Thursday, March 27, 2008

Line 'Em Up To Knock 'Em Down

Dave Trembley has announced his staring line-up for Opening Day (and beyond).

(Projected Stats)
Brian Roberts (.285/.370/.430, 12 HR )
Melvin Mora (.268/.336/.402, 13 HR )
Nick Markakis (.297/.365/.500, 25 HR )
Kevin Millar (.263/.355/.416, 13 HR )
Aubrey Huff (.273/.336/.447, 18 HR )
Ramon Hernandez (.267/.333/.437, 15 HR )
Luke Scott (.269/.367/.511, 26 HR )
Adam Jones (.269/.327/.464, 19 HR )
Luis Hernandez (.245/.279/.309, 2 HR)

What jumps out at me is that two of the top three HR hitters on the team are hitting 7/8, while the clean-up guy has about as much power as the lead-off hitter.

Though the order in which the players bat is far less vital then which players they are, I'd go more along the lines of:

Brian Roberts (.285/.370/.430, 12 HR ) - clearly the lead-off man. Very good OBP, plus speed and average, and some pop.

Kevin Millar (.263/.355/.416, 13 HR ) - yes he's slow. He also should be third in OBP and is still good at hitting line drives - that beats Mora's ability to steal 10 bases and bunt (usually for outs).

Nick Markakis (.297/.365/.500, 25 HR ) - the team's best all-around hitter. Consensus #3. If the O's had a better line-up, he would be great at #2.

Luke Scott (.269/.367/.511, 26 HR ) - most power on the team. Having a .511 SLG when the guys in front of you don't get on base (.336 and .333 OBP, respectively) is a waste. I don't especially like that he and Markakis are both left-handed, but they've handled lefties OK in their careers, so it isn't much of an issue. The extra OBP he provides will be useful even in the four-hole, as the guys behind him don't provide too much extra offense, other than a some power.

Adam Jones (.269/.327/.464, 19 HR ) - that's right, #5. I didn't want to put the lefty Huff here, but having Jones hit right in front of Luis Hernandez seems like a bad idea. He doesn't have great plate discipline, and so pitchers wouldn't need to throw him many strikes anyway. Combine that with a complete lack of fear of walking him (as Luis would be up next) and that spells trouble (even if it would only have a very small impact). Plus he has more power than Huff or Hernandez.

Aubrey Huff (.273/.336/.447, 18 HR ) -- he's just a little bit better a hitter than Hernandez in every respect.

Ramon Hernandez (.267/.333/.437, 15 HR ) - has more power than Mora, but less than Huff.

Melvin Mora (.268/.336/.402, 13 HR ) - as an impact third-baseman, Mora is pretty much done. Scott Moore could (should?) take this spot also.

- Can they just play with an eight-man line-up? Maybe the pitcher can hit. Does the DH have to be designated as hitting for the pitcher, or can that go for any position? Eh, I shouldn't be so hard on him. He might be able to hit second for the Giants.

So, great line-up... or the greatest line-up? Actually, it's not bad and should be a little better than average. Remember, the Giants have Bengie Molina hitting clean-up.

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