I promise I’ll focus on some other players, as this is the third article on Ben Revere I’ve written recently, but he is personally the most intriguing player on the roster at the moment. The Phillies are giving him a breather for today’s series finale against the Pittsburgh Pirates and will use him in the #8 slot tomorrow when the Phillies arrive in New York to play the Mets. That move, of course, is ripe for discourse and analysis and my initial reaction was that it is a bad idea to move Revere lower, particularly to the #8 spot, because his usefulness as a base runner is mitigated by weaker hitters who would be less likely to drive him in from second on a single, or from third on a sacrifice fly.
Inspired by a discussion with frequent commenter and friend of the blog @Yolacrary, though, I’ve changed my position on that. (With the caveat that, overall, optimizing a lineup doesn’t net you enough runs to truly be worth the hassle.) Tom Tango went over lineup optimization in The Book — a must-have for any of you Saber-inclined people who haven’t grabbed it yet — so I went back and read it again. The key point, as it pertains to base-stealing is: