Monday, July 28, 2008

Weekly Cleveland Indians Lineup Analysis

Once again, this is the 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.

This Week's Results
Click here

This Week's Ideal Lineup

Changes From Last Week
Casey Blake is replaced by Ryan Garko, and quite a bit of shuffling ensues.

Theoretical Runs Per Game
4.964, down 0.407 runs from last week. At the time he left, Blake was second on the team (to Grady Sizemore) with an 0.830 OPS.

Theoretical Improvement
The Indians are currently scoring 4.583 runs per game. That's an improvement of 0.381 runs per game, which in turn leads to 62 over the course of the season, or 6 more wins. That's not enough for this team to make noise, but in most year it's the difference between the playoffs and third place.

Defensive Plausibility
Well, Sal Fasano did log an inning at third base for the Royals back in 1998. Assuming you'd rather replace Ryan Garko (the low man in OPS among this starting nine) with Andy Marte, the theoretical runs per game drops to 4.852.

Fan Believability
Offensively, it makes a lot of sense. Jhonny Peralta has been batting cleanup, with Shin-Soo Choo, Kelly Shoppach, and Ben Francisco around him. Jamey Carroll has been getting on base, so fans may buy moving Sizemore to second to drive in more runs. But I think fans would dislike Fasano at third more than they disliked Blake at shortstop, and only slightly less than a struggling Garko hitting third.

My Take
I'm a big fan of this lineup. I probably would put Marte in for Garko, a move that bumps Francisco up to third and Dellucci up to seventh. But you have Sizemore, Peralta, and just about everyone else where they need to be.

Random Indians Thought of the Week
It turns out that Jhonny Peralta spells his name correctly after all. According to Peralta's Wikipedia article (HT: The Dugout), Hispanics often use "jh" to represent the English "j" sound. Had he spelled it "Johnny," his name would have been pronounced "Hohnny."