Crafting the Perfect Lineup

I would love to have Johnnie B. Baker’s job.  I am certain after a month or so the Reds would no longer be in contention, but it would be fun.  Dusty Baker has been a very successful Major League Manager.  But the guy in charge rarely gets credit for what he does right and gets all of the credit for everything that goes wrong and sometimes is even blamed for things that are beyond his control.

As long as there have been line up cards people have complained about how they are built.  Should the criteria be based on batting average or one of the new Sabermetrics standards like OPS?  Should you ignore defensive capability and just get the best bats on the field as Tony LaRussa seems to do?  Should you look at historical data and see how batters have matched up in the past?  Or should you just rely on your gut instinct?  Lets craft the perfect lineup:

For this exercise we are preparing for the three game “Battle of Ohio” at Jacobs Field.  all three Indians starting pitchers will be right handed pitchers but I am providing info on lefties as well.

First, lets look at splits on the Reds Catchers.

Ramon Hernandez numbers are off the chart so far this season and he gets the nod though over the course of the series both will start.

Next, lets look at the infielders.

I sure wish we were facing a left handed starter along the way as we seem to kill them but a number I would really draw attention to is the last statistic: Batting Average with Runners in Scoring Position.  I was surprised at how poorly Scott Rolen has fared and how well veterans Cairo and Renteria have performed.

Finally, lets look at the Outfielders as this seems to be the focus of the Reds controversy.

While some of the statistical samples are far to small to be definitive but a few things stand out.  A variety of adjectives can describe Jonny Gomes numbers versus RH starters; anemic, pathetic, and pitiful are a few of the most descriptive.  That said, none of the batting averages for Reds outfielders are as high as you would prefer them to be, especially vs. righties.  Stubbs and Heisey, it should be noted, are the most successful with runners in scoring position.

Now that we have these numbers in place here are three prospective lineups.  First, the lineup I project Dusty Baker will use this evening.  Next is a lineup using the OPS statistic and assigning each spot in the batting order in descending OPS value.  Finally, I give my suggested lineup.  To be honest I would not even mind for at least one game in this series, calling up Yonder Alonso and throwing him to the wolves er Indians as the DH.

What is your perfect line up?  Post it here!

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