Leading Off

Through 81 Games
Player AB RC per Game
Bay 50 3.5
Chavez 156 2.9
Gutierrez 42 4.0
Saunders 97 3.8

It’s July 5th and Brad Miller is leading off the game. That was more than a little curious to me since he doesn’t profile as the typical lead-off hitter. Before I rush to judgement, I decided to look at the hitters who have lead off a game this season. I was surprised to only see four names, but maybe I should also be paying closer attention.

The first thing I noticed is the low productivity of Endy Chavez. He is what I think of as a typical lead-off hitter, yet he is not performing nearly as well as the other three. Jason Bay is doing better than I perceived him to be performing. Clearly, Franklin Gutierrez should be leading off if we only consider these four players, yet that really doesn’t seem probable since he cannot stay healthy.

I hope Miller does well in the led-off position. If that moves Chavez out of that role, it might increase the team’s chances at scoring.

Before I end this post, it is instructive to note that Michael Saunders is only creating 3.1 runs per game and is doing quite a bit better than that in the lead-off position. This type of nuanced performance seems to be lacking from the Mariners right now — they need to put players in roles where they can succeed and Saunders does better in the lead-off position than elsewhere.

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Author: dmcnic

Educated as an economist, I now work as an Analytical Professional for a manufacturing firm. I have have a second job as a part-time lecturer at the University of Washington in Bothell. While all baseball interests me, the Mariners are my home town team. Married with one dog.

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