Friday, February 1, 2013

Pirates Batting Order 2013

It's finally February, so it's almost spring training, so I'm starting to get Pirates fever (especially with all this cold and snow). After reading some articles on the Pirates, I started thinking about their batting order. So, I opened up an excel sheet and starting tinkering with lineups.

The assumption was the following opening-day starters (2012 OBP/SLUG):

RF - Travis Snider (.324/.328)
CF - Andrew McCutchen (.400/.553)
LF - Starling Marte (.300/.437)
SS - Clint Barmes (.272/.321)
3B - Pedro Alvarez (.317/.467)
2B - Neil Walker (.324/.426)
1B - Garrett Jones (.317/.516)
C - Russell Martin (.311/.403)

Bench - Presley, Tabata, Harrison, Sanchez, McKenry

Just about all of my tinkering with lineups resulted in Neil Walker leading off. I'm concerned about putting inexperienced, low on-base percentage players at the top of the lineup (Marte, Snicer) with the most at-bats.

Here's the one I liked the most, taking into consideration on-base percentage and balancing left and right-handed batters.

1              Walker  S
2              Jones    L
3              McCutchen  R
4              Alvarez L
5              Martin  R
6              Snider   L
7              Marte   R
8              Barmes R
9              P             

From all that I've been gathering and reading, it seems like speed is overrated at the top of the order if the player doesn't get on base. I could see it changing if Marte, Snider, or any of the other outfielders (Tabata, Presley, Sands, etc.) start getting on a lot. If so, you could move them up. But, to start the year, it seems like you shouldn't be giving away outs and at-bats to lower-performing players.

If Marte hits like he has this winter in the Domincan Winter leagues, you could see a lineup like this:

1              Marte   R
2              McCutchen  R
3              Jones    L
4              Walker  S
5              Alvarez L
6              Snider   L
7              Martin  R
8              Barmes R
9              P  

The weather is going to get nicer one of these days and, before you know it, it will be opening day. Let's Go, Bucs!