Monday, July 07, 2008

Weekly Cleveland Indians Lineup Analysis

For those who missed last week's edition, this is a new weekly series where I plan take the top 9 Indians in terms of OPS and feed them into Dave Pinto's Lineup Analysis Tool to determine the theoretical ideal batting lineup. Again, in an attempt to be realistic I'll only include players on the active roster with 10+ plate appearances.

This Week's Results
Click here for full results.

This Week's Ideal Lineup

Changes From Last Week
Kelly Shoppach and Ben Francisco switch spots, while everything else remains the same.

Theoretical Runs Per Game
5.036, down 0.127 runs per game from last week. The same players remain from last week, so in essence this means their performance has dropped since then.

Theoretical Improvement
The Indians are currently scoring 4.398 runs per game, meaning this would be an improvement of 0.651 runs per game. That in turn translates to 105 additional runs in a year, or 10.5 wins.

Defensive Plausibility
All infield spots are covered, with four outfielders who can rotate between the field and DH. As mentioned last week, this is the same starting nine that Eric Wedge has been using in real life, so there are no problems here.

Fan Believability
If Eric Wedge put together this batting order, would the fans call for his head? Possibly, especially in a year that has already been disappointing. Kelly Shoppach has been playing very well lately, but jumping him from ninth in the lineup to cleanup, and dropping Ben Francisco down to seventh would raise some eyebrows.

My Take
There's only one change from last week, so I'll basically repeat what I said then. I like Grady Sizemore batting second, where he can both get on base and drive in runs. Casey Blake has become the team's second-best hitter, so he's perfect in the #5 spot. And Shin-Soo Choo and Jamey Carroll lead the team in On Base Percentage, making them perfect for first and ninth, respectively.

Random Indians Thought of the Week
Before a recent Indians-Twins game, Sports Time Ohio showed the won-lost records and ERAs of the starters:
Paul ByrdLivan Hernandez

Their ERAs were nearly identical. But judging by their records alone, Byrd was having a terrible year and Hernandez a very good one. That just goes to show you how much a pitcher's won-lost record can be affected by his team's overall performance.