After a rough April, the Tribe took a long, hard look at their lineup construction. They revamped it in several ways, most notably moving Jason Kipnis to the top of the order, followed by Carlos Santana and Michael Brantley. With Brandon Moss batting cleanup, the rest of the lineup can vary – but typically, some combination of Lonnie Chisenhall, Nick Swisher, Ryan Raburn and David Murphy find themselves next, depending on whether a righty or lefty is on the mound. The bottom of the order is rounded out with Michael Bourn, the catchers and, finally, the struggling Jose Ramirez.
May 5, 2015; Kansas City, MO, USA; Cleveland Indians second basemen Jason Kipnis (22) at bat against the Kansas City Royals during the eighth inning at Kauffman Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Peter G. Aiken-USA TODAY Sports
Overall, the lineup seems to be working – run production is up for the Tribe since the switch. Kipnis especially seems to have taken off since being moved to the leadoff slot, which is good news for a team that needs him to return to his all-star form.
But there is a lot that goes in to lineup construction: Should the best overall hitters be first, or the batters with the highest OBP? How many home runs does a player need to be considered a true cleanup hitter? Where do the speedy guys who need stolen base opportunities? What about the batters who strikeout most often? How important is it to split lefties and righties up, to avoid making pitching matchups too easy later in the game?With those questions and others in mind, Wahoo’s on First analyzed Terry Francona‘s decision to move everyone around.
What do you think of the Tribe’s new-look lineup?
First, the positives…
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