July 8, 2018 at 10:05 pm #59595
Many have commented on the number of different lineups employed by Mike Matheny. Also some have lauded Stubby Clapp’s managerial expertise at Memphis. He also was the organizational minor league manager of the year for 2017. You want different lineups. Just watch Stubby.
So far this year Stubby has had 13 different players bat 7th and 8th, 12 different players bat 5th and 6th. Nine position players have batted 9th and there have been 8 different cleanup hitters. Seven different #2 and 6 batting 3rd. Only 4 different leadoff hitters.
Max Schrock is the king of versitility batting all positions except 9th. Wisdon 7 different spots, Mercado, Ravelo, Garcia, Tovar, Arozarena, Mejia and Urias 6 different positions in the lineup. Munoz in a short stay 5, Voit, O’Neil, Baron, Knizner and Sosa 4 and Jeremy Martinez 2. Paul DeJong batted #2 in his rehab assignment.
I didn’t count the number of different lineups but there must have been zillions.July 9, 2018 at 12:27 am #59600
It seems worth noting that Clapp is the tail, not the dog. His roster changes every time St. Louis has an injury. In addition, there is a greater need to keep all players fresh in the minors compared to the majors, where most teams prefer a set lineup.
For example, Memphis opened the year with Mercado, O’Neill, Garcia and Arozarena in the OF and Ravelo and Voit at first – and they all deserved and needed to play regularly. There were no clear starters and reserves.
While guys have been moved around in the lineup, as you noted, the top has been relatively stable. Memphis’ first three hitters have primarily been Mercado, Schrock and Voit. All three of them have more starts at those respective spots in the lineup than all the other players combined. (And in Voit’s case, he missed time due to injury and being with St. Louis multiple times or he would have batted third even more often.)
For St. Louis, perhaps I am missing it, but I don’t see much grumbling about who is hitting sixth vs. eighth, for example.
The primary complaints I have seen about Matheny’s lineups are two-fold. One is playing guys out of position, weakening his defense to try to maximize offense. The other is that he does not move slumping hitters down in the batting order.
In Matheny’s defense regarding using so many different players, he does not appear to have eight good enough position players to have a set lineup, so he is forced to try to mix and match.July 9, 2018 at 8:32 am #59618
In Matheny’s defense regarding using so many different players, he does not appear to have eight good enough position players to have a set lineup, so he is forced to try to mix and match.
Well this pretty much says it all. Anyone planning to play golf starting Oct.1 have plenty of time to set their tee times. Not having eight good enough position players to fill out a lineup plus the turmoil in the clubhouse can only spell SELL.July 9, 2018 at 9:14 am #59631
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As Brian pointed out, a comparison between a minor and major league team on lineup construction is apples and oranges. There are different goals and circumstances in running each team.
For a major league team, you hear players say they prefer having a set position in a lineup. Plus consistency generally means success. A lot of tinkering and changing generally means you are trying to find a successful combination. Plus I believe a lot of changes hinders success to some degree. In most any endeavor, when you never know from day to day or week to week what you will be doing or where you will be, it is hard to gain efficiencies and get into a rhythm of accomplishments.
Sometimes all the changes comes with the job, but in baseball you really want a steady environment at the top level.July 9, 2018 at 9:55 am #59643
I understand the disruption because of injuries and callups, and the need to use all players and get their work in, but
Having Mercado the classic leadoff man batting 6th and 7th let alone 8th or 9th. I could understand 3rd because he is one of the leading hitters.
And light hitter like Tovar bat 5th and 6th and Mejia bat 4th, 5th and 6th, and Baron the weakes hitter on the team batting 6th.
July 9, 2018 at 10:05 am #59645
- This reply was modified 1 year ago by SoonerinNC.
I don’t get the concern.
By a large margin, Mercado has batted first more often this season (59 games) than any other Memphis player at any other spot in the lineup. However, when he gets to St. Louis, he isn’t going to lead off – at least right away. So, if he bats a few games lower in the lineup and another player leads off then for Memphis, so what?
Same with CF. Mercado has started seven games between left and right. Again, those may not be his optimal positions, but he might have to play there later. Same with those who started in center his off days (Arozarena and Garcia).
Memphis is winning at a record rate and the players are gaining additional experience rather than being stuck in one role.
MLB goal = win every game
Minor league goal = develop players ready for MLBJuly 9, 2018 at 10:06 am #59646
In all fairness to Clapp the parent organization could be telling him to try Schrock or Arozarena at leadoff and 3,4,and 5 may be taken up by Voit, Wisdom and O’Neil. Not ragging on Clapp necisarily but with all the offensive talent on the team I wonder why you would ever bat Mejia 4th and even 5th and 6th, much less batting Tovar 5th and 6th.July 9, 2018 at 10:31 am #59648
I agree that Tovar and Mejia would not seem ideal in the middle of the lineup, but perhaps there were reasons for it.
Interestingly, Mejia has played much more at first and third than at second and short this season. Maybe Clapp expects him to hit like a corner guy those days!
Over 2/3 of the time, Tovar is in the bottom third of the order. Maybe he moved up to 5 or 6 during a period when he was hot. I dunno. He went into yesterday with a nine-game hitting streak, tied for second-longest on the team this year – and still batted eighth.July 11, 2018 at 9:32 am #59763
In case you missed it…. I’m going to post P-D’s Jeff Gordon’s Report Cards for the Cards. He started yesterday with the pitchers and today with the position players, field staff and Front Office.
What do you think.
Mikolas – A
Wacha – A-
CMartinez – B+
Flaherty – B
Gant – C
Weaver – C-
Wainwright – incomplete
Norris – A
Hicks – A
Mayers – A-
Gomber – C+
Tuivailala – C
Brebbia – C
Cecil – C
Leone – D
Lyons – D
Bowman – D
Holland – F
Molina – A
Pena – C
Kelly – D
Munoz – A
JoMartinez – B
Carpenter – C+
DeJong – C
Gyorko – C
GGarcia – C
Wong – D+
Bader – B+
Ozuna – B
Pham – C
O’Neill – C
Fowler – F
Field Staff – C-
Front Office – D
This is one writer’s opinion, so the D given to the Front Office seems generous. They brought in the lowest graded players and say to Matheny “here make these guys All-Stars”. Off with their heads.July 11, 2018 at 9:58 am #59766
CariocaCardinalParticipantPaid - Monthly
Probably a reliever or two but not going to spend the time to research them all
Front officeJuly 11, 2018 at 12:30 pm #59778
Front Office = F-July 11, 2018 at 12:44 pm #59779
CariocaCardinalParticipantPaid - Monthly
After.more thought, I would add Ozuna to the too high grade.July 11, 2018 at 4:01 pm #59785
gscottarParticipantPaid - Annual
Carp is moving into the B range.
Wong to the C range.
Ozuna should be a C because he can’t throw and 72 of his 92 hits have been singles.July 12, 2018 at 10:42 am #59850
I don’t know what it takes by a player to up his rating. I know that Ozuna gets preferential treatment by the media. (shrugging my shoulders).July 12, 2018 at 12:06 pm #59879
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LaRussa used upwards of 130-140 different lineup combinations a year as well.
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