Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Constructing A Baseball Team

I got to thinking the other day that we (MOTs) could field a fairly competitive baseball team right now. Certainly, our pitching might leave a little to be desired, but our lineup would be formidable. There are multiple combinations at our disposal. Here are the lineups I came up with:

Lineup 1
1st: Sam Fuld (CF)
2nd: Danny Valencia (3B)
3rd: Ryan Braun (LF)
4th: Kevin Youkilis (DH/Backup 1B/3B)
5th: Ike Davis (1B)
6th: Ian Kinsler (2B)
7th: Ryan Kalish (RF)
8th: Ryan Lavarnway (C)
9th: Jake Lemmerman (SS)

Lineup 2
1st: Sam Fuld (CF)
2nd: Ian Kinsler (2B)
3rd: Ryan Braun (LF)
4th: Kevin Youkilis (DH/Backup 1B/3B)
5th: Ike Davis (1B)
6th: Danny Valencia (3B)
7th: Ryan Kalish (RF)
8th: Ryan Lavarnway (C)
9th: Jake Lemmerman (SS)

Lineup 3
1st: Ian Kinsler (2B)
2nd: Ryan Kalish (RF)
3rd: Ryan Braun (LF)
4th: Kevin Youkilis (DH/Backup 1B/3B)
5th: Ike Davis (1B)
6th: Danny Valencia (3B)
7th: Ryan Lavarnway (C)
8th: Jake Lemmerman (SS)
9th: Sam Fuld (CF)

Lineup 4
1st: Ian Kinsler (2B)
2nd: Sam Fuld (CF)
3rd: Ryan Braun (LF)
4th: Kevin Youkilis (DH/Backup 1B/3B)
5th: Ike Davis (1B)
6th: Danny Valencia (3B)
7th: Ryan Kalish (RF)
8th: Ryan Lavarnway (C)
9th: Jake Lemmerman (SS)

Lineup 5
1st: Ian Kinsler (2B)
2nd: Ryan Kalish (CF)
3rd: Ryan Braun (LF)
4th: Kevin Youkilis (DH/Backup 1B/3B)
5th: Ike Davis (1B)
6th: Danny Valencia (3B)
7th: Ryan Lavarnway (C)
8th: Ben Guez (RF)
9th: Jake Lemmerman (SS)

And if Lemmerman isn't quite ready, we could move Kinsler to SS (184 games at SS in MiLB) and bring up Jason Kipnis or Josh Satin to play 2B. I would probably give Kipnis the first crack at 2B because he's considered the bigger prospect. If Kipnis struggled, I'd platoon him with Satin or give Satin a chance to hold down the job. Here are a few more lineup combinations:

Lineup 6
1st: Sam Fuld (CF)
2nd: Danny Valencia (3B)
3rd: Ryan Braun (LF)
4th: Kevin Youkilis (DH/Backup 1B/3B)
5th: Ike Davis (1B)
6th: Ian Kinsler (SS)
7th: Ryan Kalish (RF)
8th: Ryan Lavarnway (C)
9th: Jason Kipnis (2B)

Lineup 7
1st: Sam Fuld (CF)
2nd: Danny Valencia (3B)
3rd: Ryan Braun (LF)
4th: Kevin Youkilis (DH/Backup 1B/3B)
5th: Ike Davis (1B)
6th: Ian Kinsler (SS)
7th: Jason Kipnis (2B)
8th: Ryan Lavarnway (C)
9th: Ryan Kalish (RF)

Lineup 8
1st: Sam Fuld (CF)
2nd: Ian Kinsler (SS)
3rd: Ryan Braun (LF)
4th: Kevin Youkilis (DH/Backup 1B/3B)
5th: Ike Davis (1B)
6th: Danny Valencia (3B)
7th: Jason Kipnis (2B)
8th: Ryan Lavarnway (C)
9th: Ryan Kalish (RF)

Lineup 9
1st: Sam Fuld (CF)
2nd: Ian Kinsler (SS)
3rd: Ryan Braun (LF)
4th: Kevin Youkilis (DH/Backup 1B/3B)
5th: Ike Davis (1B)
6th: Danny Valencia (3B)
7th: Ryan Kalish (RF)
8th: Ryan Lavarnway (C)
9th: Jason Kipnis (2B)

Lineup 10
1st: Ian Kinsler (SS)
2nd: Ryan Kalish (RF)
3rd: Ryan Braun (LF)
4th: Kevin Youkilis (DH/Backup 1B/3B)
5th: Ike Davis (1B)
6th: Danny Valencia (3B)
7th: Jason Kipnis (2B)
8th: Ryan Lavarnway (C)
9th: Sam Fuld (CF)

Lineup 11
1st: Ian Kinsler (SS)
2nd: Jason Kipnis (2B)
3rd: Ryan Braun (LF)
4th: Kevin Youkilis (DH/Backup 1B/3B)
5th: Ike Davis (1B)
6th: Danny Valencia (3B)
7th: Ryan Kalish (CF)
8th: Ryan Lavarnway (C)
9th: Sam Fuld (CF)

Lineup 12
1st: Ian Kinsler (SS)
2nd: Ryan Kalish (CF)
3rd: Ryan Braun (LF)
4th: Kevin Youkilis (DH/Backup 1B/3B)
5th: Ike Davis (1B)
6th: Danny Valencia (3B)
7th: Jason Kipnis (2B)
8th: Ryan Lavarnway (C)
9th: Ben Guez (RF)

Lineup 13
1st: Ian Kinsler (SS)
2nd: Jason Kipnis (2B)
3rd: Ryan Braun (LF)
4th: Kevin Youkilis (DH/Backup 1B/3B)
5th: Ike Davis (1B)
6th: Danny Valencia (3B)
7th: Ryan Kalish (CF)
8th: Ryan Lavarnway (C)
9th: Ben Guez (RF)

As far as the bench is concerned, we could go in a number of directions, depending on who starts. If Lemmerman is the SS, Ben Orloff would be used as his backup and as a pinch runner. If Kinsler is the SS, Lemmerman would be the backup and Kipnis or Satin would be the 2B. If Kinsler is the 2B, Kipnis or Satin would be used as a backup and pinch hitter. If Fuld starts in CF, Kalish would be in RF, and Gabe Kapler or Ben Guez would be the 4th OF. If Kalish starts in CF, Guez would be the RF, and Kapler or Fuld would be the 4th OF. One thing is certain: Charles Cutler is the backup catcher. For the sake of clarity, let us assume that Lemmerman is the SS and Fuld is the CF. Here is how the bench would look:

Pinch Hitter/Backup 2B: Jason Kipnis/Josh Satin
Pinch Runner/Backup SS: Ben Orloff
Backup Catcher: Charles Cutler
4th OF: Gabe Kapler/Ben Guez

To be honest, the starting rotation could be a bit dicey, but I would be very flexible.
The only pitchers I'm really sold on in this rotation are Jason Marquis and Jason Hirsh. Daniel Rosenbaum hasn't pitched at a high level yet.
Scott Feldman would need to bounce back from a disappointing 2010 season. And Bleier doesn't blow hitters away.
Other guys who could battle for a spot include David Kopp, Brett Lorin, Scott Schneider, Jeff Kaplan, Eric Berger, and Alex Kaminsky.
As it stands, this would be my starting 5:

1. Jason Marquis
2. Jason Hirsh
3. Daniel Rosenbaum
4. Scott Feldman
5. Richard Bleier

The bullpen is probably in much better shape than the rotation, even though there is no clearcut closer. Craig Breslow is very good. John Grabow was terrific in 2008 and 2009. Michael Schwimer looks to be about ready to make the jump to The Show. Josh Zeid was voted as the best reliever at the Single-A level. Because Jason Knapp has such an overpowering fastball and because he hasn't really been stretched out as a starter yet, I think he is best suited for the pen at this point. Stuff-wise, I'd like to use Aaron Poreda, but not until he can find the strike zone again. Besides, we already have 2 lefties in Breslow and Grabow. I'd be hesitant to have a closer-by-committee situation, so I'm nominating Schwimer to close games; he has the most experience in that role. If he faltered, I'd turn to Breslow or Knapp. Here is the entire bullpen:

Closer: Michael Schwimer
Setup Man: Craig Breslow
Long Man: Josh Zeid
Long Man: Dylan Axelrod
Middle Relief/Lefty Specialist: John Grabow
Middle Relief: Jason Knapp
Middle Relief: Jason Novak

Who is going to be the skipper, you ask? Gabe Kapler has some experience managing in the Minors. It'd be kind of neat to have him as a player-manager. Still, my ideal candidate would be Brad Ausmus, who will probably be relaying signs from the dugout in the not so distant future. I'm thinking Shawn Green would be the hitting coach and Ken Holtzman or Steve Stone would be the pitching coach. Al Levine could be the bullpen coach.

So, there you have it. That's our 25-man roster. Think you can do better?

5 comments:

William Tasker - Caribou, ME said...

Nice! Good bullpen and some nice line ups. Have you done an all time line up?

Anonymous said...

what about larry rothschild (now of the NYY) as the pitching coach?

Josh Borenstein said...

Rothschild is half and half but he's been vocal about not being associated as a Jew.

Anonymous said...

Youk won a gold glove and set the record for the most errorless games in a row at first base and you have him as a DH and a backup at first and third. Doesn't make much sense to me.

Art K

Josh Borenstein said...

A fair point, Art. I'll grant you that first base could have gone either way, but right now it looks like Valencia is the better third baseman. Would you agree with that assessment?

As far as first base goes, Youk is an excellent first baseman. I'm certainly not disputing that, but Ike Davis' UZR at first last year was the 2nd best in the Majors behind Daric Barton; that's why I went with Ike.