What is your opinion of the A.J. Pierzynski signing?
MJH on accountability
One of the more interesting side notes from the press conference announcing the signing of Adrian Beltre, was the mention by Ron Washington that Ian Kinsler might move back into the lead-off spot next year. It was a curious suggestion since it was only a day or so before that Wash called Andrus the most intelligent baserunner on the team.
While many metrics-quoting fans here point out that having Kinsler in the #1 spot would lead to more production, there's a 800 pound gorilla in the room that bears mentioning. That being Kinslers propensity to get injured. As Joey Matches said two weeks ago , "Kinsler's balls-out playing style [that increases his] inherent susceptibility to injury," its his 100 miles an hour motor that allows him to take away a grounder in the gap that also causes him to miss time in the line-up. Unfortunately, with a player who plays with such unrestrained enthusiasm like his, you have to accept the time he'll miss for the impressive plays he makes.
Which leads me to my point, what if it was Kinsler in the #1 spot in Tampa in the ALDS going from 2nd to home on an infield single? Its very easy to believe that Kinsler could cause the same havoc on the basepaths that Elvis causes, but what kind of physical toll will this take on Ian? Can we expect the same production in steals, and going from 1st to 3rd if he's dealing with nagging injuries due to the production needed?
If Kinsler was to lead off for some time and then have to make a trip to the DL, what would that do to our current line-up? Young would have to return to be our everyday starting second baseman, or you'd have to play Blanco everyday.
Just like with Hamilton playing in centerfield, we could increase production by having Ian leading off, but that idea seems unsustainable for 140+ games. Ideally, both the moves would make us a better team, however, we must consider the health and feasibility of doing so.
To me it seems that we would have a much more stable line-up by having Elvis stay in the #1 spot and we could possibly avoid Kinsler missing time on the DL.
I argued this in another post. Kinsler's swing dictates he should be in the 6-spot. Andrus is healthier and a better runner. No valid reason to move either.
Also, the argument about Kinsler and his higher OBP is a little absurd. The difference isn't enough to impact the overall standings or offensive production.
The most prolific offense in the post-steroids era for the Rangers was '08, with Kinsler hitting lead-off. He's got a tremendous talent that comes through big time when he's not overly concerned with his HR numbers.
With that said, Andrus' speed at the top of the lineup is ideal. We need him to develop a little more pop with that, however, so he's standing on 2nd when MY comes up a little more frequently.
I think we've got at least a couple of good options here. Neither has gotten it done at the top of the order quite as well as we hoped the past 2 seasons, but the talents are real. There's still some hope that Borbon might get it together, as well. All three of those have been pretty spectacular leading off for varying periods of time. Kinler was great for 120 games in 2008, Andrus was outstanding during the 1st half of 2010, and Borbon was really disruptive for a couple of months closing out 2009. One of these 3 guys would also probably be a better fit at #2 than MY, but that's another story.
Lord knows the guys in the middle of the lineup can push them across plenty well enough. Let's hope Wash and his new hitting coach, Thad Bosley, is able to figure out the best option for the team. Bosley was a speed guy, right? I bet he has some great insights on what the Good Guys can expect from this trio.
I don't think Kinsler is any more likely to be injured batting leadoff than anywhere else in the lineup. He plays that way no matter where he bats.
Joey said 'ball-out'.
Balls-out-sorry Joey.When you are as handsome and rich as I am you sometimes screw up. Did I mention I have a 'hot wife'?
Just be sure to keep her inflated, Scooby.
I think the Thad Bosley angle might not be something to dismiss. Boz will likely have much more of a feeling for the running game than Hurdle did. Maybe its why they are revisiting the lead off spot debate.
I like Elvis to stay in the #1 spot also.
"They" say he is more mature than most 22 year olds, but if you put him at 8 or 9 he may have a "let down" "break down" ... whatever you want to call it.... and I think everybody agrees that you can not put him at 5 , 6 or 7... he is not ready.... ...but maybe I am wrong..... please let me know where can you see Elvis playin other than 1, 8 or 9...
Id like to see Elvis bat number two next year with Borbon batting first if he can get it together
IMO Andrus is the best natural lead off hitter. His hitting must be a little better. I still say he let's the easy pitches go by and swings at the tough ones. Borbon is a pretty good drag bunter. He learned because of hitting weak pop ups. Of course, the surprise that makes bunting for a hit work goes away the more it is used. Kinsler has pop when he gets one of the long LF fouls fair. He's better suited for later in the order. Much is made of a batter having a good at bat by making the pitcher throw nore pitches. I think because of this the Rangers mostly take the first pitch that is usually a good pitch because the pitcher wants to get ahead and he knows most of the Rangers won't swing. Unfortunately, when the count gets to 3 and 2, the pitcher bears down and makes a tough pitch. I guess there much debate about when to swing. A pitcher with a sharp slider in the dirt is tough on a hitter when he has two strikes.
In the leadoff spot, OBP is actually more important than speed (as long as the speed difference isn't from Carl Crawford down to Bengie Molina). In the case of Elvis vs Ian, Kinsler's OBP ability is more important in front of our mashers than Andrus's speed. Elvis's speed actually would play up in the 6th spot. Speed has a bigger positive effect on run production when it's in front of singles hitters. While Borbon, Torrealba, and (to a lesser extent) Moreland qualify as singles hitters, Hamilton, Beltre, Cruz, and (to a lesser extent) Young have enough power to reduce the importance of speed in front of them.
Of course, if Elvis can regain his early 2010 plate discipline/BB%, I'll gladly take him back in the leadoff spot.
I am starting to agree with you Dave. Did you post the link to the site that breaks down what each spot in the order should be?
Andrus should lead off and Kinsler should bat second, he has a better OBP than Young and better K to walks ratio too. Young should bat 6th or 7th depending how many lefties are in the lineup. If Borbon is our CF he should bat 9th of course.
But trading for BJ Upton or Angel Pagan of the Mets should be plan B.
That's an excerpt from The Book. There's a link on the recommendations page, so you could buy the thing. It's not a great cover-to-cover read; however, if there's something you want to know (when IS the sacrifice bunt statistically advisable?), it's a great resource.
I don't understand why Kinsler would play less aggressively batting down in the order, and he did have an appreciable OBP advantage over Elvis last year. On the other hand, there's a case to be made that if you want Elvis to be the lead-off hitter, it will be a developmental step back for him to move him to 9 now. I'd probably dismiss this concern if we instead bat Elvis 9th, where he'll effectively be hitting in a lead-off spot, and where I trust Kinsler hitting behind him in the one-hole to score Elvis from 1st.
That is the one I was talking about. It is a very interesting read and it supports your argument for switching Ian and Elvis in the batting order. Elvis has pop in his bat, he just changed his approach last year and it took away almost all of his power. I'd like to see Elvis regain some of the ability to line a double in the gap rather than almost every hit being a weak single.
I like Andrus hitting first and Kinsler hitting second... Move Mike Young to sixth. Still a Kinsler-Hamilton-Beltre-Cruz-Young 2-6 is not bad (excluding Thome).Let Elvis and Ian get on base and run around before the big bats come up and bring them home. Kinsler can score on a double from first... Mike probably can't. I'd rather have the speedier guys hitting 1-2.
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