Mains: Double-switches and the Goldilocks convergence

From SABR member Rob Mains at Baseball Prospectus on August 14, 2017:

On July 10, the Angels were on the road and trailing 10-0 heading into the bottom of the seventh inning. Manager Mike Scioscia shuffled the lineup before the home team batted. Cliff Pennington replaced Andrelton Simmons at shortstop. Nick Franklin, playing left field, replaced Cameron Maybin, who’d been in center field, in the leadoff spot. Ben Revere, playing center field, replaced Kole Calhoun, who’d been in right field, batting second. Left fielder Eric Young moved from left field to right field.

This was a double-switch, defined as a substitution in which:

  1. Two or more players are substituted simultaneously, and
  2. The substituted players take places in the batting order different from those of the player they replaced on defense. (Don’t like that definition? I got it from Baseball-Reference.)

Revere took over center field from Maybin, but Revere batted second instead of first, as Maybin had. Franklin, the new leadoff hitter, took over left field from Young, the no. 9 hitter, who in turn bumped Calhoun, who’d been in the no. 2 spot. So it was a double-switch.

What made this double-switch unusual is that it occurred in Texas, in an American League game hosted by the Rangers. Double-switches are usually associated with National League teams and the pitcher’s spot in the lineup.

Read the full article here:

Originally published: August 14, 2017. Last Updated: August 14, 2017.