has a better chance of throwing these speedy Pirates out, but it looks like he is in the Lou dug-house.

Is Hill hurt?

No... he just sucks. And Soto is good.

And FWIW, Hill has a career 33% CS%, compared to Soto's 27%. Which basically means that Hill would throw out a handful of extra baserunners out a year.

His win % can't be ignored!!!

Thanks Big for proving my point. We could use those handful of extra outs today.

That is a couple of extra base runners a year, not a day.

you're ignoring the 3+mph hill adds to a pitcher's fastball, too, fwiw.

WTF Grabow!!!

"cortisone" shot, eh? hmmm...

ruh-roh

wtf...4 hits in a row vs. Z...pain.

so long how will it take to get stretched out to start again?

5 hits in a row and according to len he's yet to throw a ball above 90mph.

Z has figured out how to get back In The rotation... By sucking in the 8th inning

Of course, I mean the rotation in Des Moines

At work, keep us updated to what happens when Lou pulls Z.

I'm guessing some jawing.

41 hits in 26 innings for Z, make that Peoria's rotation

Question for Lou in post game-

"Lou when do you expect Xavier Nady to snap out of it and be that .270ish 10 hr guy that we know that he is?"

today could be the day - tick, tick, tick...

the illustration & caption are excellent, btw...

Did he ph Fuku for colvin??

Colvin PH for Nady... why he didn't just start for Nady is the question.

I think he was put in for defensive replacement for nady and when his first time to bat, fuku ph for him.

Anyone else find that bizarre?

Colvin got an at-bat in the 9th and looked silly K'ing

did z get the latroy treatment?

it'll be funny when we're feeding the Pirates playoff run later this year

maybe they'll take Aramis back

Well played.

Going back to last year, we have lost 6 in a row to the PIRATES, first time we have done that since 1992....which was also the last year the Pirates were actually good, the tail-end of the Bonds/Drabek/Van Slyke era.

What does that tell you?

That we suck donkey balls?

On the positive side, I have Garrett Jones on my fantasy team.

On the negative side, I have Big Z on my fantasy team.

Amazingly, only 5 1/2 games out.

4th in the league in AVG, 7th in total runs.

I guess I could be just insane, but I'm not quite ready to throw in the towel yet.

I do get the lineup complaints, though.

Maybe Sam Fuld will give up his playing career and manage this team. He's quite the stats hound, I've read.

Anybody else notice that Gorzo was really busting it in their today? Or was the WGN radar gun just hot? They had him at 96 mph on at least one pitch and routinely hitting 92.

Busted it in flat.

"BOOM"

Recent comments

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The first 600 characters of the last 16 comments, click "View" to see rest of comment.
  • PHIL: Any movement on P. Johnsons pitches? What was his "out" pitch? I know he was working on a 4th pitch, so wondering what he is looking like these days. Thanks.

    The E-Man 26 min 47 sec ago view
  • AZ Phil, has Nathan showed up in Mesa yet? Thanks.

    Hagsag 5 hours 12 min ago view
  • Eickhoff looks like a good young pitcher. Lets steal him!

    Hagsag 5 hours 13 min ago view
  • Manny Rondon faced 13 batters ... and got 10 to K. Not a bad day's work.

    Eric S 14 hours 54 min ago view
  • With several other Cubs hitters bailing out on curves today I think overall it wasn't being seen well. It for sure looked silly but a good breaking pitch coming at you and then breaking down isn't the easiest thing to see and has made many hitters look silly. Also Soler should have more walks this year but for quite a few called strikes that were actual balls and even the called strike he bailed on was borderline.

    johann 17 hours 52 min ago view
  • it's not like we're talking about a guy who's never had issues with pitch selection and seeing the ball over here. we're talking about a guy who has some rather legendary swing-and-misses at breaking stuff who's been exploited low. going forward it's worth paying attention to seeing if he can be exploited inside, too. he seriously bailed out of the box on a called strike. sure it was a good curve, but he obviously didn't see that well at all.

    crunch 18 hours 4 min ago view
  • It would seem like he is figuring it out now and it's really coming together. Really happy for him. Joe was really protecting him from the 3rd time through the order, but as you allude to, he is earning trust to go deeper.

    Wondering if has potential to become a #3 pitcher? His current stats certainly support it.

    The E-Man 18 hours 13 min ago view
  • That doesn't count b/c CRUNCH didn't see it on his 60" HDTV 5 times in replay.

    I have seen many players "bail out" when the ball looked like it was gonna hit them.

    Especially with the advent of the splitter and pitchers that can really get the ball to dance. Marmol, Sutter, Pedro Martinez, Curt Schilling, Derek Lowe, Smoltz, Arrietta...

    These guys have made the best bail out only for the ball to come over the plate and be called a strike.

    No shame in that. The same way players whiff hard enough to cause them to drill a hole in the ground from spinning.

    The E-Man 18 hours 18 min ago view
  • a 60" TV with slow-motion replay and multiple looks on that replay helps...a lot...

    it's one thing to shy away like he did the 2nd time, it's another to bail out of the box on a called strike. that happened in the 1st one he pulled away from. he misjudged that one by a foot or so...

    crunch 18 hours 37 min ago view
  • Good Hendricks sure is fun to watch. He was hitting all his corners today and the Phillies couldn't do anything with his changeup.

    johann 19 hours 13 min ago view
  • Bryant and I believe Zobrist both did that too.

    johann 19 hours 30 min ago view
  • Soler BB acumen and plate awareness is excellent. Not unusual for even the best players to react as if they were about to hit them, "even though they weren't that close" from your vantage point sitting on your deck, or wherever.

    The E-Man 19 hours 32 min ago view
  • soler vs inside breaking balls is scary.

    he's had 2 inside curve balls today where he reacted as if they were about to hit him even though they weren't that close...one he bailed out of the box on, it was a called strike.

    crunch 19 hours 50 min ago view
  • j.urias optioned back to AAA...guess we wont be seeing him in the LAD series.

    crunch 19 hours 57 min ago view
  • so is him actually getting 2 hits in a game (2 doubles!)...first time he's even been on base 2 times in a game since 9 games ago on his 3/4, 1bb day.

    im ready for him to at least look like a 2-slot hitter since he's gonna be slotted there no matter what he does.

    crunch 20 hours 53 min ago view
  • That Heyward move to avoid Bryant's ball hit at him was a thing of beauty too.

    johann 21 hours 11 min ago view