Lineup Construction And Strikeout Rates…

Good Morning all. Thanks for all the birthday wishes yesterday, I appreciated it. 🙂

 

I recently asked a buddy of mine, Scott (Twitter Handle TexasCardsFan1) to give me an idea for a post. He wanted to talk about lineup construction, and K Rates. Specifically, he wanted Jeremy Hazelbaker in the lineup, and wanted to know why two guys (Matt Adams and Brandon Moss, presumably) with high K rates were in the lineup regularly instead of Jeremy. Scott said that those two guys were some of “Matheny’s guys” in reference to manager Mike Matheny, who always seems to play favorites. Here’s the guys Scott wanted starting:

1B) Matt Holliday
2B) Kolten Wong
SS) Aledmys Diaz
3B) Matt Carpenter
LF) Jeremy Hazelbaker
CF) Randal Grichuk
RF) Stephen Piscotty
C) Yadier Molina

In regard to Moss and Adams’ K rates, Moss has struck out 27 times in 77 AB, good (or bad) for a K rate of 35 percent on the dot, while Adams hast struck out 19 times in 57 AB’s, good (or bad) for a 33 percent K rate.

For good measure, let’s check out Hazelbaker’s K rate. He’s struck out 23 times in 77 AB, for a rate of 30 percent. Not quite as bad as Adams and Moss, but not perfect either. I didn’t realize he’d struck out that much, and I’d have to ask, but I don’t think Scott did either. It makes me wonder: What happens to Jeremy’s K rate if he cools down? It’s not that far behind Adams and Moss as is.

Their overall lines:

Hazelbaker:

.309/.355/.657 with 5 homers in 68 AB’s.

Moss:

.234/.318/.545 with 7 homers in 77 AB’s.

Adams:

.281/.339/.491 with 3 homers in 57 AB’s.

Hazelbaker does indeed have the best numbers of the three, but how much of that is due to a hot start? he is 28 after all, a minor league vet who never really got a chance at the bigs until now. Surely if Jeremy was this good, he’d have been in the majors by now.

Another point Scott makes is Hazelbaker’s ability to play all three OF spots, which Adams n Moss can’t do. The problem there is that’s an argument for a utility role. If he’s playing LF all the time, he’s not taking advantage of that skill.

Scott also mentions Hazelbaker’s speed. He’s stolen 2 bases while being caught twice. (No SB for either Adams or Moss). This one works both ways, as it makes him a valuable pinch runner off the bench but it also allows him to be flexible in regards to what spot in the lineup he hits as he’s not a station to station runner like the other two guys.

This is tough one for me, as I can see the pros and cons for Hazelbaker starting daily but given that Adams is hitting .281, I say ride Jeremy until he cools down, then bench him and utilize his versatility and speed there and start Adams, and use Moss as a power bat off the bench. Obviously I hope he stays hot, but that seems more optimistic than realistic.

Update: Adams injured his knee last night and is day to day, so Jeremy ain’t going anywhere, though Moss did homer.

Quick Hits:

1) Looking our young stud Stephen Piscotty: Piscotty The Lineup Anchor

2) Man I wish we’d signed this guy over getting Gyorko… Ben Zobrist Is Doing Well.

3) St. Louis Cardinals… Chess Grand Masters?

 

As always, thanks for reading.

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