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View Full Version : To Bunt Or Not To Bunt...


Lip Man 1
09-03-2012, 04:35 PM
After the flop in Detroit many were on the board asking the question, "why with Cabrera having a bad ankle and not able to move well, weren't the Sox bunting all over the place on him?"

Good question.

If the Sox did it enough and if they were even somewhat successful Leyland would have had to make a choice...keep him in the lineup and risk more bunts, or take him out (or make him the DH).

Some of you wanted Robin's take on this (an answer...)

I asked Gonzo about it and his answer left me scratching my head. His answer also indicates that it can't be blamed on Robin or the coaching staff.

"The players were encouraged to try it... but none did." :?:

This dovetails with something else Gonzo said about the club in the series, that they weren't trying to do anything but hit home runs.

Take it for whatever it's worth to you.

Lip

amsteel
09-03-2012, 04:40 PM
I asked Gonzo about it and his answer left me scratching my head. His answer also indicates that it can't be blamed on Robin or the coaching staff.

"The players were encouraged to try it... but none did." :?:


Booooooooooooooo***catches breath***oooooooooooooooo. That's just terrible. I realize you don't expect some guys to bunt, but come on, at least test him more than once.

After putting up 5 runs in the first 2 games of the set, RV could have just put the bunt sign on, too, since swinging away wasn't really working. So he isn't free from blame. What's the worst that could have happened?

Nellie_Fox
09-03-2012, 04:41 PM
I disagree that it can't be blamed on the coaching staff. Give the bunt sign. He won't, he sits or gets fined.

kittle42
09-03-2012, 04:41 PM
The players couldn't bunt when Ozzie wanted a lot more bunting. When they tried, they often failed.

We basically have the same lineup - why would we expect them to be able to do it now, regardless of what defensive liability is at third?

soltrain21
09-03-2012, 04:46 PM
After the flop in Detroit many were on the board asking the question, "why with Cabrera having a bad ankle and not able to move well, weren't the Sox bunting all over the place on him?"

Good question.

If the Sox did it enough and if they were even somewhat successful Leyland would have had to make a choice...keep him in the lineup and risk more bunts, or take him out (or make him the DH).

Some of you wanted Robin's take on this (an answer...)

I asked Gonzo about it and his answer left me scratching my head. His answer also indicates that it can't be blamed on Robin or the coaching staff.

"The players were encouraged to try it... but none did." :?:

This dovetails with something else Gonzo said about the club in the series, that they weren't trying to do anything but hit home runs.

Take it for whatever it's worth to you.

Lip

I'm not taking it for much with a line like that.

Lip Man 1
09-03-2012, 05:00 PM
Nellie:

That's a valid position but what does it accomplish to order a guy to bunt, say Ramirez and he gives a half hearted effort?

From what I recall Ozzie ordered him to do so at times and his effort was 'less that encouraging...'

Hey I'm all for forcing guys to be able to execute fundamentals, Ozzie was awful at it. I think Robin has done a better job but the days of when Eddie Stanky for example could fine or sit a player for not getting a bunt down, not advancing a runner, not driving home a guy from 3rd with less than two out are long gone. (Unfortunately)

Lip

wassagstdu
09-03-2012, 05:06 PM
"The players were encouraged to try it... but none did." :?:

This dovetails with something else Gonzo said about the club in the series, that they weren't trying to do anything but hit home runs.

"Only one stat matters: OPS" This team won't win because they don't deserve to. We've heard it over and over, most recently from AJ: The Sox go to the plate looking for the one pitch per AB that they can "barrel up" and if they don't get it, or if they miss it, they expect to "grab some bench." Do you suppose that is what Delmon Young was thinking when he hit that crap pitch out?

And it's not Ozzie or Walker or Robin or Manto -- it's the players. Just watching Alexei Ramirez swing tells you all you need to know about why the Sox are struggling.

SoxSpeed22
09-03-2012, 05:14 PM
I'm with Kittle on this one. Half of your lineup are not bunters. You can't ask Youkilis, Dunn, Konerko, AJ, Alexei or Tank to bunt and expect anything good to happen. I don't get why Wise didn't try and lay one down, he had a horrendous series. Verlander didn't throw any pitches that were easy to bunt.

jdm2662
09-03-2012, 05:23 PM
I'm with Kittle on this one. Half of your lineup are not bunters. You can't ask Youkilis, Dunn, Konerko, AJ, Alexei or Tank to bunt and expect anything good to happen. I don't get why Wise didn't try and lay one down, he had a horrendous series. Verlander didn't throw any pitches that were easy to bunt.

Wise had a horrible series? He reached base three times and had two stolen bases, and that was just on Saturday alone. He was one of the very people to have a hit off Verlander in the first inning, which is when you need to get to him. Sure, he probably didn't light the world on fire, but I hardly say he had a horrible series.

Tragg
09-03-2012, 05:28 PM
Bunting for a hit is fine.
Bunting to "move those runners up" is inane in most instances. You're ordering automatic outs and taking yourself out of big innings.

GlassSox
09-03-2012, 05:30 PM
Wise had a horrible series? He reached base three times and had two stolen bases, and that was just on Saturday alone. He was one of the very people to have a hit off Verlander in the first inning, which is when you need to get to him. Sure, he probably didn't light the world on fire, but I hardly say he had a horrible series.

You are correct, Wise was not the problem in Detroit

WhiteSox5187
09-03-2012, 05:34 PM
Bunting for a hit is fine.
Bunting to "move those runners up" is inane in most instances. You're ordering automatic outs and taking yourself out of big innings.

Right now we're giving up outs whether we bunt or not. We give up a ton of outs every time Adam Dunn steps to the plate. Having said that, as someone pointed out half the guys in this lineup couldn't lay down a bunt if their lives depended on it.

SCCWS
09-03-2012, 05:51 PM
I don't get why Wise didn't try and lay one down, he had a horrendous series.

Based on what???? Wise went 3 for 10 which is pretty damn good considering the rest of the team. In fact, that would make him the top hitter of all the regulars for the series. Hitting .300 is far from horrendous.

Frater Perdurabo
09-03-2012, 06:31 PM
There were several situations during the Tigers series where Sox hitters like Wise, DeAza, Alexei, Beckham and/or Hudson could have bunted for hits toward third base. If bunting for a hit isn't part of the skill set of players like this, they should learn it.

TDog
09-03-2012, 07:17 PM
The players couldn't bunt when Ozzie wanted a lot more bunting. When they tried, they often failed.

We basically have the same lineup - why would we expect them to be able to do it now, regardless of what defensive liability is at third?

If you ignore Pierre, who bunted as much as anyone in the American League last year, and actually led the majors in sacrifice bunts in 2011, the White Sox bunt as much this year under Ventura as they did with Guillen last year.

The Sox attempted a sacrifice Friday night when they were down by a run. Beckham popped it up, but Cabrera couldn't get to it, loading the bases with nobody out. One hit batsman later, the game was tied. I was surprised there weren't attempts to bunt Scherzer and Verlander, but it's possible that hitters didn't bunt them because they felt more comfortable swining away against their their stuff.

SoxSpeed22
09-03-2012, 07:32 PM
I got my guys mixed up, Rios, Konerko and Youkilis had lousy series'. Wise got some nice hits, but I saw a few defensive miscues.

SCCWS
09-03-2012, 09:16 PM
I got my guys mixed up, Rios, Konerko and Youkilis had lousy series'. Wise got some nice hits, but I saw a few defensive miscues.

Wise does look a lot like Konerko, Rios and Youk. I am not sure what 'miscues" you saw but I hope you saw the outfield assist.

russ99
09-03-2012, 09:27 PM
Bunting for a hit is fine.
Bunting to "move those runners up" is inane in most instances. You're ordering automatic outs and taking yourself out of big innings.

There are two schools of baseball philosophy on sacrifice bunting, that is one, that outs are too valuable - yet you can never assume that by bunting you're "taking yourself out of a big inning".

The other is bunting (and yes giving up an out) to put your runner in scoring position with less than two outs and increase your chance to score one run. This is useful in late in close games, when you have a good situational hitter coming up at the plate.

Also, some players may bunt to get on base, and not just the speedy slap hitters. I always wished that Thome would just drop one one down the third base line to get rid of the stupid shift once and for all.

Also, that idea that we have a team of non-bunters is a cop-out. IMO, if you're payed to play professional baseball at the highest level, you can at least learn how to bunt properly. You can be sure that every player on the Twins does... Not being able to bunt just takes another possible tool away from the manager.

slavko
09-03-2012, 09:42 PM
The Crazy Stat Guys will tell you that a sac bunt increases your chances of scoring one run only if it moves a runner from second to third. The first to second bunt actually decreases your chances of scoring one run.

TaylorStSox
09-04-2012, 12:37 AM
Wise had a horrible series? He reached base three times and had two stolen bases, and that was just on Saturday alone. He was one of the very people to have a hit off Verlander in the first inning, which is when you need to get to him. Sure, he probably didn't light the world on fire, but I hardly say he had a horrible series.

He had a great bad series defensively.

WhiteSox5187
09-04-2012, 12:47 AM
The Crazy Stat Guys will tell you that a sac bunt increases your chances of scoring one run only if it moves a runner from second to third. The first to second bunt actually decreases your chances of scoring one run.

I am not a crazy stat guy but I never really liked bunting a guy over to second unless you have the pitcher coming to bat.

SI1020
09-04-2012, 08:33 AM
Bunting for a hit is fine.
Bunting to "move those runners up" is inane in most instances. You're ordering automatic outs and taking yourself out of big innings. I feel exactly the same way.

asindc
09-04-2012, 08:43 AM
There were several situations during the Tigers series where Sox hitters like Wise, DeAza, Alexei, Beckham and/or Hudson could have bunted for hits toward third base. If bunting for a hit isn't part of the skill set of players like this, they should learn it.

Agreed, and I'll go a step further. If everyone in your lineup has the ability to lay down a bunt and in fact does so at least 3-4 times a year, that would make your lineup that much more dangerous. Imagine the late-inning strategies the opposing team would have to imploy with runners on second and/or third with no outs in one-run games.

SCCWS
09-04-2012, 10:54 AM
White Sox have made 26 successful sac. bunts which is about average for an AL team. Less than once every 5 games. NL teams average about twice that amount. Considering that at least half the NL total is probably the pitcher, to me ML players do not bunt too often.
Obviously those numbers do not reflect bunts for hits.

Zisk77
09-04-2012, 11:15 AM
I'm with Kittle on this one. Half of your lineup are not bunters. You can't ask Youkilis, Dunn, Konerko, AJ, Alexei or Tank to bunt and expect anything good to happen. I don't get why Wise didn't try and lay one down, he had a horrendous series. Verlander didn't throw any pitches that were easy to bunt.

Wise and others DID try to bunt. They either fouled them off or pulled back because the pitch wasn't to their liking.

Over By There
09-04-2012, 06:19 PM
@scotgregor: Without getting into specifics, GM Kenny Williams said Sox didn't play smart baseball at Detroit (didn't bunt at hobbled 3B Cabrera)