Sunday, August 17, 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
Andy Gonzalez has become eligible (passing my arbitrary threshold of 10 plate appearances), and he replaces Jamey Carroll. Gonzalez also replaces Fasano in the leadoff spot. Meanwhile, Dellucci and Shoppach flip-flop, which makes sense as the former has been hot and the latter has cooled off.

Theoretical Runs Per Game
5.538, up 0.425 from last week. Gonzalez' performance is a shot in the arm, and overall the team has been hitting a little better as of late.

Theoretical Improvement
The Indians are currently scoring 4.697 runs per game. That's an improvement of 0.841 runs per game, which in turn leads to 136 runs over the course of the season, or 13-14 more wins. In theory, that's enough to put the team into a tie for first place in the division. Of course, it also relies on the small sample sizes of Andy Gonzalez and Sal Fasano.

Defensive Plausibility
Gonzalez moves in to play second, where he does have experience, and once again Sal Fasano mans the hot corner.

Fan Believability
The batting order is a believable one, especially with Gonzalez replacing Fasano at the top of the order. Fans may wonder why Shoppach is hitting so low in this order, but he has cooled off sense moving into the #3 spot in Eric Wedge's lineup. The defense still leaves a little to be desired.

My Take
Not much has changed from last week. Sizemore and Peralta work well where they are, and Gonzalez is a more realistic leadoff option.

Random Indians Thought of the Week
The Indians representatives on Team USA have struggled in this Olympics. Matt LaPorta is only 1-for-14 with seven strikeouts, but that one hit was a three-run homer. Closer Jeff Stevens has been charged with both American losses, giving up four runs (but only one earned) in 1 2/3 innings of work. But in his defense, the second loss came as a result of the new Olympic extra inning rules.

Meanwhile, the Canadian Indians are playing well. Nick Weglarz has been the star of Team Canada, going 7-for-15 with 2 HR so far. Reliever Tim Burton has made three appearances and has two scoreless innings to his credit.