March 30, 2013; Sarasota, FL, USA; New York Mets hat and glasses lay with a tub of bubble gum in the dugout against the Baltimore Orioles at Ed Smith Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

MLB Rumors: Mets considering batting pitchers 8th in lineup

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.

According to the New York Post, Mets manager Terry Collins is exploring the idea in hopes to improve his offense – especially the top of the lineup.

“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.

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Tags: New York Mets Terry Collins

  • Bill

    I like that idea a lot. Then throw Lagares in the 9 hole and let him be a virtual lead-off guy – see what he does. His hitting (and baserunning) mindset now changes to be more agressive.

  • Jeff

    The numbers say batting your worst hitter 8th works, although it’s not a very significant difference. What would make the most difference is putting the absolute best hitters at the top of the lineup. Speed vs. power vs. “RBI guys” doesn’t matter. RBI guys get RBI’s because the guys in front of them get on base. So the best strategy is to put guys who get on base at the top, and give them the most chances to get on base throughout the season.

    If Collins is going to turn to sabermetrics to determine the pitcher’s batting slot, I don’t understand why he wouldn’t do the stuff it says *really* works.