Do you mean how often to pitchers bat 8th? Not often.
Predominantly they bat ninth. Would have to say that's pretty universal in the NL and interleague games for AL teams in NL parks. LaRussa used to bat his pitcher 8th a decent portion of the time but it's not that frequent.
Last edited by metswon69; 05-05-2014 at 07:39 PM.
I've noticed pitchers bat a little earlier in the lineup as of late as well. Always thought it would be best if they batted 9th and at the bottom of the lineup.
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I think pitchers are best suited as cleanup hitters.
Maybe it's possible they mathematically score more if the pitcher bats 8th, but I just can't imagine giving the pitcher an extra at bat once every 9 games is advantageous.
It makes a lot of sense to put a better hitter than the pitcher ahead (the 9th spot) of those hitters.
Here's an article on how often it happens
And to the point of the pitcher hitting 8th
It's not that valuable, but there is value in turning the lineup back over for your better hitters at the top of the lineup to potentially have more men on base.
Think of your lineup as a cyclical item.
I think Tango, Litchman, etc estimated it's worth about 2 runs a season.
And why exactly is it a bad thing having your best hitter bat third?
i personally like the idea of batting thew pitcher 8th
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Lineup construction barely matters. Just put your guys where they are comfortable or feel like they can succeed and you've done your part as a manager.
Most teams don't even know who their best 2 or 3 hitters are going to be. But if you generally put your better hitters higher then you'll do what you set out to accomplish. Even if you have perfect information (nobody ever does) and optimize your lineup every single day (impossible to happen in practice) it will only mean a handful of runs.
But, if a manager can't convince a hitter that hitting second, where he'll get more PA's in a season and be less likely to be standing on deck when the game ends, is better for him and the team than him hitting third then he's not a very persuasive manager or he's got a pretty stubborn player.