This whole lineup is out of order!
When your team is this "loaded" does it matter how you bat them?
The rules of baseball require teams to hand in a lineup with a batting order before every game. In that order of batters one player is designated to leadoff. In the 147 season history of the Chicago Cubs they’ve had a really good leadoff hitter approximately 12 times. They’ve had a passable leadoff hitter probably 20 other times.
The 2023 Cubs will have neither.
Someday, some enterprising manager will say “screw it” to the conventional way lineups are constructed and just bat their hitters from best to worst over the course of an entire season. Every batting spot in the order gets about 12.5 more plate appearances over the course of a season than the one behind it.
If you bat your best hitter cleanup over the course of an entire season, he would get about 38 fewer at bats than the leadoff man.
So why don’t teams just do that?
Why, for instance did the 2001 Cubs give more at bats to second baseman Eric Young (603) than Sammy Sosa (577)? Young had an OPS plus of 92, and Sammy’s was (wait for it) 203. Two hundred three? League average is 100. Yikes.
Actually, Young only played 149 games to Sammy’s 160, and since Sammy walked 116 times (37 of them intentionally), Sammy actually did get more plate appearances. But, the theory still stands, because EY lead off in every game that he started (145), and Sammy exclusively batted third (141 games) or fourth (19).
The 2023 Cubs don’t have a Sammy Sosa. But sadly, they also don’t even have an Eric Young.
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