Highlighted by the decision of Rays manager Kevin Cash in the World Series, MLB fans never been shy questioning the moves of a manager. But what if you were in the shoes of a manager in a late-inning situation? What decisions would you make?
The situation is a quite simple one. It is the top of the eighth, and your starter is winding down. He has led your team to a 3-2 lead and just gave up a lead-off double to the top of the order. Now the meat of their order, 2-3-4, is coming up and the decisions made by you will dictate the team’s success.
What’s Looming in their Line-Up
The second hitter is the prototypical two-hole hitter. A contact rate that is upwards of 85%, an on-base percentage at .370, and is a tough out. On top of that he is swinging from the left-side.
The three hole is the best hitter on the team. From the right side, he is hitting upwards of .320 and is leading the MLB in RBIs. On top of that, he hits .340 with runners in scoring position.
The four hole is similar to the Adam Dunn make-up. He has 40 home run potential. But is in the bottom echelon of the league in contact rate and has a swing-and-miss rate of 60%. After that, a switch hitting five hole that hits better from the right side is looming.
What You Have In the Bullpen
As the manager, you have a right handed bullpen arm, and a left handed specialist. The right-hander is a common strikeout pitcher, a K/9 of 14.32, and a K% of 25.3%. The left-handed specialist has a groundball percentage of 54% and a BABIP (batting average of balls in play) at .224.
The right hander is a two pitch pitcher, relying on his 97 MPH Fastball and a 85 MPH slider that ranks in the top 20 in swing and miss % of all sliders in the MLB.
The southpaw relies primarily movement. His best pitches are his 92-93 MPH sinker, and his 82 MPH changeup. However, he can mix in a slider against left-handed bats if needed.
So with a left-handed contact guy, the right-handed star of the line-up, a left-handed home run or nothing bat, and a switch-hitting clutch bat are looming, and the tying run is on second. Who do you call out of the pen? Remember as well, the next choice must face at least the next three batters.
Who will get the Call out of the Pen?
Also, Have Fun as a Manager!
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