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]

MORE FROM YARDBARKER:
Most strikeouts by a hitter in a single season
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Helfrich, Kelly spoke about possibility of Kelly returning to Oregon

Paul Maurice: Game plans won’t work trying to stop McDavid

Report: Nats considering Ian Desmond reunion

Eric Dickerson: Rams would be better off without Jeff Fisher

Sheriff: Joe McKnight shooting suspect fired from inside car

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Revis insists he has 'a lot' of football left, still loves game

Report: Siemian misses practice Friday, Lynch likely to start

Report: Five teams chasing Chris Sale, asking price high

Von Miller gifts every AFC West player custom bottle of wine

Bucs C Joe Hawley claims Seahawks player spit in his face

Report: A.J. Green jogging, no timeline for return from injury

Best of Yardbarker: CFB Championship Week chaos

Sporting life: Gifts for real fans (that aren't ugly NFL sweaters)

New faces help Spurs continue unparalleled success

The Pirates prepare for rarely chartered waters in dealing Andrew McCutchen

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

Everything you need to know for CFB Championship Week

Box Score 12/2: High-kicking it into the weekend

Jeff Fisher is the unkillable cockroach of NFL head coaches

Four teams to keep an eye on at the 2017 Winter Meetings

Eugene Monroe opens up about NFL’s drug policy

Ideal MLB offseason blueprint for every team

Eight NFL teams facing must-win games in Week 13

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

Sporting life: Gifts for real fans (that aren't ugly NFL Christmas sweaters)

New faces help Spurs continue unparalleled success

The Pirates prepare for rarely chartered waters in dealing Andrew McCutchen

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

Everything you need to know for CFB Championship Week

Jeff Fisher is the unkillable cockroach of NFL head coaches

Four teams to keep an eye on at the 2017 Winter Meetings

Porzingis reshapes Knicks by elevating his game

TailGreater: Your championship week playlist is set

Clarification: Why the rules near the crease need to be fixed

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