What is your opinion of the A.J. Pierzynski signing?
MJH on accountability
Glad to see Wash plans on hitting Berkman 3rd. I completely agree with that. He probably won't hit 40 HRs, but he'll probably get on base more than Josh did.
I'd be okay with Ian batting leadoff again if he'd take more walks like he did in 2011. Failing that, I'd rather see, at least to start the year, on a normal basis:
1) Murphy - LF (L)2) Andrus - SS (R)3) Berkman - DH (S)4) Beltre - 3B (R)5) Cruz - RF (R)6) Kinsler - 2B (R)7) Pierzynski - C (L)8) Moreland - 1B (L)9) Gentry/Martin - CF (R/L)
Like eric said, the lineup stacking can be overrated. Yes, occasionally you will run into a lefty specialist being able to face several guys in a row. That's probably not worth hitting weaker hitters in front of better ones.
You can say you expect Murphy to regress. That's fine. He might. But unless he does, he's the guy that got on base most, so he deserves the shot. Wash won't go for this because Ian will probably steal more bases, but I'm convinced it's the right move. At least, unless he regresses in OBP. Elvis, of course, has to bat 2nd so he can bunt Murphy over.
Gnats - I agree. Berkman's plate patience is probably the one asset the Rangers are counting on, even with age. You reduce the asset's value when you put a streaky hitter like Cruz behind him in the order. You put Beltre after Berkman and dare opponents to put two men on ahead of Cruz.
Just curious, because I'm not personally familiar: just how atrocious are Berkman's base running skills likely to be these days? That Hamilton speed might be the one luxury we are going to miss out of our middle lineup. (It's certainly something most other teams have survived without.)
Also love the idea of atleast trying Murphy batting first; the thought crossed my mind several times last year. He did an amazing job working pitchers over last year, I thought (do numbers back that up?) I've always loved the demoralizing effect it can have on the home crowd/pitcher when you're on the road and the opening batter takes your pitch count near double digits. But he's not a classic base stealer, and Wash is a 'classic' kinda guy, so I won't hold my breath.
A team goes R/L etc not so much against the starting opposing pitcher but for match ups from the 7th on against the opposing bull pen. This was not as crucial when teams went with 10 man pitching staffs, but becomes a major factor to consider when like the Rangers go with a 12 man staff. This leaves only three real subs on the bench because a team is reluctant to use their back up catcher, for example to pinch hit. Typically a team wants speed and obp in the #1 and #2 slots, your best hitter [with hope he also has 30+ hr numbers] and your best power and run producers in the #4 and #5 hole. MARTIN will get more at bats then Gentry will if there is even a platoon only for the fact that most Teams have R/L ratios of 3 to 2 are even 4 to 1 in starters [the Rangers will probably be one of the exceptions with a 2 to 3 ratio] and above all Wash is a traditionalist. So if the Rangers faced Bud Norris today the Rangers will go with: Kinsler-Andrus-Berkman-Beltre-AJP-Cruz-Murphy-Moreland and Martin. March 31 we will know.
@the_answer: Berkman's BSR numbers have been up and down his whole career. They've usually been average to below average, and only once has he stolen more than 10 bases in a season. Just based on having watched him in Houston and occasionally since, and assuming normal age-related regression, I would assume him being somewhere in Beltre's area. I don't expect him to have more than a few stolen bases or extra bases taken on hits over the course of the year, and he'll probably GDP some. In essence, I think we'll be giving up Josh's speed, and some of his power, for Lance's OBP.
Notify me of follow-up comments via email.