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Monday, January 13, 2014

Phillies should consider Chase Utley for leadoff man

1) Chase Utley (L)
2) Jimmy Rollins (S)
3) Domonic Brown (L)
4) Marlon Byrd (R)
5) Ryan Howard (L)
6) Carlos Ruiz (R)
7) Cody Asche (L)
8) Pitcher
9) Ben Revere (L)

In that lineup, the Phillies would avoid lefties back-to-back except in the case of Revere and Utley, and Revere’s an atypical lefty anyway who’s better at hitting same-handed pitching in his career (.300) than right-handed pitching (.277).

Batting Revere ninth would also limit his GIDP opportunities if Ruiz or Asche got on as, ideally, the pitcher would bunt the runner over.

It’s a lineup worth considering, and Utley would be perfect for the top of it.

personally, i think the more interesting scenario would be to bat ryan howard in the 2 hole.  he’s been in a funk for a couple of years, but even so, his stats compare favorably to the average 2-hole hitter (.244/.307/.445…ugh…for howard over the last two years v. .262/.318/.392 for the average NL hitter batting 2nd in 2013), and that’s before considering that he’d see more fastballs in the 2 hole and bat much less often with two outs. 

combining the two ideas:
1) chase utley (L)
2) ryan howard (L)
3) carlos ruiz (R)
4) domonic brown (L)
5) darin ruf/marlon byrd (R/R)
6) jimmy rollins (S)
7) ben revere (L)
8) cody asche (L)

and just to talk a bit about jimmy rollins in the 6-hole, i think that’s ideal for a number of reasons.  1, it lets jimmy be jimmy at the bat. he can swing for the fences to his hearts content and noone will get on him for not working the count or popping up on the first pitch.  and 2, it lets him be as aggressive as he wants when he actually gets on base, because who the hell cares if he takes the bat out of ben revere’s hands. 

 

clowns to the left of me; STEAGLES to the right Posted: January 13, 2014 at 06:44 PM | 12 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: phillies

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   1. jacjacatk Posted: January 13, 2014 at 08:31 PM (#4638220)
This is a terrible lineup, but it's more Ruben Amaro's fault for constructing this farce than anything else.

The best lineup they could put up that they might actually consider (against RHP, and assuming Brown's and Byrd's 2013 season lines are for real, which they very likely aren't) is probably more like:

Rollins
Utley
Ruiz
Howard/Brown
Byrd
Asche
Pitcher/Revere

If those are the starting 8 on opening day, I think I'd expect:

Rollins
Utley
Byrd
Howard
Brown
Ruiz
Asche
Revere
Pitcher

   2. The District Attorney Posted: January 13, 2014 at 09:18 PM (#4638255)
I don't know who Cody Asche is, and quite frankly he sounds made up, but yeah, that first lineup looks right.
   3. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: January 13, 2014 at 10:39 PM (#4638290)
Lead off Ryan Howard just to watch the entire universe go batshit crazy.
   4. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: January 13, 2014 at 10:49 PM (#4638293)
I think Howard can still give you a 125-130 OPS+ against RHP, he just has to sit vs LHP.
   5. The District Attorney Posted: January 14, 2014 at 12:57 AM (#4638355)
"We're looking to add pitching depth in the bullpen and rotation, still trolling," said Amaro.
   6. Walt Davis Posted: January 14, 2014 at 02:37 AM (#4638374)
The best lineup they could put up that they might actually consider

Yeah, certainly a problem with the one in the excerpt.

On the one hand, I want to advise that if you are going to suggest to a client/boss/whatever to do something different, don't suggest they bat Utley leadoff AND bat the pitcher eighth. Too much change and it will get rejected ...

but on the other hand, I'll admit that I've sometimes had success with the strategy of propose one unusual change and one CRAZY change and then bargain away the CRAZY change but keep the unusual one. That probably works better from the top down.

   7. Jesse Barfield's Right Arm Posted: January 14, 2014 at 10:43 AM (#4638455)
On another team, Utley might make sense at the top, but he has too much power relative to the rest of the team to not hit with men on base. He was second on the team in SLG last year, and probably would have been first without Dom Brown's insane June. Say what you will about situational hitting, but Utley is also a guy who takes good ABs, and makes a pitcher work to get him out in key situations.

You would be creating a much bigger hole in the middle of the lineup to solve a smaller problem at the top. Revere is a speedy 25-yo CF who got on base at a .338 clip after getting off to a disastrous start. He is such an obvious choice to lead off that everyone must be very bored this hot stove season to even wonder who should lead off for this team.
   8. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: January 14, 2014 at 11:12 AM (#4638500)
I think Howard can still give you a 125-130 OPS+ against RHP, he just has to sit vs LHP.

And yet when they brought in Michael Young, a player who can only play first base and can only hit against LHP, that is not what they did.
   9. Edmundo got dem ol' Kozma blues again mama Posted: January 14, 2014 at 11:26 AM (#4638527)
I don't know who Cody Asche is

LH 3B who came up late last year. He has moved quickly through the organization but frankly looks to have a low-ceiling, in spite of some nice gains in the last couple of years.

ZIPs top comp was Rick Schu. :(
   10. ColonelTom Posted: January 14, 2014 at 01:32 PM (#4638682)
While we're looking at leadoff options, let's not forget that J-Roll appeared to turn over a new leaf after Ryne Sandberg took over and gave him a talking-to about needing to get on base more:

Under Charlie Manuel (April 1-Aug. 15): 36 BB in 499 PA (7.2%)
Under Ryne Sandberg (Aug. 16-Sept. 29): 23 BB in 167 PA (13.8%)

Rollins had walked once (!) in the first half of August (51 PA) before the managerial change. I'm skeptical of the small sample size, obviously, but maybe Ryno got through to him. The team's overall numbers shifted a fair amount as well -

Under Manuel: 288 BB in 4450 PA (6.47%)
Under Sandberg: 129 BB in 1564 PA (8.25%)

- though a good chunk of that outside of J-Roll's improvement (which accounted for about 1/3 of the team's increase) was probably differences in personnel.
   11. ColonelTom Posted: January 14, 2014 at 01:41 PM (#4638689)
If Amaro isn't doing so already, he should be fielding offers for Asche since Maikel Franco should be ready by late season. The Yankees might still be a good fit for Asche, and they have outfield and catching prospects to burn - two positions where the Phils have very little in the pipeline.
   12. Jeltzandini Posted: January 14, 2014 at 01:58 PM (#4638706)
Captain Smith should consider the floral print chaise longue for the A deck smoking room.

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