Thursday, May 19, 2011

Time to move Melky down

There is plenty of blame to go around for last nights 5-4 loss to the Texas Rangers, 13 walks issued by the pitching staff and 2 KC baserunners getting picked off for starters, but despite all that they had a chance to win the game in the bottom of the 10th inning. Melky Cabrera came up with the bases loaded and one out and proceeded to pop out to the shortstop. The next batter, Eric Hosmer, flied out. Inning and threat over.

I applaud Ned Yost for shaking up the batting order by inserting Alex Gordon into the leadoff spot (hopefully he keeps him there but it wouldn't surprise me if Chris Getz is back atop the lineup tonight). It was outside the box thinking and it reminded me of how the California Angels would bat Brian Downing leadoff. Downing wasn't your typical 1980's leadoff hitter, in that he wasn't very fast, but he had some pop and he excelled at the one thing a leadoff hitter should do best, getting on base. So while I admire Yost for pulling the trigger on that move, I'd actually like to see him shake things up further, by moving Cabrera down in the lineup.

Cabrera, thanks to a career high .449 slugging percentage, has been perfectly acceptable this year. In fact, he's been much better than I ever thought he would, but his .305 OBP in the #2 spot is hurting the offense. I won't get into the debate on whether Mitch Maier or Gregor Blanco were actually better CF options this year because what's done is done. Blanco is gone and Maier most likely soon will be, besides we all know that Cabrera is just keeping CF warm for Lorenzo Cain anyway.

The stat that jump out at me is this, in 39 games he's reached base via a hit or walk just 9 times in the first inning, his line of .189/.231/.189 pretty much means he's an automatic out. Someone like Wilson Betemit and his .386 OBP would play much better in front of the 3-4-5 hitters. Plus, he may have got the fly ball that would've won last nights game.

Here's the lineup I would like to see on a daily basis:
Gordon
Betemit
Hosmer
Butler
Francoeur
Cabrera
Treanor
Aviles
Escobar

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Danny Duffy was wild last night in his major league debut but I seen enough in just 4 innings to make this prediction: the team record for strikeouts in a season by a LHP will fall next year. That record has stood since their inaugural season of 1969 when Bill Butler struck out 156. Since then only five other southpaws have struck out at even 140.

Rk Player SO Year IP ERA+
1 Bill Butler 156 1969 193.2 94
2 Danny Jackson 152 1987 224.0 114
3 Charlie Leibrandt 151 1987 240.1 134
4 Jose Rosado 141 1999 208.0 130
5 Buddy Black 140 1984 257.0 130
6 Paul Splittorff 140 1972 216.0 97
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used

Between Duffy, Mike Montgomery, and John Lamb I believe that top 6 is going to look a lot different in a few years.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Don't sleep on Chris Dwyer, his upside may not be as great as the other 3 leftys but I think he'll have a better major league career than Lamb.

DougP said...

Really enjoy your blog. You keep it short and sweet but say everything you want to say, for the most part. Keep it up! I am ready for some more new blood to come up when the time is right. Looking forward to the summer...

Daniel said...

Yep, good lineup...despite Melky's somewhat surprising pop and a flair for the dramatic hit a few times, he should be moved down. He'd be a great ambush hitter near the bottom of the order, as would Aviles.