I’m not one to make a ridiculous statement unless I mean to, so when noted baseball historian Bill James said I’d made one on twitter and to look up the facts, I had no choice but to look up the facts and see if I indeed had made one.
This was what Bill James tweeted:
Understanding that the post-season is largely random, the Dodgers use this everybody-does-everything policy with players playing all different positions and starters going to the bullpen, etc. It would make me uncomfortable in post-season. I want to KNOW who my guys are.
This seems overstated. The utility players move around, but other than Muncy who goes from 2nd to 1st the regulars have had set positions.
— Phil Gurnee (@meercatjohn) October 8, 2019
and Bill replied:
Phil, that is a really ridiculous thing to say. Look it up.
— Bill James Online (@billjamesonline) October 8, 2019
So I did.
The key here is that in the original tweet Bill said that “in postseason I want to know who my guys are” and that was what my reply was about. The Dodgers do know what their positions are and have since Sept 3rd. While it is true that during the season Dave Roberts tinkered with his lineup, by the time the season ended he had basically two lineups for the postseason and only Max Muncy was playing two positions.
The multiple catalysts that ending this tinkering were the following:
- On Sept 3rd, AJ Pollock was permanently moved to LF
- On Sept 3rd Cody Bellinger became the defacto CF
- Gavin Lux was promoted from AAA to the Dodgers and became the starting 2nd baseman against all right hand pitchers
- David Freese rejoined the team from the disabled list and took all the at-bats against LHP at 1st base.
It wasn’t set in stone in Sept because Justin Turner was hurt most of the month, and the rosters expanded. With Turner out Max Muncy also played some 3rd which threw Cody Bellinger back to 1st base, but that was an anomaly. When the starters are healthy, which they are for October, the lineups are set. Against RHP, Muncy will play 1st, Lux will play 2nd. Against LHP, Muncy will play 2nd, Freese will play 1st. Sometimes one of Matt Beaty or Chris Taylor will play LF instead of Pollock against RHP.
Sure the utility players move all over the place. Chris Taylor can play 2nd/ SS/RF/CF/LF, and so can Enrique. Matt Beaty can play 1st/3rd/LF. That is their role when everyone is healthy now the Lux is the starting 2nd baseman.
So below is the chart of games and the positions played by each of the normal starters that you are seeing in October. These were the regular-season games since Sept 3rd which is the date that Dave Roberts moved Cody Bellinger to CF.
Was my comment ridiculous? You tell me.
|Max Muncy||1st Base||10|
|Gavin Lux||2nd Base||22|
|Justin Turner||3rd Base||7|
|Russell Martin||Backup Catcher|