Goatriders of the Apocalypse

Slightly more ambitious than Rob

Kudos to Rob’s suggestion on moving Daddy to the leadoff spot where his .379 OBP will fit nicely. I LOVE me some OBP talk. It really gets me excited in all the places where baseball statistics shouldn’t.

So to indulge my primal urges, let’s take Rob’s idea a step further.

I’ll assume most of you are familiar with on-base percentage, so I won’t waste your time explaining how it’s calculated. Let’s just keep in mind that a decent OBP is considered to be about .340. The current league average for OBP is .331. As it stands at the All-Star Break, the Cubs have a .322 team OBP.

What makes OBP so important is the value of outs. In baseball, outs (and the ability to not make them) means everything. As long as an offense doesn’t make outs, then anything is possible. Duh. This is essentially what OBP measures.

Last season, the Cubs had a .354 team OBP (first in the NL). Every regular starter on that team had at least a .344 OBP (which belonged to Soriano…go figure). While that team also had a strong batting average and decent power numbers, we know that the 2009 team just isn’t the same.

So let’s call it like it is: The 2009 Cubs can’t hit dick.

But there are other ways to get on the base paths and score runs without hitting the ball. That’s called OBP baby. So here’s my Cubs OBP-maximization batting order (Spoiler Alert: No Fonzie)…

*Current OBP in parentheses

1. Sam Fuld LF (.474) –  He has a small sample size but he did have a .359 OBP in Iowa and still leads that team in walks this season.

2. Milton Bradley RF (.379) – With his power missing, this is the best spot for him.

3. Kosuke Fukudome CF (.367) – He’ll keep the train coming for the power behind him.

4. Derrek Lee 1B
(.354) – Got to put him here for that .511 SLG.

5. Aramis Ramirez 3B (.375) – Also a fairly small sample size because of injuries, but pitchers will be forced to throw more fastballs with guys on base.

6. Geovany Soto C (.336) – Believe it or not, Soto has the third most walks on the team (34).

7. Ryan Theriot SS (.354) – Could be higher, but you need to get guys on base so the eight and nine hitters don’t have to actually swing the bat.

8. Pitcher (Pointless) – They can lay down sac bunts any time Theriot gets on.

9. Bobby Scales 2B (.333) – Can’t be worse than Fontenot (.307) or Miles (.240). Solid minor league OBP of .399 this season with the iCubs.

You down with OBP? Yeah you know me.

Interesting idea. It's

Interesting idea. It's amazing how much better the lineup looks without Fonzie in it.

My favorite form of lineup-building is ...

1. Highest OBP
2. Next highest OBP, better SLG
3. Highest OPS
4. Highest SLG
5. Next highest OPS
6. Next highest OPS
7. Next highest OPS
8. Next highest OPS
9. Alfonso Soriano

That's probably a better way

That's probably a better way of looking at it Kurt. OPS is a great stat. I guess I was just trying to approach this from the standpoint of the Cubs not necessarily having to hit the ball (aka justifying Bradley's worth in any lineup) to get the offense working.

Assuming we're not counting Fuld in the mix and leaving Soriano to bat ninth, I believe your lineup would look something like this...

Bradley
Fukudome
D-Lee
Ramirez/Fox
Theriot
Soto (Yes, he has a lower OPS than Theriot)
Scales (Again, lesser of four evils)
Pitcher
Soriano

Probably would want to switch Theriot and Soto.

I've also completely given up on the balanced lineup theory. What a waste.

Yeah, I also love this. The

Yeah, I also love this. The 8/9 debate has its pros and cons on either side so I won't really touch that issue, but putting Fuld in LF makes sense at LEAST in the short term. Almost certainly, after some significant exposure to ML pitching he'll cool off. But he's been killing it since he's been up--why not write him into the line-up?

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