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Maybe the Royals shouldn’t bat Chris Getz leadoff

Aug 13, 2013, 11:32 PM EDT

Omar Infante, Chris Getz AP

In the grand scheme of things, we know lineup order means little. It’s certainly more important that a manager have the right guys playing than have them in the proper order. Lineup decisions aren’t worth a tenth of all the ire they produce on the Internet and radio.

And, yet, once in a great while, those poor lineup decisions get exactly the results they deserve. For example, here is how the Royals have fared in all six of Chris Getz’s starts in the leadoff spot this season:

May 22 – Lost 3-1 to Houston
May 23 – Lost 5-4 to L.A. Angels
May 24 – Lost 5-2 to L.A. Angels
May 25 – Lost 7-0 to L.A. Angels
May 26 – Lost 5-2 to L.A. Angels
Aug. 13 – Lost 1-0 to Miami

That’s six games, all losses, with a total of nine runs scored. Getz went 4-for-21 with four walks between the six games, giving him a .320 OBP that slightly exceeds his career mark of .310.

Obviously, if Getz has to play, he should be batting ninth. And that’s usually where he bats in manager Ned Yost’s lineup. But not tonight, for some reason. Jarrod Dyson, who has better numbers against right-handers and is faster than Getz, hit ninth tonight. David Lough, the usual leadoff hitter against righties, hit fifth, apparently because he was needed there more than he was at the top.

  1. ezthinking - Aug 14, 2013 at 12:08 AM

    So your post has no correlation to wins and losses. How did his leading off create the losses any more so than anyone else’s position in the lineup? Or the pitching, or the defense or the time of day?

    Thanks for wasting our time. You’re better than this post.

    • cohnjusack - Aug 14, 2013 at 7:03 AM

      Angry, angry young man…

    • Bob Loblaw - Aug 14, 2013 at 8:27 AM

      “You’re better than this post”

      No…he’s not.

  2. dirtyharry1971 - Aug 14, 2013 at 12:26 AM

    maybe the royals shouldn’t even have a team? Ever think about that? I know I have

    • clemente2 - Aug 14, 2013 at 1:43 AM

      The Royals are one of five teams closely in contention for the two wldcard playoff spots, and are 2 plus games better than the NYYankees at this point. I think it would better to contract the Yankees than the Royals, especially considering their respective minor leagues.

    • Old Gator - Aug 14, 2013 at 4:58 AM

      No you haven’t. In fact, you’ve never had an actual “thought” in your entire useless life – or, at least, you’ve never demonstrated any evidence of anything that could be defined as a “thought” on this blog. Maybe down at the ice cream parlor, once you’ve blown your allowance on a couple of root beer floats, you’ve experienced a sugar high that simulated enough neural metabolism to cause a little low grade electrical activity in your brain stem – but that’s about it, little one.

    • stlouis1baseball - Aug 14, 2013 at 9:10 AM

      The Royals are one of the hottest teams in baseball Harry.
      You need to try harder.

      • Old Gator - Aug 14, 2013 at 9:58 AM

        That’s as hard as he can try. For Harry, “lame” is the new athleticism.

  3. deep64blue - Aug 14, 2013 at 5:08 AM

    “In the grand scheme of things, we know lineup order means little.”

    Wasn’t that study done about 25 years ago? Joe Sheehan and Rany Jazayerli discussed this on their Podcast recently – in todays low scoring environment, with defensive shifts etc it could be that lineup construction is much more important than coinventional widsom says.

    • paperlions - Aug 14, 2013 at 7:48 AM

      Nah, the result was that the order of hitters themselves doesn’t really affect runs scored, which wouldn’t change just because there were fewer runs scored. The most important effect of the lineup is that you should maximize plate appearances of your best hitters and minimize those of your worst hitters, that’s really the entire effect (which is rather small over the course of a season).

  4. unclemosesgreen - Aug 14, 2013 at 6:10 AM

    Dyson appears to be the superior choice to lead off against RHP’s, it’s difficult to understand why he hasn’t been atop the lineup regularly.

    A lot of times managers will use lineup order as a motivating ploy an ‘attaboy.’ In this instance, Getz has been scuffling under limited playing time but went 3-4 in his last game. Maybe Ned Yost thought Getz was hot and good provide a spark.

    The basic idea behind lineup optimization is to line up your hitters in order of OBP, highest to lowest (which no one does, btw.) Although the run differences between the ‘best’ and ‘worst’ lineups on paper are minimal, you’re also talking about two 1-run games and one 2-run game during Getz’s 6 stints leading off. An extra run would have been huge in any of those 3 games. Also, unlike Getz, Dyson can turn an infield bouncer into a single, then parlay that single into a double with an SB in the blink of an eye. You want that guy to get the extra plate appearance late in a tight game, don’t you?

    • unclemosesgreen - Aug 14, 2013 at 6:14 AM

      Looks like that first cup of coffee kicked in right around the beginning of the 3rd paragraph – ha!

      ploy ‘or as’ an
      good could

      FTFM

  5. sportsdrenched - Aug 14, 2013 at 9:39 AM

    I’m not exactly sure what Getz does to have Ned & Dayton falling all over themselves to keep Getz in the line-up and then bat him lead off. But he needs to stop.

    Just another example of the OBP/Advanced Metric Deniers that populate the Royals front office.

  6. kcroyal - Aug 14, 2013 at 11:34 AM

    Now we know why Yost was fired from a playoff team in mid September. Getz shouldn’t be leading off for the Long Island Ducks, much less. Major League ball club competing for a Wild Card.

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