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

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.

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

[ ]

In reply to by jacos

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.

[ ]

In reply to by crunch

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.

[ ]

In reply to by MikeC

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...

[ ]

In reply to by MikeC

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...

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.

[ ]

In reply to by artskoe

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.

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.

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...

it'll be funny when we're feeding the Pirates playoff run later this year maybe they'll take Aramis back

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?

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.

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