How Would You Assemble the Dodger Batting Order?

It’s been a question that’s been sort of gnawing at me since I posted last month about the seeming irrelevance of OBP to the Dodger front office in constructing the 2011 squad: how might the batting order come together? At the time, I put Juan Uribe in the #2 spot as I quickly ran the proposed lineup through the lineup generator, and that led to a few well-deserved questions about why I’d put a low-OBP guy like Uribe there. My answer at the time was that I wouldn’t, but based on past history it certainly wouldn’t surprise me to see the Dodgers play a low-OBP second baseman there. There was also another reason, though: there’s no obvious alternative.

Think about it: as long as he’s healthy, Rafael Furcal is batting first. Barring a surprise acquisition, the left field combo of Jay Gibbons/Tony Gwynn and catcher duo of Rod Barajas/Dioner Navarro (or A.J. Ellis) almost certainly will be bringing up the rear in the 7th and 8th slots. Beyond that? It’s sort of a toss-up. Sure, it’s never easy to predict a batting order, but the 2011 Dodgers present an even more complicated challenge. You have a rookie manager, Don Mattingly, whose tendencies we know little about. You have the possibility of four positions without a set starter (C, 2B, 3B, LF), you have an oddly-constructed lineup full of low-OBP hitters, many coming off of 2010 disappointments, and you have a team that somehow used James Loney in the cleanup spot more than anyone else last year. It’s a recipe for constantly-changing lineups, and honestly that’s probably what we’ll get – the 2010 club used 127 different orders, and I bet 2011 sees as many or more.

Now, it should be noted here that batting orders are almost never as important as we make them out to be. Barring outright absurdity like letting Barajas lead off (or stashing 2009 Matt Kemp in the 8th spot, Joe), it’s been well-proven that the day-to-day batting order has far less impact on a team’s offensive output than we, the fans, would like to believe. Still, it’s a fun thought excercise in the midst of a quiet January, and as the team looks to be done with it’s offseason shopping it’s as good a topic to tackle as any.

Going back to the #2 spot, that’s where the first big question comes up. The three hitters who batted second most often for the Dodgers last year were Kemp, Ryan Theriot, and Russell Martin. The latter two have each moved on, and I just cannot imagine that Kemp, coming off a .310 OBP and 170 strikeouts, gets placed back there. Blake, also coming off of a poor season, doesn’t make sense here, and it’s about this time I start to remember that Blake DeWitt‘s .352 OBP was traded away for Theriot and my eyes start to bleed.

The best answer here is probably Jamey Carroll, who was one of the few Dodgers who actually got on base last year (.379). But Carroll’s going to be 37 this year and barring injuries, won’t play as much as he did last year. For now, we’ll make the case that he plays 2B against LHP, with Uribe sliding to 3B and Blake to LF, but that’s far from certain, and would be even less likely against RHP. So that means, believe it or not, that you’re really stuck with either Loney or Uribe against righties here, and holy hell is that depressing. Neither one is really an acceptable option here, but my gut tells me that the second baseman who’s somehow conned teams into 734 #2 PA ranks above the the first baseman with 7 PA.  

At #3, Andre Ethier started 116 games last year. He should be platooned against LHP, but he won’t be, so we’ll assume he stays there. For #4, you’re basically looking at either Kemp or Blake. Like #2, neither is a great option. That said, Kemp did end last season on a tear, and if he doesn’t turn it around then this team is in enough trouble that it’s not going to matter if your cleanup hitter is Casey Blake or Blake Lively. You’d have to go Kemp over Blake here.

That means that #5 and #6 slide into place pretty easily as being Blake and Loney, ahead of (LF) and (C) at #7 and #8. And that makes your batting order something like…

VS RHP: 1 Furcal-S, 2 Uribe-R, 3 Ethier-L, 4 Kemp-R, 5 Blake-R, 6 Loney-L,
7 Gibbons/Gwynn-L, 8 Barajas/Navarro-R/S, 9 P
VS LHP: 1 Furcal-S, 2 Carroll-R, 3 Ethier-L, 4 Kemp-R, 5 Blake-R, 6 Uribe-R, 7 Loney-L,
8 Barajas/Navarro-R/S, 9 P

Which just seems to make the glaring OBP issues shine all the more brightly – and man, is that bottom third of the lineup going to be brutal no matter how you slice it. If you squint real hard, you can see Furcal staying healthy, Kemp playing to his potential, Ethier not being a total mess against lefties, Uribe hitting for enough power to outweigh his on-base issues, and Blake bouncing back at least a little against righties. A good pitching staff can do much to wash over some questionable offense of course; just seems like you’ll need a pretty thick pair of blue-colored glasses to make this crew seem better than average.

0 comments

Trackbacks

  1. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by MLB REPORTS. MLB REPORTS said: RT @IGNITE_U_EZ: RT @MikeSciosciasTI: How Would You Assemble the Dodger Batting Order?: http://wp.me/p69kq-1Cg [...]

  2. [...] 9. Moves like the addition of Juan Uribe(notes) and his low OBP makes creating a Dodgers lineup an exericse that can really never end. Mike Scioscia’s Tragic Illness  [...]

  3. [...] did have a .355 OBP last year, which nailed his career average, and if you were paying attention to yesterday’s discussion you’ll know that OBP is a skill in short supply for the Dodgers. So there’s that. [...]

  4. [...] another year of mediocrity from James Loney. We’ve been terrified at how there’s both no good option for a #2 hitter and how the lineup as a whole seems to have been assembled with no regard for OBP. We’ve [...]

  5. [...] | Posted in Casey Blake, Don Mattingly, Vicente Padilla | Leave a Comment About six weeks ago, I examined the Dodger batting order, wondering how this oddly assembled mismash of players would fit behind Rafael Furcal at the top. I [...]

  6. [...] ball fell in for hits. Stepping beyond the outfield for a second, we’ve wondered not only who would hit second in the order – Casey Blake‘s Bunting Extravaganza hardly thrills – but who might lead off if [...]

  7. [...] to another year of mediocrity from James Loney. We’ve been terrified at both how there’s no good option for a #2 hitter and how the lineup as a whole seems to have been assembled with no regard for OBP. We’ve worried [...]

  8. [...] to another year of mediocrity from James Loney. We’ve been terrified at both how there’s no good option for a #2 hitter and how the lineup as a whole seems to have been assembled with no regard for OBP. We’ve worried [...]

  9. of any book i have read is…

    john grisham’s the partner: “they found him.” those look like plain and dull words, but placed together as the opening lines – oh, the questions they raise. who are they? who is he? why are they looking for him? what did…

  10. that you choose a reliable host that…

    delivers your blog content quickly and securely. the first thing you want to look for in a blog host is highly rated customer service. if this is your first time starting up your own blog, you’ll want to be sure to…

  11. here says:

    tendency to become weak which leads to…

    low bone density. because of this, women have a high risk of suffering from bone pain and developing osteoporosis. in addition, this also increases their likelihood of suffering from bone fractures and leg cramps. if you want to have a profitable…

  12. and personally satisfying.you will have the potential…

    to work from the comfort and privacy of your home while setting your own hours. best of all you can earn a comfortable part-time or even full-time income with even a basic internet writing job. when you think of what you…

  13. those keywords thoroughly and being inventive in…

    the way you insert them. the idea behind making blog posts, rss feeds, social networking submissions and forums posts and backlinking them is a lot like the idea of using a fishing boat instead of a fishing rod. one rod may…

  14. audience by answering questions and replying to…

    comments. view your blog statistics and note which blog posts are more popular. address those topics again and involve your audience by asking thought-provoking questions.summarythe real essence of blogging is writing about topics that deeply interest …

  15. also ensure that it is relevant traffic.by…

    relevant traffic (also known as targeted traffic), i mean, the kind of site visitors that are already looking for the services or products you promote or sell, since relevant traffic converts well into regular readers, subscribers and eventually, custo…

  16. more info says:

    it gives a graph, but that’s not…

    really helpful enough. they really need to look at their facilities for statistics and improve where they deem necessary. wordpress would definitely increase on the numbers of people using them as a blog provider if they did work on these features.ther…

  17. times. if the keyword is in the…

    article too many times, the search engine might not pull it up because it could tag it as a spam article. if the keyword is not in the article enough times, the search engine might not recognize it as a relevant…

  18. survived the ordeal intact. the fico scoring…

    model will give you an enormous boost just for demonstrating that you have what it takes to get back in action, to open new accounts, and to manage them in a wise and prudent manner. if you still have old accounts,…

  19. noticed. it’s new – if you have…

    just recently started writing your blog it may not be on everyone’s radar. it takes time and patience for your blog to start getting noticed by readers; but once they discover it odds are that they will likely return to read…

  20. Oro Gold says:

    following and your blog will grow and…

    become popular. wordpress has been one of the most favorite blogging platforms making it very popular to majority which can power countless of high-profile blogs and websites all over the world. this popular blogging platform is both powerful and easy …

  21. for more it is important that you…

    regularly publish new material. this can be done by either writing new blogs or taking advantage of posting video blogs. offering your readers a variety of ways to view your content is key to keeping them interested. don’t be shy -…

  22. this especially applies to how-to articles or…

    articles explaining a specific product. optimize your site and follow suit with the best blogs that utilize pictures. pictures will help keep readers interested as well, especially on difficult to follow topics such as finance or law. for businesses an…

  23. specific articles or reports, there are services…

    that are available to all those who would like to utilize them. one of the biggest aspects of writing that can set up, effectively advertise, or inform about a business or service is getting the right amount of details in the…

  24. for in terms of qualifications and what…

    your recruitment budget is since job board posting fees can widely vary. the first point which must be made when discussing bid writing professionals is that it takes a vast amount of training, experience and skill to be a professional at…

  25. maximize your time and efforts to achieve…

    your purpose.for business driven blogs, you need to be able to have the ability to integrate as much tools and gadgets as you can to assist not only in your marketing efforts, but also in making your blog your best means…

  26. birken bag says:

    bloggers as a rule do write quite…

    a bit! for the most part when publishing a blog post your primary goal is to keep people interested enough to return and provided your content quality is good enough, they will! another important aspect of your blog posting however is…

  27. your article writing skills, try taking a…

    step back to basics. this means having a simple and easy to remember structure, using common words and shorter sentences, and presenting a limited amount of simple ideas. simplify your article writing with these concepts, to take your article writing t…

  28. simply have not been taught to write…

    properly.high schools are commonly receiving the blame for this poor college performance in writing. what are they teaching in high school language arts classes that cause these students to do so poorly with their college writing assignments? it seems …

  29. in gradually increasing the incoming traffic of…

    your site. just make sure you continuously work on increasing the traffic of your blog in order to make sure that you keep on getting new visitors to your site regularly. this is one internet business idea that you need to…

  30. k3vin says:

    look at one of the ways that…

    you can make this technique work:1) write good contentno one will want to pick up and publish your articles if your content isn’t worth much value. you have to make it a point to create high-quality content, and make it good…

  31. is a seo blog the best blog…

    to make money? i believe it is as i have had a great deal of success getting my seo blog ranked for numerous keywords. the ease of installation coupled with the information should make the decision to create your own seo…

  32. your kitchen. if you do a little…

    research online, you will find many effective, and proven, recipes. you can also look into what is called chemical peels.one type of homemade facial mask uses bentonite clay, a product you can find in health food stores, some pharmacies and online….

  33. learn from your failures and mistakes? then…

    become an affiliate marketer, and promote products and services online.making money as an affiliate marketer is not simple, but it is possible. if you know how to do it, you can make a good passive income very quickly.become a blogger do…

  34. give you all the access, information, and…

    tools that you need to have success with your blog.when someone subscribes to your rss feed, they immediately get notified that you have new content on your website, and it will more than likely display on the title of your blog…

  35. Nikki Kay says:

    and give a prediction on where on…

    where you think this product is going, it doesn’t even have to be a full on review just a couple of really distinct points, and make sure you weave in some of your insight about why you believe this prediction may…

  36. for in terms of qualifications and what…

    your recruitment budget is since job board posting fees can widely vary. the first point which must be made when discussing bid writing professionals is that it takes a vast amount of training, experience and skill to be a professional at…

  37. telling them about a new product launch…

    or service that will become available to your customers.9) keywords – include these in the headings and in the main body of the text. try to use keywords that customers will commonly use to search for the products or services that…

  38. Airsoft says:

    Evike.com…

    Keep your Airsoft sniper rifle in check with our high quality Airsoft sniper rifle parts. Cylinders, pistons and much more….