How in the world, you may ask yourself, did Brandon Phillips get over 600 PA in the number 3 and 4 spots in the Reds lineup and still fall 2 RBI short of the 100 mark? For crying out loud, over 500 of those PA were in the number 4 spot batting, most often, behind Joey Votto, who put up an incredible .414 OBP. Well, basically, it’s because Dusty Baker is simply bad at building a batting order.
The number 1 and 2 spots in the Reds lineup each ranked 15th in the NL in OBP.
Group OBP Reds Overall .318 NL Overall .330 Reds #1 .302 NL #1 .340 Reds #2 .302 NL #2 .337
Who were the big contributors that were selected by Dusty to put up the atrocious OBP numbers above in the #1 and #2 spots in the order?
Batting 1st PA OBP Taveras 368 .275 Stubbs 186 .330 Dickerson 126 .365 Hairston 46 .217 Batting 2nd PA OBP Hairston 243 .316 Janish 162 .310 Dickerson 92 .330 Gonzalez 71 .279 Taveras 62 .300
Chris Dickerson and Drew Stubbs are predictably the only two players to put up at least league-average OBP for the Reds this season in the top two spots in the batting order. These two aside, Dusty Baker made some obviously horrendous choices to populate the top two spots of the Reds batting order.
So how did these bad choices affect the RBI opportunities for the #3 and #4 hitters in the Reds lineups? The numbers below show how many baserunners the Reds top two spots in the order produced in 1489 PA, and how many they would have produced at both a league average OBP and at the league average OBP for the top two spots in the order.
Group OBP BR Reds #1+#2 .302 450 NL AVG OBP .330 492 NL AVG #1+#2 .339 504
So the Reds top two spots in the order produced 42 fewer baserunners than they would have with a league average OBP and 54 fewer baserunners than they would have with the league average OBP for number 1 and 2 hitters. Anybody think that with another 40+ baserunners on base ahead of him that Brandon Phillips would have picked up 2 extra RBI this season to get him to the 100 RBI mark?
Now why was Phillips batting #4 in the first place? Well, basically it’s because Dusty Baker is simply bad at building a batting order. Lather, rinse, repeat…….