Baseball Toaster Bad Altitude
What Should the Lineup Be?
2008-04-17 16:56
by Mark T.R. Donohue

Kels (recognize) asked in the comment section what I think the ideal Rockies lineup would be. I started to write a massively long response, but then I realized more people would read it if I made it a post.

Here is what I would do: I would set up a home/road platoon. Play Willy Taveras at Coors for his defense, since the rear flank of the Rockies' lineup all tend to turn into big producers at home and on the road the Rockies need all the help they can get (and nobody, underline nobody, has an outfield bigger than Coors Field's). So at home:

Barmes/Nix (probably more of the former)
Torrealba/Iannetta (in a 3:2 proportion)
Pitcher's Spot

Why bat Willy seventh? Well, you obviously can't bat him eighth -- his entire offensive value is his basestealing ability. You can't put a basestealer on right before the pitcher because the pitcher's always going to bunt the guy over if he gets on anyway. He's not really an RBI person, but leadoff hitters get more RBI opportunities than #7 hitters simply by virtue of coming up far more often. The other thing I like about this for the Rockies is that Yorvit Torrealba hits significantly better with runners in scoring position. Willy leads off and gets on, steals second, then either Yorvit (or Iannetta!) knocks him in with a single or moves him over with a sac fly or grounder to the right side of the infield. Then with one out the pitcher squeezes him in. Perfect, right? And you expect little smallball one-run rallies like that from the bottom of your lineup. You want the TOP of the Rockies lineup to be having three, four-run innings.

Having Troy Tulowitzki hit leadoff is one of those "Your time will come" things. He's going to be a 3-4-5 hitter soon but right now with the guys they have he's the best candidate. Obviously he has to bust his slump first.

And Helton second? Makes so much sense I don't know why they haven't thought of it yet. He's on base all the dang time and he owns the strike zone.

Besides, both Helton and Holliday should bat in the first inning in every game. That maximizes the possibility of the Rockies getting out to early leads. And, you know, at home games it's cool to see the team's megastars all in the first inning (wishfully projecting Tulowitzki becomes a megastar).

Then on the road:

Pitcher's Spot

There are a few wrinkles. You can't start Ryan Spilborghs on the road and bench him at home all year long -- the poor guy would get a complex if everyone else's numbers looked Coors-sized and his looked as if he played for the Padres. That's all well because he can serve as a rightfielder for Hawpe against tough lefties. Hawpe continues to improve against southpaws, as you may have observed during the Rockies' big ninth last night, but everybody needs a day off every now and then. Likewise, Clint Barmes and Jayson Nix both need to get their share of Coors Field starts -- so that they might drink from its restorative waters.

2008-04-18 00:34:34
1.   yankee23
Where are all the Rockies fans for the 20-inning game???

Why do I get the feeling that Mark is gonna blame the lack of run production squarely on Taveras?

2008-04-18 01:14:39
2.   BruceR
1 Hey, I made it to the bottom half of the 20th (then I made the mistake of checking email and BT before going nitey-nite).

One last check just revealed the Rockies run in the 22nd. Sweet dreams !!!

2008-04-18 01:25:30
3.   yankee23
1 I'm sure it's duly-noted that Taveras scored both runs. But the real question is how Rusch left the bat on his shoulder to end the game. Maybe he fell asleep.
2008-04-18 08:48:42
4.   Kels
I like it, you sold me Mark.

I made it thru 14 2/3 innings (I think). I was worn out from watching the Avs game, and I was lying in bed watching Corpas pitch to Tony Clark...and then the alarm went off at 6:30am...had to check the box score to see what I missed...

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