Much has been made of the many varied lineup that Mike Scioscia has used this season. The lineup has become some unpredictable that I am actually seriously considering instituting some sort of pre-game batting order prediction contest. Through 16 games this season, the Halos have presented us with 14 distinct batting orders. Even for Scioscia, that's a lot.
And I do mean that. Scioscia has a propensity for using a great number of lineup permutations. In 2011, Scioscia used 129 lineups. He used 133 the year before that. And in 2009 when the offense was actually good, he used 123. This has been the pattern for Scioscia his entire tenure. To be fair, most teams use well over 100 lineup in a given season. Knowing this full well and knowing that statistical research strongly suggests that batting order doesn't matter that much, I didn't really think too much of Scioscia's early lineup tinkering.
However, after looking at some of the numbers and discussing the issue with various people online, I'm starting to think that this might be a problem after all. It isn't just that Scioscia is making small adjustments here and there, he is monkeying with the batting order at such a level that it actively interferes with the lineup being able to establish any level of consistency. Just look at the number of starts each player has gotten at each spot in the lineup.
Starts per Lineup Spot
- Aybar (13), Izturis (2), Abreu (1)
- Kendrick (14), Abreu (2)
- Pujols (16)
- Morales (9), Hunter (7)
- Hunter (8), Wells (4), Trumbo (4)
- Wells (8), Abreu (3), Trumbo (2), Morales (2), Callaspo (1)
- Callaspo (5), Izturis (4), Trumbo (3), Wells (2), Iannetta (1), Morales (1)
- Iannetta (10), Callaspo (2), Wilson (2), Izturis (1), Aybar (1)
- Bourjos (12), Wilson (2), Iannetta (1), Callaspo