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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  • trevor clifton (high-A) could be interesting in a couple seasons...could even become a high/middle rotation guy. he's got a lot of pluses in his pitching except control.

    eric leal's (high-A) progression through the minors should be worth watching even if only projects to be an mid/end-rotation starter.

    we also gotta keep a long-distance eye on guys like jose paulino (ss-A) and preston morrison (A).

    crunch 6 hours 12 min ago view
  • As Johnny Bach used to say when it was time for the MJ Bulls to crank up the defensive pressure: "Release the Dobermans!", and Jordan, Pippen, Rodman and Harper would just suffocate the other team.

    I'd love to add Carl Jr. to that group - he's got the stuff.

    billybucks 6 hours 31 min ago view
  • Historically, the Moneyball guys have been great at identifying productive hitters. Not so much with pitchers.

    billybucks 6 hours 33 min ago view
  • Wow - Pierce Johnson with an ERA of 8.01 in 42IP!

    What a stud prospect! Must be pitching with a pierced johnson.

    Looks like Ryan Williams is the only legit prospect there. That is sad...

    The E-Man 6 hours 35 min ago view
  • Well it would seem that's all they need now. "Stropy" can have his moments, but he's been more consistent post-asg.

    The E-Man 6 hours 44 min ago view
  • Take THAT, Cardinals -- you beat Fernandez, we beat Sale.

    I really like Lackey as a 6-inning pitcher.

    billybucks 7 hours 10 min ago view
  • Three amigos? Because the Dominican, the Venezuelan, and the Cuban?

    Maybe the three-headed dragon?

    John Beasley 7 hours 26 min ago view
  • Who says Contreras can't frame? Stone cold robbery of Eaton with that called third strike for the first out in the eighth

    Eric S 7 hours 57 min ago view
  • Three amigos time?

    7-8-9th

    jacos 8 hours 12 min ago view
  • he should hit more of those. that would be an ideal outcome. /moneyballs

    crunch 12 hours 28 min ago view
  • Russell with 19 RBI in July so far. Grand Slams help.

    billybucks 13 hours 10 min ago view
  • ...and Familia with back-to-back blown saves. Blows a one-run lead vs. Rockies today, gets his 2nd consecutive loss.

    I am OK with the Mets missing the playoffs and suffering crushing losses at home --- just want them to beat St. Louis.

    He played with fire twice agains the Cubs -- unfortunately, the Cubs couldn't stop swinging.

    billybucks 13 hours 14 min ago view
  • How about Kyle Farnsworth? I know he was consistently upper 90s.

    videographer 15 hours 8 min ago view
  • If he puts up Soriano numbers I will be ecstatic

    jacos 16 hours 56 min ago view
  • I think Javy is learning--but he's learning to make contact, not learning to lay off pitches out of the zone. A quick glance at his plate discipline numbers on Fangraphs shows that his contact rate is up, especially his contact rate out of the zone, but his swing rate is up too, especially his swing rate out of the zone.

    Charlie 17 hours 31 min ago view
  • I definitely saw ballpark radar guns go up to 102 on Kerry Wood back when he was still a starter, but who knows how accurate they were.

    Charlie 17 hours 44 min ago view