Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Bad Idea

Well, when he was acquired I had this fear.  Now, looking at today's spring lineup, it has come to fruition.  Josh Anderson is leading off and playing left field with Curtis Granderson moving down in the lineup.

Curtis Granderson was a perfect table setter, with his numerous doubles and triples complementing the singles hitting Placido Polanco very well.  Moving him down in the order, assuming 18 PA's per spot in the lineup, will mean that Granderson will bat roughly 72 fewer times than he would batting leadoff.  Using PECOTA's projections, that's somewhere between 2 and 3 homeruns lost and between 26 and 27 total bases lost.  Simply put, having Curtis Granderson batting leadoff allows the Tigers to maximize the amount of times one of their best hitters comes to the plate.  Moving him down in the lineup is a bad idea.  If the idea is to use Anderson as some kind of table setter, batting him ninth would make a ton of sense, if not for the platoon disadvantage created by having two lefties back to back.

However, it's possible that today's spring lineup is nothing to get worried about and it's just an attempt to allow Anderson to bat as often as possible in front of the Tigers' staff.  Let's hope that's the case.


Patrick said...

Anderson's speed would be better utilized on the bench than in the lineup. The Tigers have had an awful time trying to manufacture runs when needed in the late innings. They are too easy to shut down, despite all their power, because if a good pitcher can keep it in the park and avoid multiple extra base hits in the same inning, the station to station Tigers can't get around the bases.

Now, when Cabrera or Maggs gets a hit in the late innings, Leyland can put in Anderson, surgically, which simultaneously puts speed on the bases, and pressure on the opposing pitcher to throw strikes to others in the heart of the lineup. Anderson is the perfect laxative for the constipation on the bases.

Meanwhile, the Tigers have a couple of bats on the bench, in both Anderson and Larish, to pinch hit for Inge and Everett- which I hope is done as a matter of course when trailing in the late innings.

13 players from last year's opening day roster are not on the roster for 2009. THAT is an overhaul by any definition.

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