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Sunday, March 02, 2014

Mark Trumbo may bat in lower half of lineup, manager Kirk Gibson says

As my old polidented coach Mickey McGripe used to say…“Son, you’re my second cleanup hitter. You’re hitting 8th.”

And while the presumption is that the team acquired slugger Mark Trumbo from the Los Angeles Angels in order to give Goldschmidt lineup protection, that may not necessarily be the case.

“I just think that we have a pretty solid lineup regardless of who we put behind (Goldschmidt),” Gibson said. “There’s going to be a lot of protection. As far as the lineup construction when we get into the season, we haven’t figured that out yet.”

One school of thought, according to Gibson, would be to bat Trumbo even further back in the lineup. If both he and Goldschmidt are so good at clearing the bases, why not increase the chances of each batting with runners on base?

That would alleviate a problem the Diamondbacks had in 2013, when all of their slugging power was concentrated in the front half of the order.

“If you spread those guys out, maybe it gives you an opportunity to score multiple runs on different occasions in different spots throughout the lineup,” Gibson said.

It’s only one game, but things didn’t shake out that way in Saturday’s game against the Milwaukee Brewers. Trumbo batted sixth, three spots behind Goldschmidt, but led off an inning in both of his at-bats, hitting a solo home run his first time up.

Repoz Posted: March 02, 2014 at 06:32 AM | 18 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: dbacks

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   1. zachtoma Posted: March 03, 2014 at 03:28 AM (#4665206)
In this specific case, with Trumbo's low OBP and high-ISO, I agree that he would be best used hitting deep in the lineup, but Gibson's basic logic - "maybe if we let the shittier hitters bat more, we'll score more runs" - is far from infallible.
   2. valuearbitrageur Posted: March 03, 2014 at 03:37 AM (#4665208)
So we trade an excellent pitching prospect in order to pay a rhino $5M to waddle around the outfield and bases, but with the redeeming quality he should be teams 2nd best hitter, and Gibby decides to set the lineup to ensure the rhino gets the fewest possible plate appearances?

Is Gibby so bored of slagging his best pitchers arms that he is now trolling Diamondbacks fans in even more unique ways?
   3. cardsfanboy Posted: March 03, 2014 at 11:51 AM (#4665357)
So we trade an excellent pitching prospect in order to pay a rhino $5M to waddle around the outfield and bases, but with the redeeming quality he should be teams 2nd best hitter, and Gibby decides to set the lineup to ensure the rhino gets the fewest possible plate appearances?


How bad of a team do you have to be, that Trumbo is your second best hitter? If that is the case, they have a lot more problems than worrying about lineup construction.
   4. JJ1986 Posted: March 03, 2014 at 12:10 PM (#4665374)
Trumbo seems like a prototypical fifth hitter to me. Low OBP sluggers shouldn't really be hitting 3rd or 4th.
   5. valuearbitrageur Posted: March 03, 2014 at 12:13 PM (#4665377)
How bad of a team do you have to be, that Trumbo is your second best hitter? If that is the case, they have a lot more problems than worrying about lineup construction.


Diamondbacks problems run deep, I like to ##### about them one at a time.
   6. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: March 03, 2014 at 12:25 PM (#4665388)
You guys. You waddle your way around the outfield... you waddle your way around the bases... you know what that makes you? Larry!
Waddlers.
Waddlers!
   7. Obo Posted: March 03, 2014 at 12:43 PM (#4665407)
"Second cleanup hitter." Somehow I'd never heard this expression before. Funny stuff. Anyone know if it has a specific origin?
   8. JJ1986 Posted: March 03, 2014 at 01:19 PM (#4665447)
"Second cleanup hitter." Somehow I'd never heard this expression before. Funny stuff. Anyone know if it has a specific origin?


I've only heard it in little league to make kids who are batting 8th (or 12th) feel better.
   9. attaboy Posted: March 03, 2014 at 01:27 PM (#4665458)
I think Trumbo will make the trade look good this year...to the average fan, not necessarily to this audience. Lots of HR's and RBI's in that bat if he hits in the 5 or 6 hole. With Goldy and his very good OBP, I see good things for Trumbo.
   10. An Athletic in Powderhorn™ Posted: March 03, 2014 at 01:38 PM (#4665472)
"Second cleanup hitter." Somehow I'd never heard this expression before. Funny stuff. Anyone know if it has a specific origin?
I remember Mark McGwire saying it when he batted 8th in the '89 All-Star game. It could have existed before then, of course.
   11. Dan Posted: March 03, 2014 at 01:47 PM (#4665482)
Trumbo seems like a prototypical fifth hitter to me. Low OBP sluggers shouldn't really be hitting 3rd or 4th.


On the contrary, that's exactly the type of hitter who should hit 3rd, assuming his overall performance warrants it. A good hitter with a relatively low OBP and high SLG is the perfect #3 hitter. Trumbo isn't necessarily good enough to fit this mold, but the shape of his performance isn't bad for the spot. But if he's truly the DBacks' 2nd best hitter, he should be batting 3rd.
   12. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: March 03, 2014 at 02:15 PM (#4665529)
A good hitter with a relatively low OBP and high SLG is the perfect #3 hitter.


Agreed. He either hits in the first with runners on, or with two outs and the bases empty. And the only way he leads off the second is if you're already on your way to victory.

   13. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: March 03, 2014 at 02:51 PM (#4665572)
I remember Mark McGwire saying it when he batted 8th in the '89 All-Star game. It could have existed before then, of course.


It existed when I played little league, which was way before 1989. And I'm pretty sure we didn't make it up, either.
   14. The District Attorney Posted: March 03, 2014 at 03:26 PM (#4665616)
ZiPs for their projected starters: (* = lefty hitter)

M. Montero* 250/337/398, Goldschmidt 271/364/504, A. Hill 274/331/436, Prado 287/333/425, Gregorius* 265/317/393, Trumbo 269/320/514, G. Parra* 271/327/410, C. Ross 260/321/427

Their lineup according to MLB Depth Charts is: G. Parra*, A. Hill, Goldschmidt, M. Montero*, Trumbo, Prado, C. Ross, Gregorius*

I might go: Prado, G. Parra*, Trumbo, Goldschmidt, M. Montero*, A. Hill, C. Ross, P, Gregorius*

Seriously, though, how does it matter.
   15. cardsfanboy Posted: March 03, 2014 at 05:17 PM (#4665696)
Seriously, though, how does it matter.


Best hitter batting fourth? Yikes.... Although I do understand that MGL/Tango have the second best hitter batting fourth and the best batting second....not sure I agree with that either (agree with the best batting second, just not sure about the fourth spot)
   16. The District Attorney Posted: March 03, 2014 at 05:33 PM (#4665708)
I will admit that best hitter 4th makes the most sense when there are good hitters in front of him. The worse your overall lineup is, the more sense it makes to bat the best hitter 1st or 2nd. So yeah, on this team, you totally could bat Goldschmidt in one of those positions.

I'm glad Gibson isn't worried about "protection", but what he probably should be worried about is having guys who get on base. I'd lead off Prado because he has shown leadoff-type skills in the past. But with a .333 OBP over the last three years and heading into his thirties, the odds are not necessarily great that he'll recapture that form. No one else, even the guys who can kind of hit, is inclined to get on base.
   17. cardsfanboy Posted: March 03, 2014 at 05:43 PM (#4665714)
Using those zips, (and considering I don't know the speed factors of any of these guys, except that Montero is a catcher) I probably go Prado/Goldschmidt/Trumbo/Hill/Parra/Ross/Montero/Gregorius. And cry if this is my team.... Realistically speaking I would prefer to try to find a way to have Trumbo batting fourth, but not really sure that I can with this group.
   18. Obo Posted: March 03, 2014 at 07:55 PM (#4665772)
The Little League explanation for "second cleanup hitter" makes sense, thanks. I guess 9th is "third lead-off" and so on.

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