Batting pitchers 8th in the lineup isn’t exactly a new tactic, though it’s one often met with skepticism and rarely used.
That said, it’s apparently one the New York Mets are considering using for the 2014 season.
“I think both [Wright and Curtis Granderson] are RBI guys,” Collins said. “My thought is: How do we get them more RBI chances and also give David, in particular, chances to drive in runs. It is a possibility I might try [hitting the pitcher eighth]. I don’t know that I will, but I might.”
The thought behind it is that the eighth place batter (often a catcher or weak hitting infielder) is still far superior offensively to a pitcher and will get on base at a higher percentage for your ‘best’ hitters who occupy the top slots of your lineup.
The numbers do back up the idea, though on the flip side rallies that come from bottom half of your lineup would be stopped quicker with a pitcher in the eighth slot, so it appears to have its pluses and minuses.