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11-17-2012, 06:59 AM
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Originally Posted by Estimated_Prophet View Post
Protection certainly is not a myth. It has a direct effect on what type of pitches are thrown to a hitter. While Encarnacion would see an increase in walks his power numbers would suffer because pitchers would be far less likely to challenge him with fastballs with a vastly inferior hitter behind him.

The idea of a roll over lineup is what is far fetched. It is simply something that is not used and is just a pipe dream of over enthusiastic fans. The idea when filling out a lineup is to give your best hitters as many at bats as possible. The only reason that the #3 and #4 hitters aren't leading off is because they would be guaranteed 1 at bat per game with no baserunners on base. Once the first two hitters of a ball game have hit the concept of a leadoff hitter is obsolete. You really don't want to leave a superior hitter in the on deck circle at the end of a game in order to perpetuate this roll over premise.
Protection is a myth

The above uses Miguel Cabrera as an example (and Prince Fielder who was "protected" by Delmon Young).

An objective definition of best hitter says that our top 4 are our best 4, but that our next best could easily be guys like Izturis, Bonifacio and Lawrie.

Add to that your comment at the end is absolutely impossible to predict (in fact, it is actually more common to have your 5-7 hitters up in the 9th than your top 3).

Lineup analysis is hard to do when every team fields the same type of lineup every game. FWIW, according to baseball musings lineup analysis tool (using last year's OBP and SLG) and my 9 guys, our best lineup is Melky - EE - Lawrie - Bautista - Reyes - Rasmus - Izturis - Arencibia - Bonifacio.

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