White Sox Lineup By The Book Revisited

U-G posted this a while back, it's worth looking at again now that Ozzie's ridiculous love of Juan Pierre is about to start counting:

The first thing that jumps out to me is that the 2, 4, 5 hitters are right on the money. beckham and quentin are definitely where they should be as the best hitters on the team. Ozzie doesn’t like to give up the platoon disadvantage, so he has to have his lefties and of course he vastly overrates juan pierre. One thing that UG didn’t do was figure out splits first (which is a pain to do correctly), so there are a few things that i’d probably change. Using a combo of career splits, CHONE and assuming most hitters have a .020 true talent platoon split in their wOBA, I think that would look like this:

Pierzynski – .330/.310
Konerko – .340/.360
Beckham – .350/.370
Teahen – .330/.310
Ramirez – .310/.330
Pierre – .315/.315
Rios – .330/.350
Quentin – .360/.380
Kotsay – .330/.310
Jones – .310/.330

Listed first is vs. RHP. This is more like what i think Kenny saw when he assembled the talent. He went out and got a lot of guys who can be average with their platoon advantage. And oh yeah, Juan Pierre. i think we may have to imagine the leadoff spot as one giant concession to Ozzie.  And I think the DH was KW being cutesy.

Meanwhile, Erik Manning did the same thing with a more rigorous (and I think mgl-approved) method.  He also makes fewer Ozzie-related concessions, like batting Beckham leadoff, Konerko second, etc.  And apparently I failed to realize that fangraphs' splits only go back to 2002, so some of my numbers are a little off.  Just click through to see what he's up to.  Anyway, using my mostly reasonable looking guesses, let's continue the exercise.

Vs. RHP 

1. Teahen – .330
2. Beckham – .350
3. Pierzynski – .330
4. Quentin – .360
5. Konerko – .340
6. Rios – .330
7. Kotsay – .330
8. Pierre – .315
9. Ramirez – .310

Konerko doesn’t leadoff, so that means one of the average lefties will have to do. Aside from Pierre, I don’t see a complaint unless you think Kotsay is going to crap the bed. I think the hope is that the chance he craps the bed is the same Andruw breaks out of the fatness. Anyway, it’s obvious why this team is so dependent on Beckham, Rios and Quentin. If they are healthy and themselves, this team can go places. You can make up a lot of ground offensively by having much better right handed hitters than the league. The three year average for all AL RHB vs. RHP is ~ .265/.325/.410. Each of our RHB could beat that and 3/4 likely will.

vs LHP:

1. Rios .350
2. Beckham .370
3. Jones .330
4. Quentin .380
5. Konerko .360
6. Ramirez .330
7. Pierre .315
8. Teahen .310
9. Pierzynski .310

Again, not that far from the projection, outside of the Vizquel threats and starting Rios off down in the lineup. If he starts hitting, he’ll come up. Same with Alexei, whom Ozzie is seemingly always riding for something. Adding Nix instead of Teahen could be a nice pick-me-up for this lineup. Vizquel would not, obviously, but is probably a good enough fielder to be taking his share of starts vs. LHP.

Conclusion: 2, 4 and 5 hitters are where they should be and we’re still a hitter or two short from being really fearsome. JD would actually fit into the lineup pretty nicely. It looks like Kenny knows what he’s doing when he’s not making concessions to Ozzie or misjudging the market.

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