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Please stop the Juan Pierre-to-the-Reds ridiculousness

Jul 30, 2012, 1:59 PM EDT

So, yeah, there seems to be a legitimate chance this is going to happen. But the Reds don’t need a leadoff hitter, and they certainly don’t need Juan Pierre.

For starters, they have a perfectly good leadoff hitter, if only they’d use him there. Drew Stubbs strikes out a whole lot and has a disappointing OBP this year, but when he bats at the top of the order, he scores runs, which is the name of the game.

Here’s some NL leadoff hitters and their career runs scored per game from the leadoff spot:

.738 – Rickie Weeks – 440 R in 596 G
.715 – Rafael Furcal – 986 R in 1,379 G
.714 – Stubbs – 130 R in 182 G
.702 – Jimmy Rollins – 927 R in 1,321 G
.694 – Jose Reyes – 722 R in 1,040 G
.665 – Dexter Fowler – 177 R in 266 G
.616 – Michael Bourn – 357 R in 580 G
.601 – Pierre – 827 R in 1,377 G

As the list shows, it’s a lot easier to score runs when you drive yourself in once in a while.

While Pierre might be of some use to the Reds as a fifth outfielder, it’s doubtful the team would use him that way if he was picked up. Instead, he’s start playing a lot of left field over a guy who has 17 homers in Ryan Ludwick. And while Pierre still has some pretty good overall numbers himself with a .306 average, .346 OBP and 23 steals, most of his production came early on; he’s getting on base at about a .320 clip for the last 2 1/2 months. He’d likely make the offense worse every time he’s penciled in.

  1. forthand26 - Jul 30, 2012 at 2:03 PM

    Pierre and Victorino for Costanzo (born in Philly) and Bruce

    • drmonkeyarmy - Jul 30, 2012 at 2:07 PM

      And the Reds would do this because?

    • syracuse451 - Jul 30, 2012 at 2:07 PM

      hahahahaha, wow I hope that’s a joke.

    • deathmonkey41 - Jul 30, 2012 at 2:10 PM

      Constanza? I thought he worked for the Yankees.

    • Alex K - Jul 30, 2012 at 2:11 PM

      That’s a funny joke.

    • stlouis1baseball - Jul 30, 2012 at 2:34 PM

      The Redlegs will never…EVER trade Jay Bruce.
      Mark it down. Make a note. Write it on the calendar. Will. Not. Happen.

      • forthand26 - Jul 30, 2012 at 2:51 PM

        Where do I write it on the calendar?

      • brucewaynewins - Jul 30, 2012 at 6:49 PM

        I wouldn’t consider him untouchable. Both defensively and offensively he has been playing like crap ever since the San Fran series. Every aspect of his game has been worse than usual. He is very streaky and has not yet lived up to the hype.

        The blinded fan base (I’m one of the few Reds fans who doesn’t understand the love he gets) would be upset and that’s about the only thing he has going for him. Although he did sign a contract that favors the Reds very well.

    • stlouis1baseball - Jul 30, 2012 at 3:05 PM

      “Where do I write it on the calendar?”
      Hahaha! Good question. Today’s date w/ the time being 2:34 P.M. (ET).

  2. drmonkeyarmy - Jul 30, 2012 at 2:05 PM

    If RBI’s are a team statistic, why are runs scored not viewed in the same fashion? How is runs scored a good way to evaluate a lead off hitter? If Stubbs would be on base more, would he not score more runs? Therefore, given the team nature of the stat of runs scored, how are you using that to gauge a players effectiveness at that position?

    • Alex K - Jul 30, 2012 at 2:16 PM

      This. Runs are just as bad of a way to evaluate an individual as RBI. Pierre gets on base more than Stubbs. That means that Pierre wouldn’t hurt the offense if it pushed Stubbs out. Heck, Pierre would help the offense

    • Matthew Pouliot - Jul 30, 2012 at 2:27 PM

      Yeah, it’s definitely team based, but it’s not like there’s a leadoff-hitter efficiency statistic to site here. I’m just trying to demonstrate that even though Stubbs isn’t an OBP guy, he’s still a quality option in the leadoff spot — he hits for power, he’s an efficient basestealer and he drives in more runs than most leadoff guys.

      And runs isn’t quite as team-based as RBI.

      • butchhuskey - Jul 30, 2012 at 2:35 PM

        How is runs scored not as team-based as RBI? Enlighten me

      • headbanger33 - Jul 30, 2012 at 2:38 PM

        Plus, Juan Pierre did not bat leadoff with the White Sox.

      • drmonkeyarmy - Jul 30, 2012 at 2:40 PM

        That argument on his part is correct in my opinion. Base running definitely plays a role in run scoring and is something that is inherent to the individual running whereas it is independent of the one driving in the run. The strange case of Ryan Howard has been used to illustrate this point. Although he drives in runs at an exceptional rate (percentage of runners driven in…not just counting but rate), pundits love to explain that by the fact that he has 3 elite base runners in front of him in the line-up.

      • CJ - Jul 30, 2012 at 2:41 PM

        ” there’s a leadoff-hitter efficiency statistic to site here”

        Then make one up. This is the sabermetric era, and we need a leadoff metric, dammit!

      • Alex K - Jul 30, 2012 at 2:50 PM

        I don’t think the argument was that runs are just as team-based as RBI. There are parts of scoring runs (getting on base/baserunning ability) that don’t have anything to do with your teammates. That being said – using runs scored is, however, just as bad of a way to evaluate a player as using RBI because you have to depend on a teammate to hit the ball or take the walk that will get you home 99% of the time.

      • Matthew Pouliot - Jul 30, 2012 at 2:54 PM

        Because runs scored correlate better with positive events. You can get only one run scored per success, as opposed to two, three or four RBI.

        Run scored totals are also quite a bit more consistent from year to year than RBI totals. Not quite as lineup spot dependent.

      • paperlions - Jul 30, 2012 at 2:59 PM

        They are team-based….to an extent…but not as team-based as RBI.

        Most RBI require that a TEAMMATE get on base.

        Most runs scored require that YOU safely reach base.

        Career OBP is a much better metric….because you can’t score if you don’t get on base.

      • xmatt0926x - Jul 30, 2012 at 5:04 PM

        What the …..??? Runs aren’t as team based as RBI’s? Matthew, must you just say whatever the hell you feel like to justify your argument? A guy standing at the plate with runners in scoring position still needs to produce in some way with his bat. I would say a player has to be at least a little more productive on his own to drive in a runner. Being a good baserunner is an individual quality to have as well but does that quality come into play individually as much as having to make good contact with the bat while under more pressure than the guy standing at 2nd or 3rd base has? RBI’s may be a misleading stat as has been argued to death in recent years but people act like you can just stick any light hitting triple-A shortstop at the plate with runners in scoring position and he would drive in as many runs as Josh Hamilton.

      • brucewaynewins - Jul 30, 2012 at 6:41 PM

        I’m at work so I don’t time to stat crunch or read every comment on this thread. But as a Reds fan I have to ask if you accidentally grabbed another players stats when saying Stubbs is better than Pierre, or perhaps you’ve only grabbed some small section of his stats.

        He was removed from leadoff last year because he was so bad at it. His numbers got better when he was pulled from it. He was pulled from it again this year and some of his best numbers at first came from when he was hitting in the two spot. Before this season he was best in the 2 slot statistically speaking.

        There is no way someone can say placing a plus 300 hitter in a line up would make a team worse vs a hitter who strikes out a ton and hits below 250. I know batting average isn’t everything but these 2 aren’t close.

        Perhaps you are just being sarcastic?

  3. syracuse451 - Jul 30, 2012 at 2:06 PM

    I don’t think career statistics regarding a single spot in the batting order have any predictive value at all, but the rest of your argument still makes sense. However, considering that Wilson Valdez has been seeing significant time in the top of the order, adding Pierre wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world.

  4. urdoingitwrongreds - Jul 30, 2012 at 2:11 PM

    They dont need Pierre because they have a perfectly fine lead off man in Phillips, but he wont bat there because his manager is too stubborn to conform to logic.

    • stlouis1baseball - Jul 30, 2012 at 3:48 PM

      Bingo! I have been waiting on one of you guys to mention #4 in the leadoff spot.
      Problem is…you have stunk it up in the #2, #4 and #5 holes. Phillips gives you all kinds of flexibility in this regard as you can hit him virtually anywhere in the lineup.
      In a perfect world…B. Phillips is your leadoff man though!

  5. lpd1964 - Jul 30, 2012 at 2:15 PM

    The dude hasn’t watched Stubbs play everyday like Reds fans do, Stubbs is a strikeout machine who fashions himself as a homerun hitter. I’m not a big fan of Pierrre but please, stop with the Stubbs is a leadoff guy. The guy who hasn’t been given a fair chance is Chris Heisey-let’s see what he can do.

    • Matthew Pouliot - Jul 30, 2012 at 2:23 PM

      And because you watch him every day, you focus too much on the negatives and ignore the fact that he’s actually a perfectly effective leadoff hitter. That his outs come in the form of strikeouts instead of groundouts doesn’t change that.

      • drmonkeyarmy - Jul 30, 2012 at 2:27 PM

        Yeah, that .300 OBP just screams put me in the lead off spot.

      • sabatimus - Jul 30, 2012 at 2:40 PM

        Wow.

      • Matthew Pouliot - Jul 30, 2012 at 2:55 PM

        In his defense, Stubbs is probably more of a .320 OBP guy. Obviously, it’s still less than ideal.

    • urdoingitwrongreds - Jul 30, 2012 at 2:32 PM

      The problem isnt Stubbs playing, its where he bats. Dusty is doing himself no favors with the insistence of maximizing outs by his 1 and 2 hitters out of the insane concept that speed is more important than actually reaching base.

  6. butchhuskey - Jul 30, 2012 at 2:22 PM

    On-base percentage is a far better measure of lead off skills than runs scored. Runs scored is largely dependent on how other players perform (ie whether or not they can drive you in)

  7. youdogoodatbaseball - Jul 30, 2012 at 2:22 PM

    To say that “when he bats at the top of the order, he scores runs, which is the name of the game.” is a terrible argument. That’s like saying a pitcher who has the most wins must be the best pitcher, because “wins are the name of the game.” I’m willing to bet that if he scored 130R in 182G, he would have scored a lot more if he had a better OBP or OPS and would have a lot fewer if he had the liked of Nefi Perez batting behind him and not Joey Votto.

    • Matthew Pouliot - Jul 30, 2012 at 3:00 PM

      Well of course he would. But instead of worrying about the hypotheticals, look at the results. Yeah, Stubbs has had Votto behind him, but the Reds haven’t been very good in the two or four holes while Stubbs was hitting leadoff. Every leadoff hitter has productive hitters batting below him.

      • butchhuskey - Jul 30, 2012 at 3:13 PM

        “Every leadoff hitter has productive hitters hitting below him” ? Absolute statements like these are not only not true but they are also ignorant.

      • sabatimus - Jul 30, 2012 at 6:48 PM

        Pouliot, you hurt your premise with everything you say.

  8. whodeytn - Jul 30, 2012 at 2:44 PM

    Wow, this story is a joke.

    Stubbs has had more than enough chances at lead off. I wish they’d put BP back there and let Stubbs stay at 2

  9. F14TRex.com - Jul 30, 2012 at 2:47 PM

    They need a leadoff hitter. They have one of the lest-effective leadoff 1-2 combos in the League. Not good when their job is to set up Joey Votto when he gets back.

  10. mrredlegz - Jul 30, 2012 at 2:52 PM

    Idunno, man. Stubbsy is heating up. Maybe someone finally lit a fire under his ass.

  11. joshfrancis50 - Jul 30, 2012 at 2:56 PM

    I think your logic is faulty. You say he scores runs at a better percentage than most because he can drive himself in with his HR totals. Well, that’s also true if he hits in the 8 spot, so his ABILITY to lead off isn’t any greater than anyone else’s. The Reds would still be better served to have a higher OBP guy hit at the top of the order, because what you attribute as Stubbs’ strength is something that is able to be replicated down in the order and, in fact, may have greater value out of the 6 or 7 spot when people are on base in front of him.

    I am absolutely NOT in favor of Pierre over Stubbs, but the Reds need a higher OBP out of the lead off position.

    • Matthew Pouliot - Jul 30, 2012 at 3:10 PM

      There’s definitely some truth to that; Stubbs slash line screams No. 7 hitter.

      I probably could have made it more clear in the article that I hardly view Stubbs as the ideal leadoff hitter; I’m certainly not arguing that he’s a better option there than someone like Reyes.

  12. siftin thru nonsense - Jul 30, 2012 at 2:58 PM

    Do the analysis in runs per plate appearance. that would be a better analysis. Pierre is pulled sometimes for someone with a good arm in the OF so he may lose an at bat in some games. They put Mayberry Jr in for him because Pierre has no arm.

    • Matthew Pouliot - Jul 30, 2012 at 3:04 PM

      Not as easy to get to, but Pierre has 6,380 PAs in 1,377 G in the leadoff spot – 4.63 per game. Stubbs is at 855 in 182 G – 4.70 per game.

      So, Stubbs is at .152 runs per plate appearance, Pierre at .130.

  13. johnnyb1976 - Jul 30, 2012 at 3:00 PM

    Reds are 33-2 when Stubbs scores a run. I have to agree with Matthew on this one

    • warpd - Jul 30, 2012 at 3:30 PM

      Nice cherry pick.

      The Tigers are 9-1 on the days my Mom makes pizza.

    • sabatimus - Jul 30, 2012 at 6:51 PM

      Source?

  14. siftin thru nonsense - Jul 30, 2012 at 3:01 PM

    Also, Stubbs stinks. Hits .200 vs rightees. Guess what,.. most pitchers are right handed. Strikes out 200 times per season and hits .230. Only 12 homers in 300 at bats. That is no good. Why are you so pro Stubbs. I think you are just anti Phillies. Pretty obvious. Stubbs isnt very good. he doesnt even hit many doubles.

  15. arnny23 - Jul 30, 2012 at 3:12 PM

    So Matthew, the strikeouts are no different than groundouts? What if you change a few of those strikeouts here and there to ground balls… with a player of his speed putting the ball in play is a HUGE difference.

    Not to mention even though its not relevant to the leadoff arguement… the loss of production a strikeout equals… like scoring a runner from 3rd with less than 2 outs or hitting a ball to the right side to move a runner to third, or working a walk to get closer to your RBI guys… like most leadoff hitters have the capability to do.

    Stubbs has had more than enough chances to shorten his swing and be a contact on base guy… he just prefers to hit HR. I like Stubbs… but batting 7th.

    This article is dumb. The most important characteristics of a Leadoff guy are OB% followed by speed. Juan Pierre is superior than Stubbs.

  16. stlouis1baseball - Jul 30, 2012 at 3:21 PM

    I think Sabermetric leaning people tend to make shit up just to have something to argue about.
    RBI’s aren’t a good indication of a players ability. Scoring runs aren’t a good indication of a players ability. Pitchers’ (W-L) records are also not a good indication of the pitchers ability.
    Let’s add ERA, Strikeout vs. K rates, groundball ratio and everything else you can think of as well. Throw them all out. Then…
    We can start rooting for the guys we like best based upon throwing/batting preference, uniform colors, long stockings versus long pants, batting style, hair cuts, Lefty’s vs. Righties, etc…
    Sound good? Mmmkay.

    • warpd - Jul 30, 2012 at 3:33 PM

      Grandpa? Is that you? I told you to take your medication and stay away from the keyboard.

      • stlouis1baseball - Jul 30, 2012 at 3:45 PM

        Okease remind your Momma that Granddad’s digestive tract can’t handle pepperoni’s.
        That pizza will need to be cheese only. Hell…no cheese either. Pappy is lactose intolerant.

    • Alex K - Jul 30, 2012 at 4:08 PM

      RBI and runs scored are awful ways to judge an individual’s ability because they depend too much on your teammates. Most times a guy scores a run it’s because he had a teammate hit the ball or take a walk. And most times when a guys gets an RBI it’s because a teammate got on base in front of him. Just because runs scored has more to do with a guy’s actual talent level (OBP, baserunning instincts, speed) it’s too team based to make it a good indicator of his talent. Runs scored for a team is, however, a really good way to judge the offense of your favorite 9.

  17. johnnyb1976 - Jul 30, 2012 at 3:34 PM

    Just for the record Stubbs is not on pace to strikeout 200 times this season he has improved in that. It’s not just Stubbs struggling in the lead off spot, the entire reds team is. He has hit much better in the 2 hole and has really hit after the all star break. All this and the reds are in 1st place and have a 10 game winning streak so things aren’t all bad.

  18. stoutfiles - Jul 30, 2012 at 3:39 PM

    If they need a leadoff hitter, they have a perfectly awesome one in Billy Hamilton. Call him up already!

  19. seanmk - Jul 30, 2012 at 3:49 PM

    .247/.300 should not be leading off regardless of speed

  20. metalhead65 - Jul 30, 2012 at 4:05 PM

    this has to be one of the dumbest things I have read on here. the fact that pieree has a higher batting average means he gets more hits which means he gets on base more which means if he were traded to the reds Votto would have somebody on base when he comes up to bat right? which means when he gets his hits the chances he would be driving a run woulod be greater than they are with nobody on which is the case when stubbs leads off. unless he figures a way to steal first base he is a horrible leadoff guy,unless striking out 3 times a game is some new saber stat he should be proud of. I am sick of hearing how many runs he has scored,what about the many ofer games he has had in the reds wins this year? your basicly saying he should be the leadoff hitter because he is a good luck charm for them. he has had a hot streak lately since being moved to second in the order but he has had those before but always returns to back to the .220-.240 hitter he always has been. no the reds leadoff hitter when votto comes back needs to be brandon phillips who did the job the last 2 months of last season quite well and started off this year doing fine there with cozart at 2. we can count on dusty not doing what makes sense however and not doing that. unless the reds are going to get a player good enough dusty has to play him over stubbs then they should not make a deal for one. maybe you would have a different view if you actually watched the reds play and see how untill the last 10 days stubbs has sucked.

  21. buckeye2280 - Jul 30, 2012 at 4:53 PM

    I agree with the outcome of the article just not the substance.

    Stubbs is not a better LeadOff hitter then Pierre.

    However, putting BP at the 1 is a much better option to this team as a whole.

    My Lineup standard lineup each night would be…

    1. BP
    2. Cozart
    3. Voto
    4. Ludwig
    5. Bruce
    6. Frazier(kid has out performed Rolen and has won this spot)
    7. Stubbs
    8. Hanigan
    9. Pitcher

  22. drewsylvania - Jul 30, 2012 at 6:56 PM

    Stubbs career: .247/.320/.403
    Stubbs as leadoff hitter, career: .244/.321/.372
    Stubbs as leadoff hitter, 2012 (62 PA): .158/.226/.175

    Hell, Stubbs in the 2 hole, 2012: .253/.324/.471

    But Pierre sucks regardless of where you bat him, so you’re half right.

  23. jumbro10 - Jul 30, 2012 at 7:29 PM

    I am fine with sayingno to pierre, but to say the reds dont need a leadoff hitter is crazy. Combine all our leadoff hitters together and they have the worse ave and obp in all the league. I have argued stubbs as the right guy for a couple years but the organization hasnt dedicated him to it, nor has he dedicated himself. He thinks he is a power hitter and trains as such.

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