Phillies: Manager’s lineup strategy

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Phillies

Until Santana gets going, Altherr may have additional playing time. Photo by H. Martin/Getty Images.

As a Phillies fan, you search for answers after the skipper has posted his batting order for the game, you struggle to understand his approach, but you only have a small percentage of the information he does.

 

One through eight:

Because a new “sheriff” is in the Philadelphia Phillies‘ dugout, the faithful experience both encouragement and disappointment proportionately to their confidence level in him and the club. However, when the offensive situation changes, manager Gabe Kapler must alter his plan accordingly due to losing, a slump or an injury.

IN OTHER WORDS:

“Once the season starts for me, there isn’t a change in my focus, just a change in my tactics and strategies.” – Bode Miller

With April in the books, Kapler has, for the most part, revealed his method regarding the lineup. Granted, things inside the skipper’s office are in greater detail, while this view from a distance only outlines his decision-making. Ergo, one piece of info could change things.

Keep in mind; the juggling involves players positioned with the best odds to succeed for them and the team. But as this article shows, Kapler has more moving parts than even the hard-core fan considers.

The easiest concept is the opposite-side bat against the starter. For instance, J.P. Crawford would face a right-hander, and Aaron Altherr would play right field with a southpaw on the mound. But it’s just the beginning.

Next, the opposing starter influences the manager’s approach. Which hitter has fared better against the hurler? But if the batter hasn’t faced him to any great degree, the moundsman’s strength can’t be the regular’s weakness.

Phillies switch-hitters:

  • Cesar Hernandez: 32 of 128 PA against a left-handed pitcher for 25.0 percent.
  • Carlos Santana: 35 of 128 PA against a left-handed pitcher for 27.3 percent.
  • Total: 67 of 256 PA against a left-handed pitcher for 26.2 percent.
  • All statistics in this article are through May 3.

Having a straight platoon doesn’t work for the right-side hitter because he’d only start one out of every four games. Translation: Nick Williams would start three contests, and Altherr would get only one. In other words, Altherr will face a right-hander frequently.

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