Orioles Line-Up With Platoon Splits

With the roster projections more or less done (post bringing offense and defense together forthcoming), I thought I’d update the line-up post with platoon splits. This uses each player’s career numbers and then regresses (with righties expected to have a slightly smaller split than lefties).

Player Projected wOBA
Overall vs. LHP vs. RHP
Matt Wieters .324 .311 .330
Derrek Lee .340 .358 .335
Brian Roberts .335 .319 .342
Mark Reynolds .342 .361 .335
JJ Hardy .318 .337 .311
Luke Scott .355 .332 .362
Adam Jones .337 .343 .334
Nick Markakis .361 .342 .370
Vlad Guerrero .346 .363 .340

I don’t have it weighted by plate appearances, but the overall marks for the team seem pretty even versus righties or lefties (~.340 for both).

Wieters and Roberts – despite being switch-hitters – have been more like lefties in their careers. Because of that, it’s entirely possible that batting Roberts lead-off against south-paws isn’t the right move, though the last couple years he has been better versus them than against righties. Adam Jones has a fairly large reverse split for his career (.300 wOBA vs. LHP, .338 wOBA vs. RHP), but regressing makes it go the other way slightly.

Assuming Roberts is locked into the one spot, the line-ups could shake out like this:

Against right-handed pitchers:

Brian Roberts
Nick Markakis
Vlad Guerrero
Luke Scott
Derrek Lee
Adam Jones
Mark Reynolds
Matt Wieters
JJ Hardy

Guerrero, Lee, Jones, and Reynolds are all more or less interchangeable (and Wieters isn’t that far off). Batting Reynolds third to leverage his home runs might be a plus, but I can’t see Buck not having Vlad somewhere in the middle there. Roberts-Markakis-blank-Scott definitely looks like the correct alignment versus righties. Actually, putting Felix Pie in left-field (.319 wOBA overall, .325 versus righties) and moving Luke Scott to DH might not be a bad idea, as the difference in batting between Felix and Vlad versus right-handed pitchers is only ~8 runs over 600 PA, while the difference in defense between Pie and Scott in left is close to that.

Against left-handed pitchers:

Brian Roberts
Derrek Lee
Mark Reynolds
Vlad Guerrero
Nick Markakis
Adam Jones
JJ Hardy
Luke Scott
Matt Wieters

Though switching Markakis and Lee wouldn’t be too awful, and would keep the top of the line-up more “normal” looking, it isn’t necessarily optimal (despite many people thinking Nick handles lefties exceptionally well, his regressed platoon split is only a little better than average). Relievers show up in most games though, so not making huge changes is possibly for the best. And I can’t see Hardy being above Scott in the line-up regardless, but with the difference between the two being small I assume Luke would be a spot or two higher.


Stats: wOBA, Platoon Splits