Poll

What Should Happen With Espinosa?

Starts at 2B
48 (35.3%)
Replaced/Becomes Utility Player
31 (22.8%)
Ditched Completely
12 (8.8%)
Trade to Team Looking for MI
34 (25%)
DL, surgery or rest, then a month rehab in Syracuse
11 (8.1%)

Total Members Voted: 134

Author Topic: The Espinosa Question: What should happen with him?  (Read 20670 times)

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Offline JCA-CrystalCity

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Re: The Espinosa Question
« Reply #25: October 24, 2012, 03:53:54 PM »
NJ Ave makes the point about Danny / Lombo being the perfect old school / new school debate.  I tend to be "new school" on most line up questions.  Along these lines, I don't find the old school model of the slappy #2 hitter with no power and hit-heavy but low OBP all that sensible.  Most of you have seen the line up optimizers and the sabermetric discussions about how the #2 hitter should be one of your 3 best OPS guys, along with leadoff and clean up.  Clearly, neither of these guys belong at the top of order by that approach.  The offense took off when Harper and Werth lined up at the top.

For fun, I pulled up B-R's Run/ game rankings of just 2012 and the NL, to reflect the league and the current run environment. By runs per game, here are the top 5 and bottom 5, and where they ranked in OPS for #2 hitters:
           R/G          #2 OPS
Mil       4.79            .699 (11)
St. L    4.72            .835   (1)
Col      4.68            .719   (7)
Ariz     4.53            .829    (2)
:w:      4.51            .791    (3)

AVG     4.22

NYM     4.01            .715   (8 )
LAD      3.93            .672   (14)
CHC     3.78            .617    (16)
MIA      3.76            .670    (15)
HOU     3.60            .693    (12)

There's a few outliers, but the 4 bottom teams had 4 out of the 5 the lowest OPS for their #2 hitters, while the top 5 teams had the top 3 OPS for their #2 hitters.

You can argue that the top line ups had a lot of other good hitters, and the bottom ones had a lot of bad hitters, but there does seem to be some correlation between the strength of performance from #2 hitters and run scoring.

Geeky point below the spoiler:
By the way, while the top 3 offenses in OPS from #2 hitters are also in the top 4 for tOPS+, a measure of the #2 hitter's OPS v. the rest of the order in this case, there isn't as tight a relationship.  This probably has to do with manager philosophy.