• Steve Potter

8/19/2020 : Did Ya Know 🤔


One of the notations of perceived recent trends in baseball from many is the lack of consistent batting orders ... in today’s article by Matt Gelb in the Athletic he points out that the 2020 Phillies have employed 16 different batting orders in their first 18 games played with Bryce Harper batting third in all the games thus far, Rhys Hoskins second in 17 games and JT Realmuto cleanup in 16 contests. Due largely to the Harper/Realmuto duo in the middle of the order the team is in the top five in the major leagues in team batting average, on base percentage, slugging and OPS 😳.

Now 2020 has not proven to be a normal year by most comparisons ... so, even though I’ve beaten this subject to death in prior seasons I took a look back at some of the more successful Phillies teams in history to ascertain how consistent their lineup cards were ... for an apples to apples comparative purpose we have excluded pitchers from the review. Data is from Baseball Reference.

The 1950 Phillies used 35 different batting orders in 157 games - the most used lineup was for 36 games. The most consistent player use was Puddin Head Jones in the 5th slot for 116 games ... I was surprised to see that Richie Ashburn actually batted second in the order ( 76 games ) more than he did leadoff ( 68 games ).

The 1964 Phillies used 74 different batting orders in 162 games - the most used lineup was for 11 games. The most consistent player use was Johny Callison as the cleanup hitter for 114 games.

The 1976 Phillies won 101 games and used 74 different batting orders in 162 games - the most used lineup was for 15 games. The most consistent player use was Dave Cash as the leadoff hitter for 149 games. Larry Bowa batted second in 120 games, Mike Schmidt third 139 times and Greg Luzinski fourth in 143 games.

The 1977 Phillies also won 101 games and used 82 different batting orders in 162 games - the most used lineup was for 10 games. The most consistent player use was Greg Luzinski as the cleanup hitter for 148 games. Mike Schmidt hit third 139 times.

The World Champion 1980 Phillies used 74 different batting orders in 162 games - the most used lineup was for 20 games. The most consistent player use was Larry Bowa in the seventh slot for 130 games. No other player batted in a specific batting slot for more than 95 games ( Schmidt hit 3rd ninety-five times )

The 1983 National League Champion Phillies used 100 different batting orders in 163 games - the most used lineup was for 8 games. The most consistent player use was Ivan De Jesus in the eighth slot for 154 games. No other player batted in a specific batting slot for more than 86 games ( Schmidt hit 4th eighty-six times )

The 1993 National League Champion Phillies used 73 different batting orders in 162 games - the most used lineup was for 13 games. The most consistent player use was Lenny Dykstra as the leadoff hitter for 160 games. Dave Hollins hit cleanup 143 times, John Kruk batted third 138 times and Darren Daulton hit fifth 129 times.

The World Champion 2008 Phillies used 77 different batting orders in 162 games - the most used lineup was for 19 games. The most consistent player use was Ryan Howard as the cleanup hitter for 154 games. Pat Burrell batted fifth 133 times, Chase Utley batted third for 128 games and Jimmy Rollins leadoff for 126 games.

The 2009 National League Champion Phillies used 68 different batting orders in 162 games - the most used lineup was for 29 games. The most consistent player use was Ryan Howard as the cleanup hitter for 158 games, Jimmy Rollins led off for 145 games, Chase Utley batted third for 136 games and Shane Victorino hit second for 124 games.

The 2010 Phillies used 94 different batting orders in 162 games - the most used lineup was for 23 games. The most consistent player use was Ryan Howard as the cleanup hitter for 142 games, Jayson Werth hit fifth 135 times, Chase Utley batted third for 102 games, Placido Polanco hit second for 106 games and Raul Ibanez batted sixth for 100 games.

The 2011 Phillies won 102 games and used 105 different batting orders in 162 games - the most used lineup was for 10 games. The most consistent player use was Ryan Howard as the cleanup hitter for 146 games. Jimmy Rollins batted leadoff 106 times ... no other player slotted in a particular order spot more than 88 games ( Chase Utley hit third eighty-eight times ).

The past two seasons ...

The Phillies used 138 different lineups in 2018 in 162 games ... the most used lineup was for 5 games .... the most consistent player use was Cesar Hernandez as the leadoff hitter 144 times.

106 different lineups were used in 2019 ... the most used lineup was for 14 games .... the most consistent player use was Rhys Hoskins as the cleanup hitter 127 times followed by Bryce Harper in the third slot 120 games.

By percentage the number of different lineups as compared to total games played :


1950 - 22 %

1964 - 46 %

1976 - 46 %

1977 - 51 %

1980 - 46 %

1983 - 61 %

1993 - 45 %

2008 - 48 %

2009 - 42 %

2010 - 58 %

2011 - 65 %

2018 - 85 %

2019 - 65 %

2020 thus far - 89 %


Some numbers for comparison is all ... just sayin 🧐


Happy Day, Happy Baseball ⚾️

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