Saturday, May 29, 2010

Dunn-Zimm Switcheroo

If you hadn't noticed yet, Riggleman has taken the liberty of flopping Ryan Zimmerman and Adam Dunn in the lineup based on righty-lefty matchup. What does this accomplish?

1) Out of the 3rd spot, the like-handed batter is more likely to see pitches over the plate to keep from walking the easier out with the hitter-favored matchup on deck.

2) Balls up over the plate greatly reduce the potential for ground balls and inning-killing double plays.

3) Both hitters' on-base percentage increases.

Ironically, the player who benefits the most from this are not Dunn or Zimmerman. It is Josh Willingham. He has more runners on base when he comes up, during which the pitcher is less effective from the stretch. Willingham is equally effective against both righties and lefties, and therefore gives the opposing pitcher little room for error facing the 3-4-5 stretch of the lineup.

I will give credit to Riggleman for finding a way to maximize production from a very thin lineup. With Nyjer Morgan struggling, Pudge injured, and the middle infielders still trying to find their individual ways (none are terrible, they all possess some shortcomings, though), that 3-4-5 really has to carry the load.

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