Robin Ventura must be fired……please ignore if your thoughts on manager value are as lazy as Chris Rongey or Herb Lawrence.
Most of you, like us at the 108, are soul-crushed after watching/listening to the Friday and Saturday games in Kansas City………I had this post written (or mostly written) after Friday nights game, but after the collapse on Saturday, I was too heartbroken to want to get it posted. Chorizy-E convinced me that I need to post this so I wouldn’t vomit from these recent losses. So here goes….its bloody and gory, like a bad horror film, but no breasts and no Joe Bob Briggs.
Optimal Lineup Construction
Various folks who are smarter about baseball than I have pointed this out, but I do harp on this consistently, RV continues to hit (mostly Jimmy Rollins, but occasionally Austin Jackson) his worst OBP regular 2nd. This is a gigantic error in optimal roster construction. Tom Tango (who wrote “The Book” a must read for any serious baseball fan) created the seminal work on the subject, you can search the webs for that, or please do buy “The Book” it is still great! The key that is being missed by RV.
“Your three best hitters should bat somewhere in the #1, #2, and #4 slots. Your fourth- and fifth-best hitters should occupy the #3 and #5 slots. The #1 and #2 slots will have players with more walks than those in the #4 and #5 slots. From slot #6 through #9, put the players in descending order of quality.”
Batting essentially your worst regular in one of the spots where your best hitters should hit is a gigantic error. In sabr/nerd circles, optimal lineup construction over random is worth about 10-15 runs a season, which is worth between 1 to 2 wins per season in this run environment, which is a huge loss for having a non-optimal lineup.
Your 3 best hitters are Eaton, Cabrera and Abreu….NOT Jimmy Rollins or Austin Jackson.
Bench Player Usage
In some respects, you are dealt what you are dealt with regards to bench players and in modern baseball, with so many relief pitchers your bench is severely strapped, so while some of these concepts are valid, it is a big stretch to think RV is cerebral enough to not only get them, but to be an independent thinker enough to use them.
Carlos Sanchez (@WriteSox baby boy) – was called up on April 28, 2016, in that time (24 games) he started exactly twice at 2b. The one thing Sanchez clearly does is provide defensive value at 2b, especially compared to Brett Lawrie who is a negative defender at 2b. In 2015 Sanchez was worth 1.0 dWar according to baseball reference, so letting Lawrie, who had not had a day off and is a large injury risk, have a day off more regularly or DH occassionally seemed a reasonable. Of course that didn’t really happen and Sanchez is back at AAA.
Jerry Sands – I’ve been told he has done nothing but crush lefties in the minors……and yet, 2/3 of his plate appearances have been against righties.
Tyler Saladino – I for one did not believe the preseason hype of Tyler’s glove, but I did believe and after watching the first week of the season, everyone should believe that he is a far better defender than Jimmy Rollins, yet, RV almost never replaces Rollins with Saladino late in games. I really liked the gamble on Rollins preseason, but most of it was predicated on him hitting……….his defense is gone and has been gone for awhile. It should be an automatic defensive sub late in games………..
Thinking Outside the Box – There are creative ways to use your bench to maximize offense, one would be to use Navarro at DH vs a tough righty to maximize your lefty bats. Yes, I know Avila is made of glass and if Navarro has to fill in for him, you lose your DH, but so what? The occassion is rare and the value of adding a better bad vs a tough right is worth it. I can’t kill Robin for this though, because he’s too dim to do some of the easier things previously mentioned, so he won’t do something avant garde like this.
I can’t communicate the piss and vinegar that is a nightly occurrence on White Sox twitter with the often curious usages of the bullpen……….Friday and Saturday vs. the Royals were prime examples. I think the majority of it boils down to not understanding high leverage situations and how one of your two excellent relievers (Nate Jones and David Robertson) should be pitching in them. The bullpen usage the last few days has been snap your laptop in half, kick your cat, type stuff. Maybe we can assume Don Cooper is calling the shots, but I don’t remember this silly stuff when Ozzie Guillen was manager (maybe my memory is shot), so RV has to be culpable.
Alright………fine, I know what you are saying, if you are still reading and still defending, you’ll have one good point in your pocket, being the Manager is more about managing people and the egos of 25 players and staff…….its about people skills and knowing when someone’s personal life isn’t in the best spot or a player is slumping and knowing to give them a day off……….its about interpersonal relationships and managing the working environment…….
Enuff said………….exactly what the fuck does RV do here that adds to your chance to win? Why did Kenny have to do all the heavy lifting here, it reminds me of Godfather II where one of Michael’s body guards comes up to Fredo and says “If you can’t control your wife, Michael says I have to.”………..that’s right friends, our manager is Fredo…..He’s smart, not dumb, like everyone says……………and he wants respect.
If you aren’t done with RV, please show yourself out……no Kirkland beer for you.