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Monday, April 9, 2012

Juan Pierre is stealing PAs from these players

Fangraphs.com is an excellent website created and operated by people much, much smarter than the fools who write here. Fangraphs uses 6 different systems used to project every MLB player's expected offensive output for the 2012 season.

The six different sources are all unanimous regarding Pierre's expected wOBA for the season: the lowest wOBA is .299 and the highest is .304. In other words, they all agree on a well-below average season for Pierre at the plate.

In today's home opener, Pierre is batting 1st (he had a .329 OBP last season -- not bad, but bad for a leadoff hitter -- and a nearly-impossible .327 SLG). Shane Victorino, for whom Fangraphs predicts a .341-.357 wOBA, is batting 5th today. Batting 6th is John Mayberry, predicted between .318-.345, and batting 7th is the 2011 team OBP LEADER, Carlos Ruiz. Fangraphs has Ruiz between .323-.344 for 2012.

It is very likely that Pierre will get more PAs than Ruiz in this game, and certainly possible for Pierre to get more PAs than all 3 of the above players. It's just asinine, especially when you have a team desperate for any run in any situation.

Why is the range for Pierre only .005, while the lowest range for the above players is Victorino's .016? Probably because Pierre has about 11 home runs in 500,000 career games played.

For reference, Domonic Brown, the specific reason Juan Pierre was signed, is projected between .321-.350. However, left field defense is apparently much more important than, you know, scoring runs.

If Manuel simply switched Pierre and Ruiz in the lineup, he would automatically increase the offensive output. Ruiz is the perfect leadoff hitter -- he led the team in OBP last year, he walks a ton, and his OBP is HIGHER when not-batting-8th, contrary to popular (re: mentally-challenged WIP hosts') belief -- and he would probably ground into fewer double plays since he will be batting ahead of the pitcher/with no one on base. Pierre would be perfect in the 7-slot batting ahead of Galvis, because in the rare event he does reach base, he will be able to use his speed to steal more often at the bottom of the lineup than at the top (he was only 27 for 44 last season, an acceptable percentage when Galvis is at the plate, but not when a real batter is trying to hit).

But, nah, he was good 9 years ago in the leadoff spot, so let's keep rolling him out there.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Pierre has developed a large reverse platoon split the last few years:

wOBA vs. LHP the last 3 years:
.370 .328 .355

wOBA vs. RHP the last 3 years:
.322 .292 .276

Not only is Manuel starting him, but thus far he is starting him exclusively against RHP!

Andy Musser said...

Yep, that platoon split is huge, and all of his starts have come against righties.

Also, he was used to pinch hit against RHP Jason Grilli in game 2 in Pittsburgh, when Jim Thome was the obvious option.

The sooner Dom Brown is freed, the better.