Thursday, July 29, 2010

Tinkering with the Seals batting order

Have a look at the stats below and tell me which guy should hit second in a team's batting order and which guy should hit fifth:
  • Player A - .367 BA, .448 OBP, 7 HR, 23 RBI, 18 Walks, 7 Strikeouts, 6 SB in 180 AB
  • Player B - .326 BA, .393 OBP, 13 HR, 41 RBI, 24 Walks, 54 Strikeouts, 16 SB in 233 AB
Easy one, right? The player with all the homers, RBIs and strikeouts should bat in the middle of the lineup and the guy with less power, a higher average and almost no strikeouts should bat second, right? Er, not so fast. The Victoria Seals have Player A (Brian Rios) batting fifth and Player B (Terrence McClain) batting second.

I'm hesitant to second-guess manager Kip Gross because he has done a great job managing the Seals this season. He took the job of pitching coach and ended up running the team from day one. When Bret Boone resigned five games into the season, Kip admirably stepped up and officially moved into the manager's role. I appreciate all of his excellent work -- but I'm going to second-guess him anyway.

Rios leads the team in batting average and on-base percentage. He is very difficult to strikeout and he's an excellent contact hitter. T-Mac is a power and RBI man. He strikes out way too much to be used in the number two slot in the batting order (McClain's 54 strikeouts are the second-most in the GBL). I'm guessing that Gross wants T-Mac batting second for his speed, but to be honest the Seals have enough speed in their lineup. Besides, McClain's run-producing abilities are way more beneficial to the team than his 10-steal advantage over Rios.

It's time to fix the Seals batting order by hitting Rios second and moving T-Mac into the heart of the order. Although Victoria has scored 5.9 runs per game this season, they still only rank seventh in the league in runs scored. Having more base runners on with T-Mac at the plate is a sure way to improve on that mark.

Seal Blubber Bits
  • Thanks in part to Eri Yoshida, the Victoria Seals now lead the GBL in attendance. Victoria's average of 2,815 fans per game is ahead of the second-place Tucson Toros by 201 fans. In their inaugural season, the Seals drew 2,342 fans per game (second-best in the league).
  • Ex-Seal Austin Bibens-Dirkx has continued his magical season since the Chicago Cubs promoted him to the AAA Iowa Cubs on July 8th. Iowa has converted Bibens-Dirkx into a reliever and he has excelled in his new role. In his last 5 appearances (9 innings pitched), he has not allowed a single earned run. Since his AAA promotion, Bibens-Dirkx has a 0.64 ERA and he has held opponents to a .228 batting average.
  • The Edmonton Capitals did the Seals a favour on Thursday night by defeating the Calgary Vipers 8-0. The Seals (7-6) now trail the Vipers by only three games in the second-half standings.
  • Darren Parker (justifiably) ripped into the City of Victoria in a Cleve Dheensaw piece in the T-C today. The concession lineups at Tuesday night's game were inexcusable -- it took at least two innings of standing in line to purchase a beer (Memo to city staff: Baseball games are only nine innings long!). The city refuses to add sufficient staff on nights when large crowds are expected (Second memo to city staff: Four beer vendors can't serve 4,753 fans!). In addition, it's pathetic that professional baseball players have to tend to the diamond in the middle of a game. Every other facility in North America ensures that sufficient groundskeepers are available for professional baseball games -- why can't the City of Victoria ensure that RAP is sufficiently staffed?!?!?