When the Ross Atkins traded for relief pitcher Drew Storen, he moved the Blue Jays only legitimate leadoff man and threw the lineup in flux.
Bill James developed an equation which estimates the amount of runs scored by a team of a single player per 27 outs. More simply, it estimates how many runs a lineup filled 1 through 9 with Jose Bautista’s. The equation is ((a)(b)/(c))/at-bats-hits+caught stealing+sacrifice hits+sacrifice flies)*27.
(b) Total Bases+.26*(BB+HPB)+.53*(sacrifice flies+sacrifice hits)+.64*(SB)-.03*(K)
(c) At-bats+BB+HBP+Sacrifice flies+Sacrifice hits
***courtesy of ‘Sabermetric Statistics Glossary’ for a full description follow the link provided (link)*****
This article is looking at this statistic because there’s been a lot of chatter heading into Spring Training about the make up of the Blue Jays lineup configuration. The Top 1-3 RC27 scores will be placed in the 2-hole, Clean-up, and 4-hole. The 4th highest RC27 will bat leadoff and the 5th highest will slot in behind the 4-hole with the 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th RC27 scores filling out the rest of the lineup.
Lineup created by RC27
1st Chris Colabello 6.56
2nd Josh Donaldson 7.38
3rd Edwin Encarnacion 7.11
4th Jose Bautista 6.80
5th Troy Tulowitzki 4.99
6th Kevin Pillar 4.62
7th Russell Martin 4.51
8th Ryan Goins 3.68
9th Winner of the LF job
This lineup configuration hinges on Chris Colabello winning the 1st base job over Justin Smoak and proving that 2015 wasn’t a fluke. Colabello had a very high .411 BABIP, which he’s not likely to repeat. He has a solid OBP, OPS and ISO which makes him a nice option as a leadoff guy; unfortunately, his lack of speed would clog the bases.
The next three slots in the lineup remain unchanged, with the exception of Edwin leapfrogging Jose in the lineup. Edwin batting 3rd is not likely to happen for the same reason Josh Donaldson will continue to bat in the 2-hole. Jose Bautista. Jose’s earned the right to remain the Blue Jays #3 hitter, until he proves otherwise.
I’m sure that Tulo will become the default leadoff hitter for the Blue Jays in 2016, but if John Gibbons made out the lineup card based on RC27 Tulo would be batting 5th. Troy’s 4.99 RC27 was a combined RC27 between Colorado and Toronto and was the 5th highest on the team. Tulo is expected to produce at a higher level being further removed from hip surgery and not having a cracked scapula (thank you Kevin Pillar).
Our next two batters, Kevin Pillar and Russell Martin, will likely occupy opposite spots in the lineup with Martin sliding in behind Tulo and Pillar behind Martin. In 2015, Kevin Pillar occupied the 8th spot in the lineup 80 times, 7th spot 49 times and 6th spot only 13 times. Pillar’s best stats came while occupying the 8th with an OPS of .830, compared to .586 in the 7th and .505 in the 6th. Martin’s best stats came when he batted 6th with .842 OPS.
It’s likely the Ryan Goins and a platoon of Dalton Pompey/Michael Saunders will bat 8th and 9th. What happens when Devon Travis comes back from remains to be seen. Travis’ 6.54 RC27 places him 0.03 points behind Chris Colabello’s 6.56 and 3.00+ points higher than Goins’ 3.68 RC27. Common sense dictates that Devon would be a better fit as Toronto’s leadoff hitter, which would push Colabello down to 5th.
With the exception of Chris Colabello batting leadoff, the lineup resembles the one that John Gibbons normally ran out. The configuration that Gibby settles on won’t matter too much, this team is going to score a tonne of runs.
Closing notes: Justin Smoak generated 4.45 RC27 and will split time with Edwin and Chris at 1st and DH.
*Featured Image Credit: wyliepoon UNDER CC BY-SA 2.0
THANK YOU FOR VISITING JAYS FROM THE COUCH! CHECK US OUT ON TWITTER@JAYSFROMCOUCH AND LIKE US FACEBOOK. BE SURE TO CATCH THE JAYS NEST PODCAST!
Shaun Doyle is a long time Blue Jays fan and writer! He decided to put those things together and create Jays From the Couch. Shaun is the host of Jays From the Couch Radio, which is highly ranked in iTunes, and he has appeared on TV and radio spots.