How has Walt Weiss done in terms of lineup optimization? What do the ideal lineups look like for 2015?
In and of itself, the way batters are ordered in the lineup doesn’t really matter. It might be the difference of a win over the course of a season. It’s more likely a few runs added. But ignore enough things that don’t matter in isolation, and there could be problems. At the same time, paying heed to all of the supposedly insignificant things can add up to a bigger positive—even if it’s just a slightly modified way of perceiving baseball or a grudging encounter with inherited wisdom.
Following Ryan Freemyer’s article from last weekend about getting the most out of Jorge De La Rosa, I thought it would be a good time to revisit lineup optimization. I first take a look at the Rockies’ lineup splits over the past two years under Walt Weiss. My go to statistic here is weighted runs created plus (wRC+), which is park and league adjusted and measures how much better or worse a batter was compared to league average (100 is average). We’ll use these figures to detail what is and is not optimal. I’ll then offer my ideal lineup.

The Rockies did not have a good offense in 2013. The team’s wRC+ was 88, which is hitting at a clip twelve percent below league average. That mark ranked 26th in baseball. In a weak year at the plate for the Rockies, Walt Weiss didn’t do the team any favors in constructing the lineup.
2013
Lineup position
PA
wRC+
1
758
92
2
738
57
3
717
131
4
701
148
5
685
105
6
663
75
7
647
57
8
631
88
9
612
30

A key component of lineup optimization is to get your best hitters as many plate appearances as possible. The collection of batters who garnered the most plate appearances throughout the season hit eight percent below league average. The default choice for the number one spot was Dexter Fowler. He did quite well. Fowler had a wRC+ of 108 from the leadoff spot in 2013. What sunk the slot below league average was all of the plate appearances given to Eric Young Jr., D.J. LeMahieu, and pre-breakout Corey Dickerson. Fowler did miss time due to injury, so this one’s forgivable.

The same cannot be said of the two slot. In 2009, Sky Kalkman at Beyond the Box Score summarized lineup optimization according to a sacred sabermetric text, The Book. He indicated that the … – Click Here To Visit Article Source