The rambling thoughts of a Modern Orthodox Chassid (whatever that means). Contact me at emansouth @

Friday, April 13, 2007

Sports Friday - David Wright Should Bat Second

Willie Randolph batted David Wright second through some of spring training. This was very hard to believe because it made too much sense. Wright is a much better and hitter than Paul Lo Duca and would, if left in the second slot all year, get approximately 60 more at bats than if he batted 5th.

(And although there is zero empirical evidence that placement in any particular batting slot has any statistical significance, batting him in front of the hard hitting Carlos Beltran, would, according to those who continue to believe things that simply aren't true, "protect" Wright and allow him to see "better pitches").

Predictably, as soon as meaningful games began, Willie ("I have a hunch") Randolph reverted to form and put Wright back at 5th. This will likely cost the Mets one to two wins this year. It could be the margin between first place and a wild card (or worse).



  • At 2:33 PM, Blogger Ben said…

    You got it exactly right about the true meaning of batting order. Protecting shmotecting, the key is to get the good hitters as many at bats as possible. But the difference between Wright and LoDuca over 50 at bats doesn't really amount to all that much, maybe 3 runs. It's not obvious that that's even worth a single win.

  • At 1:19 AM, Blogger Ezzie said…

    Absolutely. The reason so many teams have switched their best hitters to batting 3rd (starting with Pujols) was for a number of similar reasons. If they were batting 4th, a 1-2-3 1st meant that they were leading off; a waste. If one got on, it meant batting with two outs; still a waste, since the P could still attack. But if he's batting third, and anyone reaches, he's up with 0-1 outs and runners on - really tough on a pitcher.

    You want your top hitters batting early because they'll see the most pitches and tire the pitcher out, not to mention reach base more and score more. The more PA's to do this, the better.

  • At 1:33 AM, Blogger MoChassid said…


    I think it would be more than 3 runs. I think Wrights numbers will improve this year and that Lo Duca's will get worse (typical for catchers his age)

  • At 10:47 AM, Blogger Joe Schick said…

    I actually wouldn't mind Beltran second and Wright third.

  • At 5:26 PM, Blogger MoChassid said…


    That's better than what we have now but I'm not sure I understand your rationale.


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