White Sox: Analyzing Rick Renteria’s Lineups and Other Strategies

(Photo by Will Newton/Getty Images)
(Photo by Will Newton/Getty Images) /
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Lineup Management

Third is Jose Abreu, who’s tied for leading the American League in RBI’s. Clearly, he is getting the chance to drive in runners and doing so, so I can’t really complain here. He’s fine in the three hole, but I wouldn’t mind him batting cleanup so we can get Anderson-Moncada-Abreu all bunched up next to each other.

The cleanup spot is just the absolute worst. The cleanup hitter is one of the most important spots in the lineup, and there’s just no way that Yonder Alonso should be batting there given his current rate of production. He should be batting seventh or lower based on his current stats. Literally, anyone would be better in this spot, but to be fair the White Sox don’t have enough good hitters to have an obvious answer to the question. I’ll go with anyone-but-Alonso. Just because he’s a lefty doesn’t mean he should be batting behind Abreu, Rick.

In the five-hole, we have Castillo followed by Charlie Tilson. Typically, these spots are reserved for guys with power, and I’m not sure how they fit that description. To be fair, some evidence suggests that your six through nine hitters should go in order of descending speed, and Tilson is pretty fast. I’d rather use him in the lead-off spot, or put him ninth and use him as a sort of second lead-off man.

Seventh is Anderson, which makes no sense other than that he wears no. 7, and players used to be given a number based on their batting order position. Even if he is in a slump, there’s no way that Anderson should be batting lower than fifth or sixth in this lineup, he’s too important to this team for now and the future.

There’s no way that the 2019 White Sox lineup is good enough that the American League Player of the Month for April should be batting seventh. This is inexcusable. Renteria’s justification? “He was doing pretty good when we batted him there early this season”. So does this mean if the Sox call up Luis Robert and bat him in eighth or ninth and he hits well, they should keep him there? Explain that logic. That he was doing well (and his stats are still good), means he should be moved up in this sub-par lineup to get as many at-bats as possible.