2020 Lineup Discussion

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NEOLeo

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The Indians could have scored more than 14 runs last night if not for three players getting thrown out on the bases. That double play in the 4th inning was ridiculous.

According to Elias Sports, it was the first 3-2-8 double play in baseball’s expansion era (since 1961).

I love it. First base to catcher to center field. I can't blame Hosey too much. As he retreated to second base he saw Lindor was already there so he waved Lindor back to first. Lindor took off for first and nobody was covering first base so he would have made it. Hosey could have got back to second safely but he could see the second baseman was off the bag so Hosey stopped to see if the Cardinals would try to chase Lindor, giving Hosey a shot at going to third. He didn't see the centerfielder sneaking in behind him to cover second base. He had all the infielders accounted for so he assumed the bag was uncovered and he was fine where he was. Oops.

Just a really interesting and unusual play. That was really great hustle for the centerfielder to run all the way in and cover second in a rundown. The dumb mistake was Hernandez on third base jogging halfway to the plate on a ground ball right to the first baseman and getting himself out while leaving Hosey hung out to dry. That could have been a triple play of Molina played it right.
Hernandez was clearly going on contact. When you do that and it’s hit right at someone and they make a good throw, your job is to get into a run down so the other runners can advance. The mistake was on Ramirez as he didn’t bust ass into 3B the way he should have. He was trying to leave the base open for Hernandez, which was not going to happen. If he hustles into 3B, Frankie is able to get to 2B and it’s one out with 2 men in scoring position. Hernandez did his job and Frankie was on the way to doing his. Meanwhile Jose made two separate mistakes.
 
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Hernandez was clearly going on contact. When you do that and it’s hit right at someone and they make a good throw, your job is to get into a run down so the other runners can advance. The mistake was on Ramirez as he didn’t bust ass into 3B the way he should have. He was trying to leave the base open for Hernandez, which was not going to happen. If he hustles into 3B, Frankie is able to get to 2B and it’s one out with 2 men in scoring position. Hernandez did his job and Frankie was on the way to doing his. Meanwhile Jose made two separate mistakes.
Yep, Alomar said he should have kept going and then he made a second mistake by not getting back to second base when he had the chance, thinking nobody was covering the bag.
 
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Getting back to the lineup discussion, we either need Luplow to step up or we need to trade for Clint Frazier. Left field has been a black hole. If there was a left-handed hitting outfielder we could pick up for a prospect that could platoon with Luplow I would love to see us make that deal. Naquin seems to have solidified right field for now and we can get by with DeShields/Allen in center, although that is far from ideal. But left field remains a major problem.

MLB.com has a column about which five teams would be the best fits for Frazier, who is on something of a roll now and at 26 years old is just entering his prime but is blocked by Stanton and Judge. Naturally the Indians are at the top of the list.


The column says the Yankees need starting pitching but I don't want to trade Clevinger to New York and have to face him every year and possibly in a playoff game. They would have to come up with Frazier and at least one really good prospect, probably two. The Yankees are 17-13 and 3.5 games behind the surging Tampa Bay Rays who have won 8 of 10. The Yankees have lost 7 of 10 and are only a game ahead of Toronto and in danger of falling to third place.

I don't expect a Clevinger deal because the Indians are 21-12, in first place, and McKenzie looked shaky last night. But if somebody is willing to be bent over....
 

daddywags

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Thing about Frazier is that he's going to start 4 years of arbitration in 2021. That would put him and Naquin in arbitration at the same time with Reyes joining in 2022.
 
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Frazier is intriguing because he's only 25 and his OPS last year in 225 AB's was .806. He hit .316/.944 on the road against .216/.663 at home. I'm thinking that deep left field in Yankee Stadium may have hurt him as well as the pressure of playing in front of those New York fans. Put him in Cleveland and let him play every day and what would you have?

This year he's at .297/1.071 in a tiny sample of 37 at-bats. Still, 11-for-37 with 7 walks is pretty impressive. With the worst hitting outfield in baseball it seems there should be a deal there somehow.
 

Mott the Hoople

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The problem with Naquin has always been durability. Right now, he's playing great. But do you think he can last as a regular? Something always happens about every 3-4 weeks. I'd love him to stay healthy and play rf every day through the playoffs. But I'll believe it when I see it.
 

Derek

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Moving this conversation to the proper thread @Out of the Rafters at the Q

He's 34 years old. Bats tend to slow down as players get into their middle 30's. There are some exceptions, however. Nelson Cruz comes to mind.

Santana was hitting .173 in 98 at-bats against RHP's coming into this game. Still not a lot of at-bats, but more than 34.

Alomar thinks he's jerking when he swings left-handed and using too much body. I hope he's right and that it's an easy fix.
It's more than 34, but still not even close to a relevant sample size from which you can draw any conclusions.

Bats do tend to slow tend as players age, but there's no evidence that suggests Carlos is going through anything more than a power slump right now. His peripherals are all in line with his previously productive years.

Here are Santana's numbers though the end of May in each season since 2011 compared to his numbers this year:

1599567117084.png
1599567212521.png
It's really not out of line with previous slow starts. He just hasn't produced much power yet. If you look at BaseballSavant, his xBA and xSLG are right in line with what they were last year.

My conclusion, Santana is certainly slumping and will need to make some adjustments to right the ship, but that's nothing out of line with the variance you'd see throughout a player's typical season.
 
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Moving this conversation to the proper thread @Out of the Rafters at the Q



It's more than 34, but still not even close to a relevant sample size from which you can draw any conclusions.

Bats do tend to slow tend as players age, but there's no evidence that suggests Carlos is going through anything more than a power slump right now. His peripherals are all in line with his previously productive years.

Here are Santana's numbers though the end of May in each season since 2011 compared to his numbers this year:

View attachment 4050
View attachment 4051
It's really not out of line with previous slow starts. He just hasn't produced much power yet. If you look at BaseballSavant, his xBA and xSLG are right in line with what they were last year.

My conclusion, Santana is certainly slumping and will need to make some adjustments to right the ship, but that's nothing out of line with the variance you'd see throughout a player's typical season.
Good informative numbers but I still say the precipitous drop in ISO is concerning. It's lower this year than it's ever been through the first two months of the season despite the cold weather in April/May of previous seasons depressing power numbers. If anything his ISO should be higher this year, but it's less than half of what it was the last two seasons.

We've only played 41 games vice 60 or so in a typical April/May so we could do this comparison again at the end of the regular season.

In the meantime I'll be watching to see how many times he barrels up a fastball in the zone and how often he misses, fouls it off, or makes weak contact.
 

sportscoach

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I think people are too worried about Santana to be honest. I feel like he will get it together soon and it will all work out. Now he isnt helping himself get a nice contract, thats for sure, but he's got to much of a track record to just throw him out like it feels like some of you guys want to.
 

Derek

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Good informative numbers but I still say the precipitous drop in ISO is concerning. It's lower this year than it's ever been through the first two months of the season despite the cold weather in April/May of previous seasons depressing power numbers. If anything his ISO should be higher this year, but it's less than half of what it was the last two seasons.

We've only played 41 games vice 60 or so in a typical April/May so we could do this comparison again at the end of the regular season.

In the meantime I'll be watching to see how many times he barrels up a fastball in the zone and how often he misses, fouls it off, or makes weak contact.
His current xBA and xSLG vs fastballs are almost identical to what they were last year which suggests that his batted ball profile has remained similar.

So, again, his dip in ISO seems more like the typical variance you'd expect in production over the course of a small sample size.
 

LL3

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I am vowing to save my Prisoner of the Moment angst for the playoffs. That three game series is going to be ....evocative.
 
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His current xBA and xSLG vs fastballs are almost identical to what they were last year which suggests that his batted ball profile has remained similar.

So, again, his dip in ISO seems more like the typical variance you'd expect in production over the course of a small sample size.
Well, Fangraphs has a stat called Pitch Values which "denotes the number of runs above average a batter was against a specific pitch type (or that type per 100 pitches)."

This year Santana's pitch value per 100 pitches against fastballs is 0.06. Last year it was 0.59. His career average is 0.72. However, it was actually a negative (-0.27) over an entire season with the Phillies two years ago which was a huge anomaly. It appears he is not hitting the fastball nearly as well as he's done over his career or even last season and we're over 40 games in - not that small a sample. But he hit a fastball 429 feet last night so that's encouraging. It was a Jakob Junis 90 mph fastball, though.

According to Statcast Santana's hard hit percentage is 34.2%, down significantly from his 44.8% last year and 40.8% for his career. Is this, and his problem hitting fastballs, a temporary small sample dip or is he starting to lose bat speed at age 34? I guess we'll find out for sure next year if he signs with the Indians and we get a 150 game sample.
 

Derek

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Well, Fangraphs has a stat called Pitch Values which "denotes the number of runs above average a batter was against a specific pitch type (or that type per 100 pitches)."

This year Santana's pitch value per 100 pitches against fastballs is 0.06. Last year it was 0.59. His career average is 0.72. However, it was actually a negative (-0.27) over an entire season with the Phillies two years ago which was a huge anomaly. It appears he is not hitting the fastball nearly as well as he's done over his career or even last season and we're over 40 games in - not that small a sample. But he hit a fastball 429 feet last night so that's encouraging. It was a Jakob Junis 90 mph fastball, though.

According to Statcast Santana's hard hit percentage is 34.2%, down significantly from his 44.8% last year and 40.8% for his career. Is this, and his problem hitting fastballs, a temporary small sample dip or is he starting to lose bat speed at age 34? I guess we'll find out for sure next year if he signs with the Indians and we get a 150 game sample.
Pitch value doesn't account for quality of contact, xBA and xSLG do, which is why I used them.

The question isn't whether or not Santana had produced at a high level this year, we know he hasn't. The question is "why?", and none of the available numbers point to a drop in bat speed.

If anything, it's his numbers against off-speed pitches that are most concerning.

1599661416625.png

Fangraphs and Statcast have different criteria for hard hit, but according to Fangraphs his hard hit% is the second-highest of his career.

1599661601940.png

Statcast even has his solid contact% as the highest of his career. His barrel% is down, but if you combine the two, he's right in line with a typical season.

1599661656950.png
 
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Pitch value doesn't account for quality of contact, xBA and xSLG do, which is why I used them.

The question isn't whether or not Santana had produced at a high level this year, we know he hasn't. The question is "why?", and none of the available numbers point to a drop in bat speed.

If anything, it's his numbers against off-speed pitches that are most concerning.

View attachment 4058

Fangraphs and Statcast have different criteria for hard hit, but according to Fangraphs his hard hit% is the second-highest of his career.

View attachment 4059

Statcast even has his solid contact% as the highest of his career. His barrel% is down, but if you combine the two, he's right in line with a typical season.

View attachment 4060
Yep, Statcast has Santana's hard hit percentage down over 10% from last year while Fangraphs has him down about 3%. I don't know which is a better number.

It's crazy that his line drive percentage is the highest of his career, his opposite field percentage is also a career high (which given the extreme shifts should result in a lot of hits), and his solid contact rate is by far his career best, yet he's struggling to hit .200 after hitting .287 last year with much worse contact. Like I said, his BABIP is down 64 points despite more line drives, hard hit balls, and opposite field hits. It's not like he's banging everything hard into the shift, either, because his pull percentage is unchanged.

I have no idea why his BABIP is so low. Also, last year he hit a home run every 20 at-bats; this year it's every 36 at-bats. His HR/FB percentage dropped from 19.3 to 11.1%, a drop of 42% despite not having to deal with over a month of cold weather. His fly balls are not going as far; he's getting under them too much.
 

LL3

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Yep, Statcast has Santana's hard hit percentage down over 10% from last year while Fangraphs has him down about 3%. I don't know which is a better number.

It's crazy that his line drive percentage is the highest of his career, his opposite field percentage is also a career high (which given the extreme shifts should result in a lot of hits), and his solid contact rate is by far his career best, yet he's struggling to hit .200 after hitting .287 last year with much worse contact. Like I said, his BABIP is down 64 points despite more line drives, hard hit balls, and opposite field hits. It's not like he's banging everything hard into the shift, either, because his pull percentage is unchanged.

I have no idea why his BABIP is so low. Also, last year he hit a home run every 20 at-bats; this year it's every 36 at-bats. His HR/FB percentage dropped from 19.3 to 11.1%, a drop of 42% despite not having to deal with over a month of cold weather. His fly balls are not going as far; he's getting under them too much.
40 games does not equate to a typical season...I know it is boring, but it is true.
 
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