Dumb Things People Say: "Johnny Damon Should Bat 9th"

Thursday, March 12, 2009

As you could tell, I'm not very pleased with the whole Max Kellerman is out at 1050 ordeal. Well today he's replacement (hopefully only on a temporary basis) Brandon Tierney said something completely bafoonish. The Yankees should bat Johnny Damon 9th and bat Brett Gardner first. Why? His reasoning was that he doesn't want the bottom three batters to become automatic outs (aka Molina, Ransom and Garnder), so he wants to split them up. Let's just throw some quick stat analysis at this nonsense.

If you just throw likelihoods out there the leadoff batter will on average get an additional at bat in 8 of 9 games. Let's just say the lineup switches back to normal when Arod comes back consertaively 40 games in the season. That's conservatively 35 more at bats in the leadoff spot.

Now let's extrapolate that over projected averages for Damon and Gardner. We'll use the CHONE numbers at FanGraphs for the comparison. Damon is expected to have an OBP of .351 to Gardners .341. That difference actually doesn't equate to much, maybe an base reached for Damon. Gardner is expected to hit 2 homers in 446 at bats to Damons 15 in 551 at bats. That translates to a missed homer. Damon's expected slugging percentage is expected to be .417 and Gardner's is expected to be .345. That translates to 2.52 extra bases.

All in all those numbers don't look like that big of a deal, but the point is why the hell would you take away 35 at bats from a better player. All you're effectively doing is flip flopping Damon and Gardner in the order so you're really not changing the lineup chemistry at all, all you're doing is sacrificing effectiveness in the 1st inning and taking at bats away from a better player.

Thanks for the expert analysis BT. If you're going to replace Max, please be better.

Posted by Simon at 11:28 AM   Digg! submit to reddit BallHype: hype it up!


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