Bat LoMo Second. Now.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

From Joe Capozzi's latest notes column:
With the top of the batting order struggling, manager Edwin Rodriguez isn't ruling out moving Morrison higher in the lineup one day. But it's too early to make any changes now.
Edwin Rodriguez told Capozzi, "I would like to keep him in the run-producing position because he's such a good hitter and he hits righties (.333) or lefties (.313) very well."

Let me be completely clear here. Morrison should be hitting leadoff or second. He leads the team on OBP so far this year (.440), but that is over too small a sample size (50 plate appearances, though in another week or so...) to draw any conclusions. However, over 337 career PAs his OBP is .398, and he is projected to get on base at a .381 clip by Fangraphs.

Current number-2 hitter Omar Infante has a career .318 OBP (in 2866 career PAs). Over the course of a season, he is not the Marlins' optimal number 2 hitter. Fangraphs projects a .336 OBP for Infante in 2011.

Rodriguez wants Morrison in a run-producing position, but batting him behind sluggers Hanley Ramirez and Mike Stanton seems a tad like putting the cart in front of the horse. I want as many baserunners as possible during Ramirez and Stanton PAs, and that means putting LoMo at the top of the order along with Chris Coghlan (the other non-Ramirez non-Stanton Marlin high-OBP guy on the team).

When examining optimal lineups before the season started, Michael of Marlin Maniac suggested LoMo should hit second against RHPs, but fifth (behind Stanton) against LHPs (though he did leave the option to bat him third against lefties). I'll defer to his numbers, since he has more statistical acumen than I do, but suffice it to say, the Marlin with the best OBP should be getting the most PAs he can, and batting Morrison fifth or sixth leaves runs on the table over the course of a season.

Michael said it best about Infante hitting second: "He simply is not good enough to hit at the top of the order, where he would only be taking plate appearances away from more talented hitters like Morrison." (emphasis added).

Hopefully Rodriguez wises up and shuffles the order soon. But considering his adherence to the sunk-cost fallacy vis-a-vis Emilio Bonifacio, I'm not exactly optimistic.


Tom-Ass April 14, 2011 at 2:36 PM  

Amen to that! Infante needs to drop in the batting order until he "gets his swing back" as he said after the spring games. What's the point of protecting Hanley & Stanton in the lineup if they have no runners to drive in?

RTM April 15, 2011 at 11:25 AM  

Gaby needs to be hitting in front of Stanton and behind Hanley. Stanton still has a long way to go in becoming a complete hitter. Right now, he's just a Rob Deer or Pete Incaviglia. I have confidence in the guy but there's no need to fake until he makes it, slip him down the order and let Gaby keep producing.

Definitely agree with LoMo batting 2nd. Moving Infante is a no brainer. .318 career OBP!?

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