Monthly Archives: August 2011

The myth of Eric Thames’ fast-balls

A while back, I took to the blog to decry a myth that Corey Patterson was seeing more fastballs (or more strikes) while hitting in the two-spot in the Jays’ lineup.  It was found that there was virtually no difference.

You see, it’s a common myth in baseball that whoever is hitting in front of your best hitter (usually the number three hitter) will see more fastballs and strikes (i.e. controllable, hittable pitches).  Several studies have found that there is virtually no difference at all.

Then last night on the Twitter, someone speculated that Blue Jays new call-up and Canadian Baseball Moses Brett Lawrie should hit second in the lineup because he would see more hittable pitches and more fastballs.  When I calmly questioned the logic (and didn’t deny that he wouldn’t be the worst choice on the team for the two-spot), I was blasted from several angles.  The biggest argument against me was that Eric Thames was “tearing it up” whilst hitting in the number-two spot earlier this year; which was sort of true, although he hasn’t hit much worse in the six-hole in decidedly less games.

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