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11-17-2012, 08:02 AM
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Originally Posted by Bjindaho View Post
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.
The stats completely support my points. Cabrera hit 14 more hr's and walked 40+ fewer times with Fielder protecting him..........huge differentials. Fielder can't be used in this comparable as he didn't have sufficient protection in Milwaukee either. I don't want to hear about OPS in Cabrera's case as it is a very flawed stat as it weighs OBP as having equal value as SLG PCT which is absolutely wrong. Both the oldtimers and the geek squad are wrong in their analysis of baseball stats. The answer lies somewhere between the two albeit closer to the stat nerds than the dinosaurs.

I can't tell you how many times ex pitchers have admitted to protection factoring into their approach to dealing with the hitter that they are facing. It is ludicrous that the nerds try to disprove something that the athletes freely admit to doing. Don't get me wrong, I tend to side with the modern approach of stat analysis versus the Joe Morgan's of the world but there are too many variables to be accounted for by only looking at stats.

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