Originally written August 23, 2012 on Monkey with a Halo:
Mlb-2009-angels-beat
There I was minding my own business monitoring Tuesday's Angels game via Gameday as I pretended to work.  As chance would have it, Howie Kendrick came up to the plate against Aaron Cook with a runner on first base and nobody out.  What followed was the most predictable GIDP possibly in history.  Everyone who pays even a little attention to the Angels saw it coming because Kendrick leads the free world in GIDPs and GIDP%.  But it was made even more unavoidable because Kendrick was facing Aaron Cook, who entered the game with 2.93 GB/FB ration, which would lead all of baseball if he had enough innings to qualify.  For his part, Kendrick had the fifth-highest GB/FB ratio of all hitters in baseball.  The only real surprise is that the combination didn't lead to Kendrick simply smacking the baseball straight down, through the Earth's crust and halfway through the upper mantle. The play was ultimately inconsequential, but I couldn't help but wonder why such an obvious end result couldn't have been avoided.  No, seriously, why was premier groundball hitter Kendrick allowed to face premier groundball pitcher Aaron Cook? It isn't that hitting grounders are necessarily a bad thing, Derek Jeter is having a good year and he had almost double the GB/FB ratio as Howie.  However, grounders do limit a player's ability to drive the ball.  Plus, common sense suggests that by sending up a groundball-heavy hitter against a groundball-heavy pitcher is only playing right into the hands of said pitcher, which is never a good thing.  Perhaps there is some extensive statistical study that debunks this (and please send it my way if you know of one), but the only logical conclusion I can come up with is to begin platooning Kendrick against groundball pitchers. The stats certainly suggest that it would be a smart move since Kendrick has a career tOPS+ of 82 against groundball pitchers.  I'm sure a lot of players have a below average tOPS+ on that split, but that is a stark drop from his normal production.  He hits for a lower average, less power and he even walks less against groundball pitchers.  Like I said, he is playing right into their hands. You know who wouldn't play into their hands?  Maicer Izturis and his career 1.26 GB/FB ratio.  He also has a 112 tOPS+ against groundball pitchers.  All things being equal, Kendrick is a superior hitter than Izturis, but such an arrangement would maximize the strengths of each player and lead to an overall improvement in production from the second base position in Anaheim.  And it isn't like it would relegate Kendrick to the bench that often as the Angels typically face a groundball pitcher in a quarter of their plate appearances in a normal season. I can't say that I've seen such an arrangement in the majors before, but it makes a lot of sense in this isolated case.  There will surely be some kinks to work out as far as what the GB/FB cut-off is for when to play Izturis over Kendrick, assuming it is stat-based and not scouting report-based, but I think it is a novel idea that deserves a shot. [follow]
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Giants shut out Pirates, advance to NLDS

Cowboys' Spillman accused of rape at team hotel

Report: Patriots benched WR for mouthing off to coach

Jose Bautista busts up reporter over Twitter

Sammy Watkins calls out EJ Manuel

Larry Donnell benches himself in fantasy, loses because of it

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Josh Gordon says NFL’s drug policy is harrassment

Steve Smith: Ron Rivera hid in his office after cutting me

Rondo hoping for an opening night return from broken hand

Jon Gruden on Raiders job: 'I'm not thinking about coaching'

Tom Brady defends not congratulating Garoppolo on TD

Ohio State student who ran on field loses full scholarship

ESPN reporter announces she has breast cancer

Byron Scott explains why Kobe wouldn't make a good coach

Hibbert texts Duncan for advice on being like Spurs

Belichick repeats moving 'on to Cincinnati' during presser

Donald Sterling’s wife called the cops on V. Stiviano

WATCH: Mayweather shocked someone doesn’t know who he is

Who is the new face of MLB?

NHL 15 predicts the LA Kings win the Cup again

J.J. Watt buys his mom a new car for her birthday

Ranking the NFL coaches already sitting on the hot seat

WATCH: Smith tells Panthers to go home and mow his lawn

The best games on the NFL slate in Week 5

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

Cowboys player accused of rape

Scott: Kobe would not be a good coach

Pats WR benched for mouthing off?

Sammy Watkins calls out EJ Manuel

Donnell benches himself in fantasy and loses

Gordon: Drug policy is harrassment

Who is the new face of baseball?

Steve Smith blasts Panthers coach, GM

What will the A’s look like in 2015?

All-Disappointment Team in MLB

Ryan Lochte: Phelps made dumb decision

WATCH: Brett Favre in new commercial

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.