Over 3 years ago I wrote the following blog about a softball lineup
http://softballinsider.blogspot.com/2007/05/making-lineup-go-for-kill-or-death.html and now the circle of softball life has brought me back to it. Specifically Top Ten Item #10 which read as follows :
"10. Rule 10 involves the number 11 - Use 11 hitters only if your not facing a stud pitcher. 11 man lineups generally suck - they are too long but against so so pitching it's OK. Against stud pitching use 10."
I've had many discussions regarding the use of "11 vs. 10 man lineups" and here are the advantages and disadvantages to consider:
- Lineup Turnover Factor - advantage 10 man lineup - self evident
- Participation Factor - advantage 11 man lineup - more people play
- Facing a top pitcher Factor - advantage 10 man lineup - you are getting the top of your lineup up quicker in a game. Closely related to point #1 above
- Stud Hitter Factor - If you have an impact hitter who couldn't catch a cold while running naked in a blizzard then you might as well bat 11
- "That's the Way it is Factor" - you team style is to always bat 11 b/c that's the way it. While myopic and ignorant to points 1,3,4 above it is actually fine b/c your team is run that way. Your not the manager and this is not fantasy softball, maybe your manager cares more about being loyal to his guys who make personal sacrifices to come to the ballpark and is willing to take the risk of batting 11. - advantage 11 man lineup
Funny how the years go by that this remains a circle of softball life topic. My softball instincts/feelings/experiences tell me that in the playoffs you should generally usually go with a 10 man lineup. In any case, managing is not easy or fun, but if you want to sit in the captains chair you have to make the tough decisions and deal with the consequences.