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.


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.


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

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...


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.


Recent comments

The first 600 characters of the last 16 comments, click "View" to see rest of comment.
  • I think it's probably hard to adjust to an ump's zone mid-game, as least for hitters. Pitchers can locate to an ump's zone, but hitters have minimal time to react.

    But, whatever. Umps are going to miss calls. Let's beat up on the non-Lackey starters.

  • Watched a little of Mets-Dodgers.

    Jason deGrom -- oh, my.

  • Cubs 3-4-5 hitters are 0-21 so far in the post-season.

    Let's change that in a big effin' way tomorrow, boys.

  • Considering how players reacted it seemed pretty accurate high and wide (to righties), but not so accurate low and in. I thought the strike zone by the ump was awful, but it was consistent and the Cubs never adjusted.

    Rizzo and Bryant need to have good at bats. They are really looking outclassed in these two games.

  • that game sounds fun as hell.

  • I was just wondering the same thing. I'd rather not see it at all. If it's inaccurate, it's a bad viewer experience. If it's accurate, it shows some shitty calling by the umpire.

  • TBS' K Zone seems to be more harsh than the others.

    I wonder if MLB will ask the networks to stop using them. They just make the umps, and the game, look bad, and it only pisses off the fans.

  • ...joe.

  • "Strop vs. Cardinals." Seen the movie. Hated it.

    Not all that disappointed -- I didn't think they would beat Lackey in Game 1. Need to get the bats going against the guys with less experience -- and they hit Wacha pretty good.

  • Rizzo has been slumping the last couple weeks of the season. Very disappointed it has continued during his penultimate moment of his career to date.

  • Really doesn't matter, but I was surprised to see Lester pulled and Strop pulled in. Should of left Lester in. oy.

  • Sweet merciful fuck, I hate the Cardinals.

  • *flips table*


  • Really doesn't matter, but I was surprised to see Lester out for the 8th. Down 1-0, at 100 pitches, seemed better to give a very fresh bullpen a little work.

    Oh well...Throw away game, although in a 5 game series there is no luxury afforded to do that.

  • This game is not on Lester - he did his job

  • Had a lot of hope hanging on that deep Fowler fly in the sixth.

    Really despise the Cards