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Around the SaberSphere 12/5: Optimizing a lineup, the Red Sox, Scouting Canada

Today's edition of sabermetric linkage includes how teams are doing at optimizing their lineups, explaining the moves made by the Red Sox, scouting in Canada and more...

Jason Miller

Bill Petti of FanGraphs looks at how teams have done at optimizing their batting lineups: Optimizing Batting Orders Across MLB | FanGraphs Baseball

At an aggregate level, the league hasn’t learned much. The best hitters at avoiding outs are primarily hitting third, while lesser on-base hitters occupy the first and second spots. If we looked at this by team, I’m sure we’d see greater variation. Perhaps some teams recognize the advantage (however slim) of placing greater value on out-avoidance at the top of the order? Still, the league-wide data make clear that those teams are in the minority.

Matthew Kory of Over the Monster explains why the Red Sox recent acquisitions actually may make sense: On Mike Napoli, Shane Victorino, And Having Options - Over the Monster

The reason the Red Sox can "explore" like this is because Victorino can play center field if Ellsbury isn't on the roster. We've talked about whether or not dealing Ellsbury now is a good idea in this space before, but no matter which side you come down on, the ultimate arbiter will be the return.

Hudson Belinsky of Baseball Prospectus discusses scouting in Canada: Baseball Prospectus | Scouting the Great White North

Every organization now has scouts who cover Canada. Just about every young player, even those with a remote interest in baseball, can find a place to play the game. The talented players are on everyone’s radar. One such player is Cal Quantrill, a projectable Stanford commit who can run his fastball into the low 90s. Cal’s father, Paul, enjoyed over a decade of playing in the big leagues.

Shane Tourtellotte of the Hardball Times takes a look back, with a sabermetric eye, at the history of double-headers: An incomplete history of the double-header--THT

Back in "The Double-Header Hangover Effect," I found that for each double-header a team played, it lost an extra three-fourths of a game over the next month. Okay, that's pretty close. There may be something I haven't taken into account: hangover effects might last longer than 30 days, for instance, or there might be a multiplier effect when you play a lot of twin-bills. For a back-of-the-envelope check, though, it's good enough to see that the new numbers are, ahem, in the ballpark.