Terry Collins might try batting pitchers eighth

Terry Collins is considering batting his pitchers eighth (Sherman, March 5).

Collins, in an attempt to get more RBI opportunities to David Wright and Curtis Granderson, said it’s something he’s thinking about.

“My thought is: How do we get them more RBI chances and also give David, in particular, chances to drive in runs,” he said. “It is a possibility I might try [hitting the pitcher eighth.] I don’t know that I will, but I might.”

Tony La Russa, the manager most famous for hitting his pitchers in the eight hole, said that he liked the idea for a player like Wright.


Read more: Joel Sherman, New York Post




102 comments
Aaron Robert Gusthov
Aaron Robert Gusthov

Well when your 8 hitter is as useless as a pitcher I guess it doesn't even matter.  I'm guessing it'll whatever AA player they select to play SS that would have been the 8 hitter. 

Kenneth Meltsner
Kenneth Meltsner

Would love to see Bill James' take on this question. Seems counterproductive to me.

beerfinger
beerfinger

I'm all for breaking conventions, but this seems gimmicky. Where you hit your pitcher is irrelevant. The best thing you can do is to pack as many of your best hitters together in the lineup.

This is not surprising coming from a manager like Manuel, who values "veteran leadership" like Dice-K or Lannan over better players for arbitrary reasons having to do with age. 

Jack Fitzpatrick
Jack Fitzpatrick

.....and here I thought Terry Collins couldn't be any worse as a manager and he goes and proves me wrong. Prediction: Grandy and Wright will strike out over 300 times between themselves. What good are more RBI opportunities?

Bob Burket
Bob Burket

The 8th/9th guys in the order mostly go 0-8 either way unless we have Harvey or Niese pitching. Don't see a real difference either way. What we need is for guys like Duda, Ike etc to get some hits with men on base instead of leaving the ducks on the pond.

joeknix
joeknix

seriously . . . if Terry Collins has to put the pitcher ahead of an everyday player like for lets say . . .  TEJADA . . . then we can clearly say this offseason was a FAIL.  For the love of Pete please go get Drew so Terry doesn't have to resort to this nonsense.  I see it as a cry for help from Terry not some sort of creative spin.  It's Collins way of saying I'd rather have ANY starting pitcher at the plate before putting Tejada up there. 


Sandy . . . are you listening to Terry!!!!! Read between the lines.  LOL

Michael Gregoretti
Michael Gregoretti

Love the idea. Also would love to see a suicide squeeze this year. 

tk2120
tk2120

haha so who hits 9th? tejada? i like my chances with the pitcher there

BadContract
BadContract

Did this information come out of the Infinite Improbability Drive?

cmetsfan
cmetsfan

I like the idea, as it's more entertaining than a DH and a mini-offbeat celebration of the NL. Plus he's sticking his neck out in front of ny media, so if it backfires maybe paves the way for Backman.


You'd bat Tejada 7th, real lead off guy 9th, and TDA first, maybe with Murphy in second hole, Wright 3rd, Granderson 4th, Cyoung/Ike/Duda/Flores 5th, ..um yeah that's gonna be some crazy t.v.

bklyndude
bklyndude

I have a better idea.  Why don't the Wilpons spend some money and get better players and forget having to manipulate the lineup to try and score some runs.

Steven Desai
Steven Desai

It's a good idea. Pitchers can hit better than Tejada. 

Kevin VanTassell
Kevin VanTassell

Again too much concern about a comment made on March 5th. If anything he's telling Alderson and E Young that he's not satisfied with their lead off hitter right now. I'm going to wait until the last week of ST before I panic.

Dana Smith
Dana Smith

Interesting I guess. Or you could drop Wright to 4th. I think the captain would be willing to move to cleanup hitter.

mags328
mags328

It's not necessarily a bad idea. It depends on the makeup of your lineup. When you have a guy like Pujols in his prime, it could work. Get him up in that first inning, and then from then on in, he's essentially a clean up hitter.

hashburry
hashburry

This guy just doesn't have any filter, does he?  And everything he says would lead one to believe he is clueless as a tactician.  Does he thing he is La Russa?  Let's see, how many hundreds of manages have there been managing how many games?  LaRussa uses this tactic for a season or two and I guess everyone else is wrong about batting the pitcher 9th.  Beyond that, whoever is normally the 8th place hitter in this lineup is generally just about as easy an out as the pitcher.


Just shut up TC and put the Alderson tells you to out there.

Curtis Batdorf
Curtis Batdorf

Terry Collins is a horrible manager. He may be great with the players but his baseball sense s*cks.

It seems like he loves to over-manage just so he has the opportunity to look good. 


...the kind of people who just do dumb stuff looking for attention. He trying too hard to look like he's actually doing something.

buddyryan
buddyryan

Has TC been consulting with Garth Snow?

sylow59
sylow59

The general arguement:

assume the 7th place hitter gets on 1st

low ISO low OBP bats 8th

1) makes an out, perhaps a DP

2) works out a walk runners on 1st and 2nd; pitcher bunts them ofer to 2nd and 3rd

3) gets a hit not scoring a run

----------------------------

assume the 7th place hitter gets on 1st

Pitcher batting 8th bunts him to 2nd

low ISO low OBP bats 9th

1) makes an out, no DP

2) works out a walk; runners on 1st and 2nd

3) gets a hit (likely) scoring a run

-------------------

So,

1) is a marginally better

2) is worse

3) is better

Since BA > BB% it follows that (3) > (2)

So there should be a net plus in offense.

--------------------

You need the right player.  EYj makse the most sense as he is fast, low ISO and a low OBP.  Plus, he has speed meaning that if bats 8th the bunt removes that part of the game and he doesn't have the OBP to bat leadoff.  Tejada also makes sense, although he doesn't have speed.

Regardless, now would be the time to see if it works.

Frank Garza
Frank Garza

Number crunchers say that this scheme gains 0.7 to 1.9 runs PER SEASON.

mets2891
mets2891

Can we please get another confidence poll going?

zoddie
zoddie

@Kenneth Meltsner All advanced stats say it is either slightly beneficial or at worst a wash to bat the pitcher 8th.

BringBackDaveTelghe
BringBackDaveTelghe

@Eric Olesh Batting Wright second makes all the sense in the world - over the course of the season he'd get ~18 to 20 more ABs.  Considering how terrible this team is as far as OBP guys is concerned, getting Wright the most ABs is very important.

mingo
mingo

@bklyndude Don't agree. Whether or not the team spent money and had better players, the team should always be trying to do what it can to score more runs. Money should be no issue, and this is actually about maximizing the output of two guys the team has spent money on.

zoddie
zoddie

@Dana Smith He gets on base too often to have him hit that low in the order.

eric88
eric88

@hashburry  T don't knoe about Sandy, he thinks we SHOULD win 90 Games-- CooCoo, CooCoo, CooCoo..

bklyndude
bklyndude

@sylow59   And, if the 6th spot leads off the 2nd inning and gets to first base...............

Generally a reason why the worst hitter bats ninth since the dawn of time.

sylow59
sylow59

@mets2891 Cards are considering it.  With the right players it makes sense.

Lee Lewin
Lee Lewin

@BringBackDaveTelghe @Eric Olesh  Actually those extra 18-20 abs don't make sense and would actually make this team worse offensively. 


1. The players batting in front of wright from 8th/9th spot get on at a significnatly lower % than guys batting in the 1 and 2 hole giving him Even less opportunities to drive in runs.


2. Batting him 1/2 would limit the amount of pitches he would see as the person batting behind him is not a legit power/hitting threat. It will be him the last 3 years all over again with sub .200 ike or duda or murphy hitting behind him.



This idea of batting wright 1/2 is putting it lightly idiotic. The extra AB's would not yield more production, it would actually do the complete opposite. 

bklyndude
bklyndude

@mingo @bklyndude There is a good reason why teams bat their worst player ninth, despite managers trying to out think conventional thinking.

Should the Mets payroll be where it is for a market this size ?

mets2891
mets2891

@sylow59 @mets2891 Unfortunately with the lineup that Terry is provided, he has the right players for it too.

BringBackDaveTelghe
BringBackDaveTelghe

@Lee Lewin @BringBackDaveTelghe @Eric Olesh  


Your analysis is largely flawed. Read the above link Eric posted, it's very good.


18 to 20 extra ABs from your best hitter is a big deal. If Tejada is batting 9th, he has two guys in front of him giving them a chance to get on.


And point 2 is illogical...limiting the pitches he's going to see? What's that based on? If he doesn't chase and walks a ton there is absolutely no harm or shame in that. If he's on base 40%+ of the time, the guys behind him will have plenty of chances.

bklyndude
bklyndude

@zoddie @bklyndude @mingo

So he gets less at bat than any other player.. 

If Matt Harvey, Wheeler or Snydergaard are pitching a shut out and the Mets are having a hard time scratching out a run (very likely), you don't want to have to pinch hit any earlier than you have to.

Now if you have a mediocre pitcher who only makes it to the fifth and you are pinch hitting at least twice,  maybe that's an argument to be made.  But I'd like to think my pitcher's are going to pitch well every time they go out.