Do you believe in protection?

The thing about some "experts" is that they don’t seem to believe in protection as being anything significant in a lineup because they have no real mathematical proof.  I disagree though.  If Kevin Youkilis is up to bat this season, and the game isn’t lopsided one way or another, then Ortiz is lingering on deck.  If I am pitching to Youkilis, in the back of my mind I am thinking I am not going to walk Kevin Youkilis (a patient hitter I would like to add).  If Ortiz hits a home run with no one on base it is only one run.  If he hits a homer with Youkilis on base then it is double that.  So naturally I want to be lets say "less careful" with Youkilis than if he was batting 8th on the Royals, or anywhere in the Royals lineup.  Now I wouldn’t just throw him consecutive fastballs over the heart of the plate, but I wouldnt want to take a chance on getting him into a full count either where he could get on base.  So I would pitch him at least a little differently.  Now granted if I was pitching to him then he would just crush the ball very, very hard.  And Ortiz would too.  But thats a different story.  So I do believe in protection.  I believe that Jeter’s stats would be slightly lowered if he played on the Orioles.  I believe Tejada’s stats would be crazy good on the Yanks.  If Ortiz played on the Royals (if he didn’t quit that is) his stats would decline at least a little one would think.  Give me some feedback on this subject I am eager to hear it.

2 Comments

Hi, Joe-
Yes, of course protection exists, even though it can’t be mathematically measured like OPS. We see it just on our team. Why would you pitch around Ortiz, just to get to Manny? Part of the reason the Yankee hitters are so good is because there is no “weak” spot in the lineup so just about everybody sees a lot of good pitches.

I do believe in it! But some experts seem to think it doesn’t really exist like it is almost a myth. The Baseball Prsopectus book I am reading had similiar beliefs to that. Thanks for the comment though. If only there was a way to send my response directly to your blog page!

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