Warning: Creating default object from empty value in /home4/derok6/public_html/chop-n-change/plugins/system/cdnforjoomla/helper.php on line 27
fredi-vs-logic-lineup-preview | January | 2012 Articles

Fredi vs. Logic: Lineup Preview

Written by Mark Smith on .

Having fun at the expense of Fredi Gonzalez is pretty commonplace around here. While I think he certainly has the ability to keep the clubhouse together and has the respect of the players, he’s not good strategically, and I do think it costs the Braves wins. In fact, I wonder if Frank Wren believed the same but was afraid to mess with things mid-season while they “worked”. When a young prospect comes in with ugly mechanics, teams generally let the prospect fail a bit before they try to rework them. They do this because a player may hesitate to make changes when his mechanics have “worked” before. Though I don’t think Wren wanted September to happen the way it did, it also provided a clear opportunity to suggest ways in which Fredi could improve without Fredi being able to argue much. Who knows if that happened, but I like to think it did. Anyway, it’s time to start looking at next season’s team, and as we do, we’ll put a #FrediSpin on it. Today, the lineup.

Lineup Position

FrediLogic

FrediAnswer

Logic

Realistic Answer

1st

Fastest player

Michael Bourn

High OBP, speed preferred if all else equal

Michael Bourn

2nd

Middle infielder, contact hitter preferred

Martin Prado

Highest OBP, probably best hitter

Chipper Jones

3rd

Best hitter

Chipper Jones

2nd best hitter, preferably more power than 2nd hitter

Brian McCann

4th

Power hitter, RBIs

Dan Uggla

Next best hitter, switching R-L preferred

Dan Uggla

5th

Next best hitter, switching R-L preferred

Brian McCann

Next best hitter, switching R-L preferred

Freddie Freeman/Jason Heyward

6th

Next best hitter, switching R-L preferred

Freddie Freeman

Next best hitter, switching R-L preferred

Martin Prado

7th

Next best hitter, switching R-L preferred

Jason Heyward

Next best hitter, switching R-L preferred

Jason Heyward/Freddie Freeman

8th

Next best hitter, switching R-L preferred

Tyler Pastornicky

Next best hitter, switching R-L preferred

Tyler Pastornicky

One thing you may notice is that the lineups don’t really look all that different. Essentially, Fredi just moves Prado up and everyone else down, but there are some key differences. Starting at the top of the lineup, Bourn is in there on both lineups, but that could change drastically with an injury. Instead of rotating a high OBP guy to the top spot (maybe Prado if we’re living in a realistic world), Fredi would be tempted to put someone like Jose Constanza at the top of lineup because of his speed (remember Jordan Schafer if you don't believe me), even though he wouldn’t get on base much to use it. This would basically be throwing away at-bats and putting the rest of the lineup in a hole from the get-go.

The next difference is how well the lineup situates itself. Because Fredi rarely switches Uggla and McCann depending on the pitcher involved and seemed to generally favor Uggla over McCann once Uggla got hot, the lineup becomes very left-handed heavy at the bottom, with the potential for three straight lefties from McCann to Heyward. This won’t matter as much for most of the game, but once the opposition goes to their bullpen, they can just [insert lefty here] and mow through the inning. If you switch to the other lineup, it constantly switches back-and-forth, and the opposing manager is at least forced to think about burning a couple more relievers or taking his chances that Uggla and/or Prado doesn’t rake the lefty. The more switches the opposing manager has to make, the better.

Heyward also becomes an issue. Should he begin to hit, where do you put him in Fredi’s lineup? Unless Fredi puts him fourth (which I doubt), he will still have back-to-back lefties or even back-to-back-to-back lefties in the lineup, and Prado, the team’s fifth or sixth-best hitter still getting more ABs than the better hitters. Using the other lineup, you could move Heyward to third or fifth (depending on just how good he’s hitting) and shifting McCann and Freeman down accordingly without having lefty-lefty issues or the problem of a worse hitter getting more ABs than better hitters.

Like I’ve said before, I realize this is nit-picking to a degree. The difference between Fredi’s lineup and my own probably isn’t worth more than 5-10 runs (or about a win) over the course of the season. But it’s all about process and critical thinking. If Fredi can’t make correct decisions here, how many other similarly small ones does he make, and how many wins does that begin to cost the team overall? 2? 3? More? The NL East has just become much more competitive this season. The Marlins are much improved. The Nationals are improved. And the Phillies are still the favorites. The Braves can’t just give away wins, and I hope last year showed them that.

10 comments
congtysangoviet1
congtysangoviet1

Having fun at the expense of Fredi Gonzalez is pretty commonplace around here. While I think he certainly has the sàn gỗ inovar 12mm ability to keep the clubhouse together and has the respect of the players, he’s not good strategically, and I do think it costs the Braves wins. In fact, I wonder if Frank Wren believed the same but was afraid to mess with things mid-season while they “worked”. When a young prospect comes in with ugly mechanics, teams generally let the prospect fail a bit before they try to rework them. They do this because a player may hesitate to make changes when his mechanics have “worked” before. Though I don’t think Wren wanted September to happen the way it did, it also provided a clear opportunity to suggest ways in which http://bit.ly/mo-ro-hau-mon-co-dau-khong Fredi could improve without Fredi being able to argue much. Who knows if that happened, but I like to think it did. Anyway, it’s time to start looking at next season’s team, and as we do, we’ll put a #FrediSpin on it. Today, the lineup.

FredOwens
FredOwens

I know the case for hitting your best OBP guy at the top. I understand the logic. Chipper will not hit second again, he said so. He said "I'll hit anywhere" last year but after hitting second then moving he said publicly that he wasn't hitting second again period, Fredi has neither the backbone nor the will to put him there if he resists and doing so would be a bad bad idea if he isn't on board.

Honestly the number two hitter gets really good pitches when a guy like Bourn is on in front of him. I'd be tempted to put TP there ahead of Chipper/McCann in order to guarantee him some fastballs to hit. Putting him in the 8 hole almost guarantees the opposite and makes his transition harder. If all he has to do it get Bourn over and relax he will hit those extra base hits he's getting off the fastball in the minors. I know that's not how we traditionally start off a young player and Fredi isn't innovative as a skipper but I'd certainly give it a shot in the spring and see what happens.

Whoever said Fredi did good in Florida should talk to the fans who were happy to see him go. As a manager Fredi makes a great 3rd base coach.

tonyarush
tonyarush

OK, this is what I think... 2011 was the first off year Prado has had, so I fully expect him to bounce back with a year similar to 2009-2010 ... At his best, Prado is a high batting average, pretty good on base percentage, hitter who should hit 45 doubles along with 15 home runs... I would definitely bat him 2nd, with Chipper 3rd, and then McCann and Uggla , in either order, followed by Freeman.. The biggest reason for Prado 2nd is that Chipper really can't run at all any more... While Prado isn't much faster, he certainly has more speed than Chipper... Your lineup would have the heart of our order trying to drive in a very slow guy...

I also think that the Braves will likely trade Bourn in mid-season, due to his contract situation... I hope not, but we see it every time the Braves have a high priced guy nearing free agency... So, the reality is that either Prado or Pastornicky will likely be our leadoff hitter by late summer...

That is, assuming they don't trade Prado also...

Mark Smith
Mark Smith moderator

Thank you for simply defaulting to authority and not actually thinking about the argument. Then we can never go against Bud Selig, Barack Obama, etc. because they are the leaders in their field. Yes, Fredi knows a lot about baseball and probably much more than I do, but that doesn't mean he doesn't have weaknesses.

tonyarush
tonyarush

True that Fredi has not made the playoffs, but his work in Miami was pretty much beyond reproach... Consistent winning records with the lowest payroll in the majors, and likely the youngest team... 2008 Manager of the Year... I'm not saying the the guy is God or anything, but I am saying that the guy knows more about the game of baseball than you or I could ever imagine...

tonyarush
tonyarush

You clearly have all the answers, but forgive us if we prefer to stick to the lineup made out by a proven baseball man. An experienced major league manager, who has spent a lifetime involved in, and coaching the game...


Warning: DOMDocument::load(): php_network_getaddresses: getaddrinfo failed: Name or service not known in /home4/derok6/public_html/chop-n-change/modules/mod_xmlarticles/helper.php on line 19

Warning: DOMDocument::load(http://www.bloguinmedia.com/curation/maintop/articles.xml): failed to open stream: php_network_getaddresses: getaddrinfo failed: Name or service not known in /home4/derok6/public_html/chop-n-change/modules/mod_xmlarticles/helper.php on line 19

You Might Like...