Comments on: First Pitch: Looking Deeper at the Black Hole at the Bottom of the Lineup http://www.piratesprospects.com/2012/09/first-pitch-looking-deeper-at-the-black-hole-at-the-bottom-of-the-lineup.html Your best source for news on the Pittsburgh Pirates and their minor league system. Sun, 13 Apr 2014 02:13:00 +0000 hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.8.2 By: John Lease http://www.piratesprospects.com/2012/09/first-pitch-looking-deeper-at-the-black-hole-at-the-bottom-of-the-lineup.html#comment-20258 Mon, 17 Sep 2012 15:27:00 +0000 http://www.piratesprospects.com/?p=41897#comment-20258 Barmes has little value offensively. Why think that he’ll suddenly start hitting? He booted another one yesterday too. Holt’s played short enough in the minors that he deserves a chance, Barmes can be a defensive sub. Or Mercer, or Harrison. Barajas hit a homer yesterday, but HE still stinks. McKenry should be getting the majority of starts. If the Pirates have no one on the 40 man roster who can play a decent shortstop OTHER than Barmes, that’s a big problem too.

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By: Tim Williams http://www.piratesprospects.com/2012/09/first-pitch-looking-deeper-at-the-black-hole-at-the-bottom-of-the-lineup.html#comment-20237 Mon, 17 Sep 2012 05:32:00 +0000 http://www.piratesprospects.com/?p=41897#comment-20237 I think it’s a big “if” for Holt. Right now he has 49 at-bats. He would have to hit for average, but also put up a good OPS with that. He doesn’t hit for much power, so a lot of that is going to have to come from his OBP. It’s not impossible, but I’d say it’s improbable.

I can see why Mercer isn’t starting over Barmes. Mercer usually starts a level slow. I can’t see why Mercer isn’t starting over Harrison when Barmes gets time off. He’s better than Harrison defensively (the Pirates have said this), and his slow start at this level is the same as Harrison, who has been in the majors much longer.

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By: Bryan Graham http://www.piratesprospects.com/2012/09/first-pitch-looking-deeper-at-the-black-hole-at-the-bottom-of-the-lineup.html#comment-20233 Mon, 17 Sep 2012 04:12:00 +0000 http://www.piratesprospects.com/?p=41897#comment-20233 Honest question, not trying to be a smart a**. Is Holt’s defense that bad at SS that if he proved to be a .300 hitter in the leadoff spot that it would negate what his bat was doing? Maybe he is that bad, I don’t know. This still though doesn’t explain why Mercer never got a shot at it, from what I have seen on this site he is solid defensively and was hitting well at AAA. I know AAA isn’t the majors, but there are pitchers with a higher average than Barmes.

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By: Chase http://www.piratesprospects.com/2012/09/first-pitch-looking-deeper-at-the-black-hole-at-the-bottom-of-the-lineup.html#comment-20230 Mon, 17 Sep 2012 03:14:00 +0000 http://www.piratesprospects.com/?p=41897#comment-20230 So in other words…they were awful signings…

Sorry, just a frustrated fan talking…

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By: Tim Williams http://www.piratesprospects.com/2012/09/first-pitch-looking-deeper-at-the-black-hole-at-the-bottom-of-the-lineup.html#comment-20227 Mon, 17 Sep 2012 00:57:00 +0000 http://www.piratesprospects.com/?p=41897#comment-20227 Holt has played there in the minors, and he wasn’t a good defender. Why would he be good in the majors?

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By: John Lease http://www.piratesprospects.com/2012/09/first-pitch-looking-deeper-at-the-black-hole-at-the-bottom-of-the-lineup.html#comment-20226 Mon, 17 Sep 2012 00:30:00 +0000 http://www.piratesprospects.com/?p=41897#comment-20226 Yeah, he’d suck based on never playing there in the majors. It’s better to have a guy you know can’t hit, and can boot a groundball or throw with the best of them, because his UZR rating rocks.

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By: Tim Williams http://www.piratesprospects.com/2012/09/first-pitch-looking-deeper-at-the-black-hole-at-the-bottom-of-the-lineup.html#comment-20214 Sun, 16 Sep 2012 16:48:00 +0000 http://www.piratesprospects.com/?p=41897#comment-20214 I thought that was interesting. However, I’m having a hard time imagining a statistical model that would make up for the drop in offense from McKenry to Barajas.

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By: Tim Williams http://www.piratesprospects.com/2012/09/first-pitch-looking-deeper-at-the-black-hole-at-the-bottom-of-the-lineup.html#comment-20215 Sun, 16 Sep 2012 16:48:00 +0000 http://www.piratesprospects.com/?p=41897#comment-20215 Brock Holt is not a good defensive shortstop. He would really hurt on the field.

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By: Tim Williams http://www.piratesprospects.com/2012/09/first-pitch-looking-deeper-at-the-black-hole-at-the-bottom-of-the-lineup.html#comment-20213 Sun, 16 Sep 2012 16:47:00 +0000 http://www.piratesprospects.com/?p=41897#comment-20213 It would be hard to quantify that, since we’re talking about stuff that doesn’t show up easily in the stat sheets (rallies, how often both runners got on base in the same inning, etc).

Just looking at the individual impacts, the Pirates could upgrade more by replacing Barajas. They could upgrade offensively by replacing Barmes, but considering his defense I’m not sure if the offensive upgrade would outweigh the defensive downgrade. Having one bad hitter at the bottom of the lineup isn’t so bad as long as he has that defense. But two bad hitters hurts, especially when Barajas doesn’t seem like much of a defensive upgrade over McKenry, and is clearly a downgrade offensively.

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By: RandyLinville http://www.piratesprospects.com/2012/09/first-pitch-looking-deeper-at-the-black-hole-at-the-bottom-of-the-lineup.html#comment-20212 Sun, 16 Sep 2012 16:38:00 +0000 http://www.piratesprospects.com/?p=41897#comment-20212 Interesting stuff, Tim. Thanks for breaking this down so thoroughly. One question I have is what happens synergistically if you have both better bat options at 7 and 8? In other words, this is looking at replacing Barmes with Harrison in a box and then replacing Barajas with McKenry in a box. Wouldn’t it make sense that if upgrades were made at both spots that there would be an extra lift because both spots were now better (ie longer innings, more rallies, more chances for both runners to get on base in the same inning)? In other words, I would think that swapping both out would lead to a bigger lift than only the two games that swapping them out individually would suggest. I’m not sure if there is a way to determine that without running a statistical model that projects a full years worth of games or something along those lines with various lineup options – Barmes/Barajas then Barmes/McKenry then Harrison/Barajas and lastly Harrison/McKenry. My guess – and maybe I’m wrong – is that the Harrison/McKenry option would project to more than a two game lift compared to the Barmes/Barajas option.

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