Originally posted on Monkey with a Halo  |  Last updated 8/23/12
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]

GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Dallas Cowboys' team employee bus involved in fatal crash

Aldon Smith posts video under a psuedonym of a blunt on Periscope

WATCH: Cam Newton get blocked by a girl playing volleyball

Russia avoids complete ban from Rio Olympics by the IOC

Report: Padres trying to move Andrew Cashner, Derek Norris

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Baseball's top prospect called up to majors by Astros

Report: Braves 'aggressively' shopping Francoeur, Aybar

Report: Hue Jackson designing plays for Terrelle Pryor

Report: Darnell Dockett expected to announce retirement

Report: Yankees have not discussed releasing A-Rod

Report: D-Backs making Shelby Miller available via trade

Cristiano Ronaldo spars with Conor McGregor in gym

Adam Silver is the new standard-bearer for league commisioners

Iowa football player held at gunpoint by police while playing Pokemon Go

Eight most significant injuries going into NFL training camp

Man. U players banned from playing 'Pokemon Go?'

Ken Griffey Jr. put on backwards hat during HOF speech

Mike Piazza honors 9/11 victims during Hall of Fame speech

Jeremy Lin hints he is racially profiled by arena employees

Why did Rio mayor offer to put kangaroo in Olympic village?

Joe Maddon wastes no time cracking Chris Sale joke

Report: Lamar Odom walked out on family intervention

One Gotta Go: Do NBA players really love NBA2K?

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!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

One Gotta Go: Do NBA players really love NBA2K?

Effect of ban on Russia could span beyond the Olympic Games

One Gotta Go: NBA players hate Facebook too

QUIZ: Name every city to host the NBA All-Star Game

One Gotta Go: NBA players settle the fast food beef

One Gotta Go: NBA players make tough choices on their favorite rappers

One Gotta Go: NBA Summer League is not about that Game of Thrones life

The top NHL free agents available as offseason winds down

WATCH: NBA jersey sponsors that need to happen

Expansion draft playing heavy hand in the current NHL offseason

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker