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Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Vote Rollins for 7 hole!

This will most definitely be a common theme for us this year. I'm going to go through a logical progression as to why we believe this. I don't think any intelligent person can argue with this.

It is indisputable that Chase Utley, Ryan Howard, and Jayson Werth are the most productive hitters on the Phillies team. They're great. We all love them. So what is ideal when the 3,4, and 5 holes come around?

People on base. You want as many people on base because Utley, Howard, and Werth are beasts.

The best way to achieve this?

Putting high OBP players in front of them in the order. The following are 2008/2009/career OBPs for the three movable parts of the Phillies lineup:

Rollins: .349/.296/.329
Polanco: .350/.331/.348
Victorino: .352/.358/.347

Polanco and Victorino have almost identical career OBPs. Victorino appears to be progressing as his OBP the last two seasons has been considerably higher than at any other point in his career. Rollins is coming off a career low year, and isn't getting any younger. He undoubtedly will do better than last year, but he has always had his troubles being a high on-base guy.

Additionally, with Ruiz and the pitcher's spot coming up, should getting on base be a primary concern? No (no disrespect meant to Carlos, but it's just logical). I would like the 7th hole to be able to adequately clear the remnants of Utley, Howard, Werth, and Ibanez. Thus, a high slugging percentage would by ideal. 2008/2009/career SLG for the movable parts:

Rollins: .437/.423/.439
Polanco: .417/.396/.414
Victorino: .447/.445/.428

Victorino's progression the last two seasons don't necessarily help my case for SLG, but OBP has been more highly correlated to runs scored. So, Vic's ability to get on base outweighs his slightly higher slugging. These numbers most likely suggest that Victorino is just a better all around batter. This also implies that he should be placed at the top of the lineup.

Be prepared for much, much more on this topic once the season starts.


Jimmy Rollins said...


Scott Graham said...

Great defense, Jimmy! Don't swing first pitch today please.