Tonight I thought I’d debut a feature that I hope keeps my writing here a bit more consistent. The feature is “In the GM’s Chair,” and it will be largely on what I’d do if I were in the GM’s chair of a team. I think it leaves a lot of things open to interpretation — mine, that is — and I like the leeway that presents.
And it’s my website anyway, right?
So tonight’s piece is on how I’d construct my 25-man roster if I were a GM. Let’s dig right in:
1. Leadoff hitter first and foremost has to get on base. I’d say .350 OBP would be my minimum, obviously contingent on iso, etc. I don’t care about speed too much. I also toy with the idea of my best hitter leading off, so he gets the most plate appearances on the season. (ideal: Joe Mauer)
2. Second hitter should be nearly as good at getting on base. I like a left-handed hitter here, as he’ll be hitting to a more open 1B-2B hole with my leadoff guy on base all the time. Ideally, if I have to similar leadoff-type hitters, I’ll use the guy w/ higher SLG here. (ideal: Dexter Fowler)
3. This is your best overall hitter. Ideally, this guy will be good at making contact, have at least decent power, but overall will be your best hitter. Everyone probably knows this anyway. (ideal: Mike Trout)
4. This is your best power hitter, as in someone who can clean up the bases, preferably in the first inning. (ideal: Miguel Cabrera)
5. I always find this guy to be a hybrid of the 3-4 spots. The five hitter is still arguably one of your most capable hitters, and someone with good extra-base pop will allow them to drive in the most runs. (ideal: Giancarlo Stanton)
6. I don’t have a hard-and-fast rule for my six hitter, except that he’s probably just another solid bat. Maybe a good doubles guy? (ideal: Alex Gordon)
7. Typically this will probably be the last of your adept hitters, unless you’re building some kind of offensive juggernaut. I’m OK with all-power, no OBP here if I like it anywhere. (ideal: Corey Hart)
8. I don’t have a real strong formula here. Probably your worst or second-worst hitter, depending upon if you subscribe to the pitcher hitting eighth in the NL theory. Essentially, someone with OBP who can turn the order over with your nine hitter would be nice. (ideal: Marco Scutaro, maybe?)
9. Obviously this is where you hide your worst hitter. Ideally, I want someone with good OBP if they won’t have any pop, so at least I have someone who can turn the order over. This is probably also a good defensive player, and maybe a fast player too. (ideal: Elvis Andrus)
I don’t really have any set-in-stone rules for if I were to break down what my third baseman or right fielder would need. Typically I’d want at least decent defense from everyone. I’d like a smart catcher with a good arm, a mobile shortstop who also has a good arm, and my centerfielder to be able to track down everything. I’m OK with a noodle-armed left fielder, but need a good arm in right. None of this is really revolutionary, though. Onto the bench….
Backup C: I want a good catch-and-throw guy, and ideally, maybe someone with some pop. (ideal: Kelly Shoppach)
Backup IF: You need at least one guy who can handle short, and ideally he can field really well. A decent bat would be nice, but not required. (ideal: Jamey Carroll)
Backup IF/OF/DH: I need a bench masher. Preferably someone without a discernible platoon split, but I wouldn’t say no to Jim Thome either! (ideal: Garrett Jones/Brandon Moss)
Backup OF: For a fourth OF, I want someone who can run a little, hit a little, and handle center in a pinch. The fielding and running is negotiable if I carry a fifth OF. (ideal: Craig Gentry)
As far as starting pitchers go, I really prefer to have a rotation of guys that all fan a minimum of 6.5-7.0 per 9. I realize that’s not likely, so I’ll settle for one or two guys who get grounders at 45% or higher (like a Jake Westbrook or Matt Harrison).
In my pen I would ideally love all of my guys to throw in the mid-90s and get 8.0 K’s per 9 or better. Again, this isn’t too likely. But if I can get three or four guys like that, I’d also like to have a groundball specialist (Brad Ziegler, anyone?), someone who is filthy against lefties, and at least one guy who absolutely does not walk anyone.
My closer wouldn’t necessarily be my best reliever, but he’d have to be a strikeout pitcher. If he were my best reliever, he’d also have to be OK with being dispatched as I see fit based on leverage. So I’d probably have to have a trio of pitchers like Jared Burton who I could use between the 7th and 9th innings.
So that’s how I’d build my team. Thoughts?