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View Full Version : Iguchi--2nd or elsewhere?


Whitesox029
02-05-2006, 12:06 PM
They had this poll on whitesox.com last week, but I was interested in what WSI thinks. So as long as the old threads on the subject are dead...
I completely disagree with moving Iguchi from the #2 spot. This team was able to produce runs last year using the 1-2 punch of Podsednik-Iguchi to set things up for Paulie/Frank/Carl/Jermaine. I don't understand why Ozzie wants to move the seemingly perfect #2 hitter from the #2 slot. Am I missing something, or is this a deviation from the small ball formula?

SOXintheBURGH
02-05-2006, 12:11 PM
We won a World Series with Pods/Iguchi/3/4/5 power. Now we have better power. I can't believe this is still an argument.

Whitesox029
02-05-2006, 12:15 PM
We won a World Series with Pods/Iguchi/3/4/5 power. Now we have better power. I can't believe this is still an argument.
The only reason I started the thread was because I've read all kinds of articles and threads on it and NONE of them has given me a good reason for breaking up the Pods-Iguchi team.

Daver
02-05-2006, 12:24 PM
The only reason I started the thread was because I've read all kinds of articles and threads on it and NONE of them has given me a good reason for breaking up the Pods-Iguchi team.

Iguchi's talent with the bat is somewhat wasted in the two hole, where he is asked to sacrifice quite a bit. He was a power hitter in Japan.

Ol' No. 2
02-05-2006, 12:52 PM
Iguchi's talent with the bat is somewhat wasted in the two hole, where he is asked to sacrifice quite a bit. He was a power hitter in Japan.But at the same time, they don't have anyone who can do the things he can hitting second. You gain here, you lose there. I think the loss outweighs the gain.

Daver
02-05-2006, 12:56 PM
But at the same time, they don't have anyone who can do the things he can hitting second. You gain here, you lose there. I think the loss outweighs the gain.

I agree with that, I was merely answering the question.

kevin57
02-05-2006, 01:22 PM
Ideally, it would be best to place him further down the lineup, but that depends if Uribe (or anyone else) can do even a decent job at the No. 2 spot. If that can't happen, then put Iguchi back behind PODS. I hope that Uribe can be 'disciplined' a little for that role.

ondafarm
02-05-2006, 01:39 PM
I think that Ozzie's idea behind announcing very publicly the switch between Uribe and Iguchi was to improve boost men's attitudes. Both are very talented players. Iguchi is a great team player but he would prefer (and in my opnion deserves) a little more glory in a power position. Ozzie would like Uribe to be more involved in the offense and he did journeyman work and also deserves to be more involved.

I don't think it will work and I think Ozzie will restore Iguchi to the #2 hole. But he will keep both involved.

oeo
02-05-2006, 02:21 PM
We haven't seen Uribe in the 2nd spot and until we do, we should stop this argument. If Uribe can do what Iguchi did last year, our lineup is that much better with Iguchi lower in the lineup. Lets see how it plays out before we start complaining about something else.

Ol' No. 2
02-05-2006, 03:07 PM
We haven't seen Uribe in the 2nd spot and until we do, we should stop this argument. If Uribe can do what Iguchi did last year, our lineup is that much better with Iguchi lower in the lineup. Lets see how it plays out before we start complaining about something else.I don't hear anyone complaining. It will be great if it works out. I just think it's unlikely. But spring training is the time to try stuff like this out.

Palehose13
02-05-2006, 06:17 PM
I am all for Uribe in the 2nd slot and Iguchi at 6 or 7. The reason why I want to see Uribe at #2 is because IMO he is pretty clutch when needed. It seems to me that when he has to focus, he has better control and then hits better/walks/bunts, etc. I think moving Uribe to #2 will improve him as a hitter because he will have to be disciplined.

While I was very happy with Iguchi last year at the 2 hole, I would like to see what he could do lower in the order. As Daver already mentioned, Iguchi was a power hitter in Japan. I really think he could put up some great numbers lower in the order.

Of course, this all depends on if Uribe can handle the 2 hole. I think he can and it seems that Ozzie thinks he may be able to also. IIRC, Ozzie said that they are going to try it in spring training (and possibly early in the season), but if it doesn't work he is going to put Iguchi back in the second slot.

A little off topic, but I am asking because I don't know much about the guy...Would Brian Anderson be an option at #2 in the future (when he gets adjusted to MLB pitching)?

samram
02-05-2006, 06:20 PM
I am all for Uribe in the 2nd slot and Iguchi at 6 or 7. The reason why I want to see Uribe at #2 is because IMO he is pretty clutch when needed. It seems to me that when he has to focus, he has better control and then hits better/walks/bunts, etc. I think moving Uribe to #2 will improve him as a hitter because he will have to be disciplined.

While I was very happy with Iguchi last year at the 2 hole, I would like to see what he could do lower in the order. As Daver already mentioned, Iguchi was a power hitter in Japan. I really think he could put up some great numbers lower in the order.

Of course, this all depends on if Uribe can handle the 2 hole. I think he can and it seems that Ozzie thinks he may be able to also. IIRC, Ozzie said that they are going to try it in spring training (and possibly early in the season), but if it doesn't work he is going to put Iguchi back in the second slot.

A little off topic, but I am asking because I don't know much about the guy...Would Brian Anderson be an option at #2 in the future (when he gets adjusted to MLB pitching)?

I actually wouldn't mind seeing Iguchi in the 3 hole if Uribe can succeed in the second spot. That would allow the Sox to have at least decent speed in the top three spots in the order and Dye could move down to the sixth spot, where he would probably be the best sixth hitter in the AL , if not all of baseball.

Palehose13
02-05-2006, 06:27 PM
I actually wouldn't mind seeing Iguchi in the 3 hole if Uribe can succeed in the second spot. That would allow the Sox to have at least decent speed in the top three spots in the order and Dye could move down to the sixth spot, where he would probably be the best sixth hitter in the AL , if not all of baseball.

I like your idea too.

itsnotrequired
02-05-2006, 09:37 PM
I am all for Uribe in the 2nd slot and Iguchi at 6 or 7. The reason why I want to see Uribe at #2 is because IMO he is pretty clutch when needed. It seems to me that when he has to focus, he has better control and then hits better/walks/bunts, etc. I think moving Uribe to #2 will improve him as a hitter because he will have to be disciplined.

I agree with this line of thinking. It almost seems like Uribe took a "What the hell, I'm at the bottom of the order?" kind of attitude and just swung away. With some discipline, he could be a great #2 hitter, especially with someone like Pods leading off.

Whitesox029
02-05-2006, 09:56 PM
I actually wouldn't mind seeing Iguchi in the 3 hole if Uribe can succeed in the second spot. That would allow the Sox to have at least decent speed in the top three spots in the order and Dye could move down to the sixth spot, where he would probably be the best sixth hitter in the AL , if not all of baseball.
No, I don't like this. The 3 and 4 holes are ALWAYS reserved for your best hitter/team leader and your biggest power threat, respectively. On this team, those roles are filled by Konerko and Thome.

samram
02-05-2006, 10:16 PM
No, I don't like this. The 3 and 4 holes are ALWAYS reserved for your best hitter/team leader and your biggest power threat, respectively. On this team, those roles are filled by Konerko and Thome.

Well, I happen to think Iguchi may be the best all-around hitter on the team. And the team leader thing has nothing to do with batting order. Varitek doesn't bad third for Boston; Jeter doesn't bat third for the Yankees; Darin Erstad doesn't bat third for LAA, etc. Not to mention that, IMO, if Iguchi is allowed to swing away more often, I think he could hit 25 homers playing in the Cell.

Whitesox029
02-05-2006, 10:22 PM
Well, I happen to think Iguchi may be the best all-around hitter on the team. And the team leader thing has nothing to do with batting order. Varitek doesn't bad third for Boston; Jeter doesn't bat third for the Yankees; Darin Erstad doesn't bat third for LAA, etc. Not to mention that, IMO, if Iguchi is allowed to swing away more often, I think he could hit 25 homers playing in the Cell.
But do you deny that Konerko and Thome, if both healthy, will both hit more than 25 each?

samram
02-05-2006, 10:32 PM
But do you deny that Konerko and Thome, if both healthy, will both hit more than 25 each?

Yes, but I thought the third spot was for the best hitter, not the one with the most power.

ElDuque26
02-05-2006, 10:34 PM
I voted for Iguchi out of the 2 hole because i think that it makes the lineup better as a whole. At the top of the lineup you have scotty consistantly getting on and setting the table. I like uribe in the 2 hole because hes got some pop but also can bunt, and i would feel like it was less of a waste with him bunting...Also, putting Iguchi at 6 makes that spot and all lower better as you give the lower third so many extra chances...its also nice having iguchis versatility lower in the order where he can keep a run going or start one on his own

Realist
02-06-2006, 05:44 AM
Looks like they're trying to push Uribe into the No. 2 spot.

Hey, if Hriniak can get old boy a lil' more discipline and he keeps swinging a little itty bit like Frank, I'm all for it. I love Juan when he's in a hot streak. When he's off, I'd rather chew broken glass then watch that swing.

Bobbo35
02-06-2006, 06:54 AM
I am all for Uribe in the 2nd slot and Iguchi at 6 or 7. The reason why I want to see Uribe at #2 is because IMO he is pretty clutch when needed. It seems to me that when he has to focus, he has better control and then hits better/walks/bunts, etc. I think moving Uribe to #2 will improve him as a hitter because he will have to be disciplined.

While I was very happy with Iguchi last year at the 2 hole, I would like to see what he could do lower in the order. As Daver already mentioned, Iguchi was a power hitter in Japan. I really think he could put up some great numbers lower in the order.

Of course, this all depends on if Uribe can handle the 2 hole. I think he can and it seems that Ozzie thinks he may be able to also. IIRC, Ozzie said that they are going to try it in spring training (and possibly early in the season), but if it doesn't work he is going to put Iguchi back in the second slot.

A little off topic, but I am asking because I don't know much about the guy...Would Brian Anderson be an option at #2 in the future (when he gets adjusted to MLB pitching)?

That is the way I feel about Juan as well. I think having him in the 2 hole will make him a more patient hitter than his usual swing away approach. He is a smart enough player to do that. If he can do that in the 2 hole than I think they are going to unleash some great power in Iguchi. We saw signs of it last year. He has the ability to go opposite field as we saw a couple of times. Could be interesting.

Palehose13
02-06-2006, 05:36 PM
No, I don't like this. The 3 and 4 holes are ALWAYS reserved for your best hitter/team leader and your biggest power threat, respectively. On this team, those roles are filled by Konerko and Thome.

The problem with your line of reasoning is that the current projected batting order has Dye in the 3 slot. For what I understand, #3 is usually the best hitter with power. IMO, Iguchi fits that bill. I think the more productive middle might be:

3 Iguchi
4 Konerko
5 Thome
6 Dye

Than the currently projected

3 Dye
4 Konerko
5 Thome
6 Iguchi

ManagerMark
02-06-2006, 05:44 PM
Clearly Iguchi was frustrated last year with his role batting 2nd. He had some very rough periods and was given plenty of rest. I look for a better season from him, but I would like to see some the pressure take off him and let him have free-er reign at the plate. The opposite medicine could work for Uribe, so I agree with Ozzie's planned experiment.

Whitesox029
02-06-2006, 05:49 PM
The problem with your line of reasoning is that the current projected batting order has Dye in the 3 slot. For what I understand, #3 is usually the best hitter with power. IMO, Iguchi fits that bill. I think the more productive middle might be:

3 Iguchi
4 Konerko
5 Thome
6 Dye

Than the currently projected

3 Dye
4 Konerko
5 Thome
6 Iguchi
1. Pods
2. Iguchi
3. Konerko
4. Thome
5. Dye
6. Uribe
7. Pierzynski
8. Crede
9. Anderson
This is the best and most natural choice for a lineup, in my opinion, for a couple reasons.
I know that Iguchi has power potential, but why do we need to be adding power when we've already acquired Thome? We hit 200 HR last year even without him. Iguchi has all the skills of a #2 hitter, and you can't just stick anyone into that #2 hole. Uribe is nowhere near patient enough, and that's too much pressure to put on a young guy like Anderson. No one else in the lineup even comes close to fitting the bill.
Looking at this lineup, there isn't one guy there who is out of place or not used to being at that spot.
Also, note the even dispersion of lefties: LRRLRRLRR
So you've told me that Iguchi has power...now tell me exactly what's wrong with NOT harnessing it. Are we afraid we won't score enough? Can we not trust the best pitching staff in the AL?

santo=dorf
02-06-2006, 05:50 PM
We haven't seen Uribe in the 2nd spot and until we do, we should stop this argument.
He had 260 at-bats hitting in the #2 hole in 2004.
AVG/OBP/SLG
.285/.331/.515

Palehose13
02-06-2006, 05:54 PM
1. Pods
2. Iguchi
3. Konerko
4. Thome
5. Dye
6. Uribe
7. Pierzynski
8. Crede
9. Anderson
This is the best and most natural choice for a lineup, in my opinion, for a couple reasons.
I know that Iguchi has power potential, but why do we need to be adding power when we've already acquired Thome? We hit 200 HR last year even without him. Iguchi has all the skills of a #2 hitter, and you can't just stick anyone into that #2 hole. Uribe is nowhere near patient enough, and that's too much pressure to put on a young guy like Anderson. No one else in the lineup even comes close to fitting the bill.
Looking at this lineup, there isn't one guy there who is out of place or not used to being at that spot.
Also, note the even dispersion of lefties: LRRLRRLRR
So you've told me that Iguchi has power...now tell me exactly what's wrong with NOT harnessing it. Are we afraid we won't score enough? Can we not trust the best pitching staff in the AL?
That's a fine line up, but besides seeing Iguchi unleashed I want to see if Uribe can be disciplined. IMO, he can be when he wants to be. I'd like to get the most out of every ball player and if that means scoring more runs, I don't see the problem with that. I would love to trust the pitching staff and I do, but I would also like to give them some breathing room sometimes too. This team on paper looks better than the team that just won the World Series. Maybe I want them to win 120 games. :tongue:

Whitesox029
02-06-2006, 05:57 PM
That's a fine line up, but besides seeing Iguchi unleashed I want to see if Uribe can be disciplined. IMO, he can be when he wants to be. I'd like to get the most out of every ball player and if tat means scoring more runs, I don't see the problme with that. I would love to trust the pitching staff and I do, but I would also like to give them some breathing room sometimes too. This team on paper looks better than the team that just won the World Series. Maybe I want them to win 120 games. :tongue:
Well then in a general sense, we're in agreement, Palehose. :bandance:
This kind of thing is really what spring training is for now that I look at it.

Palehose13
02-06-2006, 07:45 PM
Well then in a general sense, we're in agreement, Palehose. :bandance:
This kind of thing is really what spring training is for now that I look at it.

See! I'm really not as difficult as some believe. :cool:

greektortoise
02-06-2006, 07:54 PM
When discussing this topic one must remember how successful the team was in moving runners over in key situations when Willy was in the 2spot. When you have Willy's image in your head it is clear that it is not a job for everyone. The reason Tad was successful in that role is in Japan, 'every' player on the team participates in bunting and hit and run drills, making it a easier transition.

But on the other hand it is intriguing to see what he can do lower in the lineup. With one year of getting used to MLB pitching and life in the USA, it's not that crazy to think he could add 5 more homeruns, 10 more RBI, 10 points to his batting averge, which would make him one of the better 2Bman in the league.

Either way what makes me happy is that Ozzie is still trying to improve the lineup despite the world series Ring. I like that attitude of non complacency in our manager and GM.

soxfanatlanta
02-06-2006, 07:58 PM
That's a fine line up, but besides seeing Iguchi unleashed I want to see if Uribe can be disciplined.

I'd love to see Uribe become more selective, but other long time posters are skeptical. I wanted to come up with specific examples, but never had the time to research properly. So, does anybody have hitters who become more selective over time? (No one year wonders, please)

Maybe I want them to win 120 games.

Who doesn't? :wink:

Palehose13
02-06-2006, 08:04 PM
I'd love to see Uribe become more selective, but other long time posters are skeptical. I wanted to come up with specific examples, but never had the time to research properly. So, does anybody have hitters who become more selective over time? (No one year wonders, please)

From earlier in this thread his numbers from the 2 spot in 2004 posted:
He had 260 at-bats hitting in the #2 hole in 2004.
AVG/OBP/SLG
.285/.331/.515
Just off hand I think that is better than what he did last year batting 9th. I would like to see him produce those numbers at #2 this year while being able to lay down a sac bunt. I guess we will see.

Oh and in your regards to hitters who have become more selective over time...I was one. I know it isn't what you were looking for, but i was put into the 2 slot my sophomore year of college and excelled. :wink:

Ol' No. 2
02-06-2006, 08:21 PM
I'd love to see Uribe become more selective, but other long time posters are skeptical. I wanted to come up with specific examples, but never had the time to research properly. So, does anybody have hitters who become more selective over time? (No one year wonders, please)



Who doesn't? :wink:Generally speaking, patient hitters will always be patient hitters, and free-swingers will always be free-swingers. I'm sure you can find a few examples of hitters who have changed, but they're remarkable in their rarity. That in no way means trying this out in spring training is a bad idea. If it works, it makes the lineup better. If not, nothing lost.

soxinem1
02-06-2006, 08:29 PM
He had 260 at-bats hitting in the #2 hole in 2004.
AVG/OBP/SLG
.285/.331/.515

Yes, I remember Uribe doing quite well in the #2 spot in 2004. Between Juan and Rowand the Sox must have had around 30HR's from the two spot and at least a .290 BA. Plus, Uribe nailed the ball a lot going to RF that year, not so much in 2005.

I also think Iguchi could hit #3 if needed. An interesting thought.

Save McCuddy's
02-06-2006, 09:12 PM
I say second.

The idea that the duties of batting second are robbing Iguchi of opportunities to hit for power is overblown. Pods is on 35% of the time. Relieving the 2 hole duties would then equate to Tadahito hitting 20 instead of 15 this year. If so, is 5 HR's worth disrupting what was a successful part of our offense last year?

If he's capable of 30 plus, he'll hit 'em whether he's batting second or sixth -- it won't matter.

Palehose13
02-06-2006, 09:28 PM
I say second.

The idea that the duties of batting second are robbing Iguchi of opportunities to hit for power is overblown.

Over his last 4 years in Japan, Iguchi averaged 24 HR's in 124 games/season. This year he had 15 in 135 games. I don't think it to be unreasonable for him to hit 25 or 30, but there is no way he would do it batting second.

Save McCuddy's
02-06-2006, 09:38 PM
Which Player's Japanese power numbers have translated equivalently in the Majors?

Matsui hit 40 + and was the premier power hitter over there. He's averaged 23 a year here in a ballpark that is made for left handed power hitters.

I think it's foolish to think Iguchi will match his Japanese stats -- but he sure is a hell of a ball player anyways.

Daver
02-06-2006, 09:58 PM
Which Player's Japanese power numbers have translated equivalently in the Majors?

Matsui hit 40 + and was the premier power hitter over there. He's averaged 23 a year here in a ballpark that is made for left handed power hitters.

I think it's foolish to think Iguchi will match his Japanese stats -- but he sure is a hell of a ball player anyways.

It is not home runs, it is his ability to swing away that is hurt, home runs do not make a power hitter, extra base hits do.

1951Campbell
02-06-2006, 10:07 PM
Generally speaking, patient hitters will always be patient hitters, and free-swingers will always be free-swingers. I'm sure you can find a few examples of hitters who have changed, but they're remarkable in their rarity. That in no way means trying this out in spring training is a bad idea. If it works, it makes the lineup better. If not, nothing lost.

Put me down for "I'm not sure Uribe can reign it in."

I think experimenting is fine, but only if Iguchi at 2/Uribe near the bottom is the default setting.

Chuckster49
02-06-2006, 10:45 PM
I'm pretty sure I heard that Juan was the best bunter on the team. I remember that great bunt he put down in game three of the ALDS to squeeze home AJ. I'm not convinced that he will be able to hit grounders to specific sides of the field like Tadahito could. I guess I'm taking an "Ozzie knows better than I" approach to the whole thing.

-Al

gosox3072
02-07-2006, 12:04 AM
I hate to use this:

But if it aint broke why fix it!!!!!

Id say winning the world series is the farthest thing possible from being broke! I know it wont happen, but id love to see Iggy in the 2 hole. Then again, moving him down in the order may keep him on the south side, so that might be one reason to move him down.

Save McCuddy's
02-07-2006, 08:13 AM
It is not home runs, it is his ability to swing away that is hurt, home runs do not make a power hitter, extra base hits do.


What?

Last I checked, a home run was an extra base hit. As a matter of fact, it's the preeminent extra base hit.

The point I was making -- and your response has nothing to do with it -- is that #1 Players' statistics in Japan do not translate well to the U.S. In particular, the power hitters from Japan hit fewer home runs here than there. So, it's not prudent to assume that Iguchi will hit the 24 Hr's on average that he was hitting there. #2 Podsednik is on base for a maximum of 35% of Tadahito's AB's. At least 65% of the time he gets to swing away.

I think the whole controversy of Iguchi being hamstrung by his role in the two hole is overblown. There was no talk of this problem when Uribe crushed the ball there in '04 or when Carlos Lee was our hittest hitter in that slot in '03. Let's face it, Tadahito hit 15 HR's and acquitted himself very well at the plate in his first season in the U.S. -- the first time he saw the pitching. Regardless of where he hits this year, there's a good chance he'll be even better.

My last words: "if it ain't broke"

ondafarm
02-07-2006, 10:33 AM
Generally speaking, patient hitters will always be patient hitters, and free-swingers will always be free-swingers. I'm sure you can find a few examples of hitters who have changed, but they're remarkable in their rarity. That in no way means trying this out in spring training is a bad idea. If it works, it makes the lineup better. If not, nothing lost.

I concur with your first statement with one caveat. Some players who are not playing up to their potential occasionally need to be put in a higher pressure position to increase their focus and to do better. At Colorado, nobody thought much of Uribe's ability to play shortstop, they had him pegged as a utility guy. Guillen saw that and handed him the SS job. Basically saying, "Perform or we all sink with you." Uribe responded. I see this batting second as Guillen trying the same thing. It also soothes Iguchi's nerves a bit. If it doesn't work out in spring training then fine, we do know that Iguchi will do well in the #2 hole.

Ol' No. 2
02-07-2006, 10:59 AM
I concur with your first statement with one caveat. Some players who are not playing up to their potential occasionally need to be put in a higher pressure position to increase their focus and to do better. At Colorado, nobody thought much of Uribe's ability to play shortstop, they had him pegged as a utility guy. Guillen saw that and handed him the SS job. Basically saying, "Perform or we all sink with you." Uribe responded. I see this batting second as Guillen trying the same thing. It also soothes Iguchi's nerves a bit. If it doesn't work out in spring training then fine, we do know that Iguchi will do well in the #2 hole.IIRC, the knock on Uribe's defense when he was at Colorado was that he had great skills but was sometimes sloppy with the fundamentals. That's the kind of thing that is amenable to coaching. Turning a free-swinger with funky mechanics into a consistent #2 hitter seems like a tall order.

While Iguchi was considered a power guy in Japan, that's a relative thing. He's not that big and I'll be surprised if he can hit much more than 20 HR with any regularity no matter where he's hitting in the order. So is it worth sacrificing what he brings to the #2 spot for another 5 HR a year? I have my doubts.

soxfanreggie
02-08-2006, 12:21 AM
My thoughts are, that we should not take him out of the 2 spot unless we can plug someone else in there that will do a good job. We need guys who are able to sacrifice and get on base themselves to set-up Paulie and Thome and Dye for some RBIs. I don't think Anderson or whoever we put in CF will be in that spot, so unless Uribe takes it, Gooch is stuck.

Pods
Gooch
Thome
Konerko
Dye
AJ
Crede
Uribe/Anderson
Anderson/Uribe

is a good line-up for us.