3) The Curious Case Of Omar Infante Batting No. 5
Yes, this took place on Thursday’s game, not Friday’s. But, one of my Twitter followers reminded me of this puzzler. I had presumed that Infante had a strong track record vs. Thursday’s starting pitcher Carlos Carrasco, and dismissed the issue. My Twitter follower’s questions made me look.
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Omar Infante has a career .176/.176/,294 slash line against Carrasco. Throw out his three at bats in Thursday’s game, and that triple slash zooms all the way to .214/.214/.357.
Uh, yeah. So how in the heck to you hit Omar Infante fifth in the batting order on Thursday? That’s Ned Yost going with his gut and making absolutely no sense. I can’t even make any fancy psychological arguments to support batting Omar Infante no. 5 like I did for Alcides Escobar at leadoff, because there’s simply no great track record of success for the Infante situation.
So, what gives? Why in the heck was Omar Infante batting no. 5 with a career .571 OPS against Carrasco?
It’s one thing to thumb your nose at sabermetrics when you have a track record of success to support an anomalous tactical choice. It’s another be stubborn because you can be. The Infante batting no. 5 on Thursday seems to be the latter situation. It’s not as if Infante has been scorching hot. He’s hitting .143/.124/.143 over the last week, and is hitting .222/.320/.389 over the last two weeks.
Next: Danny Salazar