2B Roundup: Position Battles and Lineup Placement

Today, I am going to have a rundown on some position battles and lineup movements for various 2B. Mainly, I am looking for any last minute changes in a player’s value.

Position Battles

RoyalsChris Getz ,Yuniesky Betancourt and Jason Bourgeois – When the Royals demoted Johnny Giavotella to AAA, Chris Getz looked to be the everyday 2B. With his supposed new found swing, he looked to be given the Royals 2B job. Almost immediately, it was stated that Getz and Betancourt would have to share the 2B duites.

Yost isn’t designating either of them as the starting second baseman.

“We’ll play them both there, we’ll mix-and-match now,” Yost said.

Then the situation got even weirder when Jason Bourgeois, recently achquired from the Astros, was added to the 2B mix.

Outfielder Jason Bourgeois played the last two innings at second base for the Royals on Saturday. But he had no fielding chances.

“I got to see him stand out there,” manager Ned Yost said wryly. “But he looked good standing.”

This situation is a mess. Probably the best 2B of the 4 is in AAA and other 3 look to be part of some horrible threesome. No one has guaranteed playing time and none can hit worth a lick. Just stay away for now.

CardinalsDaniel Descalso and Tyler Greene – While only 2 players are involved here, unlike 4 with the Royals, it looks to be platoon situation with two bad hitters. Descalso gets the nod to start opening day, but it sounds like Tyler Greene will get plenty of oportunities at 2B.

As Matheny explained last week, Descalso’s appearance in Wednesday’s lineup does not mean that Tyler Greene lost the second-base job during Spring Training. Rather, Matheny will weigh factors, including matchups, when deciding which of the two to start on a given day. Descalso was the natural choice to earn the nod for this game since the Cardinals will be facing a right-handed starter.

I would wait to see if either of the pair “wins” the job and actually plays every day.

Phillies – Freddy Galvis – Glavis was given the 2B job when Chase Utley was placed on the DL. Here is a look at his projected stats prorated to 600 PA:

Projection, HR, SB, AVG
Oliver, 6, 17, 0.230
RotoChamp, 6, 18, 0.261
ZiPS, 5, 10, 0.233

The AVG is killer for a hitter with so little power. It would be tough to roster him in all but the deepest of leagues.

2B in Prime Lineup Positions

Neil Walker to bat 4th – The Pirates have stated that Walker may be batting cleanup for them this season. If Walker is able to put up a decent BABIP this season, he will get plenty of RBI opportunities with Andrew McCutchen batting 3rd. While batting 4th for the Pirates is not even close to the same as batting 4th for the Yankees, it will help to inflate his value over the course of the season.

Darwin Barney to bat 2nd – It seems like it is business as usual for the Cubs when they slated Barney into the #2 spot for opening day. He should be used to this position after hitting in it for 94 games last year.

Marco Scutaro to bat 1st – If/When Scutaro gets on base, he should be a prime canidate for Runs with Fowler, Tulowitzki and Gonzalez hitting after him. Usually, players batting 1st see a jump in SBs. The problem with Scutaro is that he only averages 6 SBs per 600 PAs and is 36 years old. He may see a jump to a whole 8 SBs. Whoopee.

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Jeff writes for FanGraphs, The Hardball Times and Royals Review, as well as his own website, Baseball Heat Maps with his brother Darrell. In tandem with Bill Petti, he won the 2013 SABR Analytics Research Award for Contemporary Analysis. Follow him on Twitter @jeffwzimmerman.

15 Responses to “2B Roundup: Position Battles and Lineup Placement”

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  1. Mario Mendoza of commenters says:

    Will Schumaker factor into 2B once healthy?

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    • Jeff Zimmerman says:

      Probably, but I didn’t read anything out him in the 2-3 articles I ready on the Cardinals 2B job.

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  2. exxrox says:

    Kelly Johnson leading off for the Blue Jays…what kind of counting stats (R/RBI/SB) do yuo envision for him?

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  3. David says:

    I think Yunieksi Betancourt’s agent has compromising photographs of a lot of people very powerful in MLB. It’s the only possible explanation.

    Has Betancourt ever been managed by Dusty Baker? That might be the perfect storm of veteran grit-itude. He’d probably lead off all year.

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  4. MLB Rainmaker says:

    How about Daniel Murphy? Should hit second and hit over .300 with decent BB/K rate. Best case is 10 HR & SB, but maybe comparable to a muted version of Michael Young’s year in ’11, at call it 85R/70RBI.

    With elibility at 1B, 2B, & 3B and an outside chance at OF, he’s not a terrible option.

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    • Jeff Zimmerman says:

      He is a great plug-n-play player. for off days. His AVG doesn’t bring down the rest of the team and will get a few counting stats.

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  5. JJMac says:

    I think there might be a typo in the Scutaro headline (1st not 2nd). 1st is written in the body.

    Thanks for the article. I liked it!

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  6. supershredder says:

    Regarding Bourgeois sucking at hitting: every time he’s had more than 200 PA’s he’s hit at least .286. Last I checked that doesn’t suck. Neither does +30 SB’s in only 250 PA’s. Show a little respect, man!

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    • zkolodin says:

      That’s true, but you are working with an n of 1 (unless you count the minors).

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    • Jeff Zimmerman says:

      A person can’t look at just on season. Here are the career AVG/OBP/SLG for all 3 and last year’s averages:

      Bourgeois: 0.262/.307/0.324
      Getz: 0.254/0.315/0.307
      Betancourt: 0.268/0.292/0.391

      2011 AL average values: 0.258/0.323/0.408
      2011 AL average values for SS: 0.263/0.321/0.400

      The closest of the 2 to being a league average hitter is Betancourt.

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  7. Young Whipper-Snapper says:

    “Probably the best 2B of the 4 is in AAA and other 3 look to by part of some horrible threesome”


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  8. Telo2 says:

    Do you think Darwin Barney will have a breakout year? He is crushing the ball in spring training with a huge OPS. Based on what we know about it him what do you think he is going to do this year. OBP?

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    • Jeff Zimmerman says:

      I don’t trust ST stats, especially in AZ.

      For the chances of a breakout. I have a little program I wrote that looks at players with similar Marcel projections (age, PAs, hitting) and sees how they did after that season. Of the 43 players with similar projection (min of 20 PAs in the next season), 12 performed better according to OPS (which is how the program is written) and 31 performed worse. Just his chances of being better than his projections is 27%. Only 3 of the 43 (7%) players saw an increase in there OPS of more than 100 points.

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