Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Completely Overhauling the Starting Lineup

Chad Jennings has a good post today over at The LoHud Yankees Blog, comparing the 2013 starters with the potential group for 2014. He writes:
"Here’s what’s kind of amazing about it: That same page for 2014 might list a different Yankees regular at every single position. Think about that. The Yankees are in the middle of an almost total lineup reconstruction, with Brett Gardner being the only player who was a regular last season being projected as a regular next season (at a different position and a different spot in the order)."

Baseball-Reference's yearly positional starter lists are based on who logged the most time at each spot. We might be looking at a different starting nine by position in the Bronx for the first time since 1966-67.

1966 Elston Howard Joe Pepitone Bobby Richardson Horace Clarke Clete Boyer Roy White Mickey Mantle Roger Maris
1967 Jake Gibbs Mickey Mantle Horace Clarke Ruben Amaro Charley Smith Tom Tresh Joe Pepitone Steve Whitaker

That transitional period saw all eight positions (no DH) change, thanks to Pepitone and Mantle swapping between first base and center field and Clarke shifting from shortstop to second base.

This is the only time in Yankees history that this occurred, but with all the new acquisitions and Robinson Cano's departure, it might happen again this season. Let's take a look now at the other 29 teams.

Baltimore Orioles/St. Louis Browns: Never

This is the only one of the 16 pre-expansion franchises that has never done this. 

Boston Red Sox

Year C 1B 2B SS 3B LF CF RF
1945 Bob Garbark George Metkovich Skeeter Newsome Eddie Lake Jackie Tobin Bob Johnson Leon Culberson Johnny Lazor
1946 Hal Wagner Rudy York Bobby Doerr Johnny Pesky Rip Russell Ted Williams Dom DiMaggio George Metkovich
1923 Val Picinich George Burns Chick Fewster Johnny Mitchell Howie Shanks Joe Harris Dick Reichle Ira Flagstead
1924 Steve O'Neill Joe Harris Bill Wambsganss Dud Lee Danny Clark Bobby Veach Ira Flagstead Ike Boone

I expect a lot of entries for 1945-46 as many players returned from serving in World War II. The returns of Williams, Doerr and DiMaggio spurred a massive improvement from 71-83 to 104-50 and the American League pennant. Like the two New York pairings, Boston's required a position change by someone that was already there.

Tampa Bay Rays: Never

Toronto Blue Jays: Never

Chicago White Sox

Year C 1B 2B SS 3B LF CF RF
1948 Aaron Robinson Tony Lupien Don Kolloway Cass Michaels Luke Appling Pat Seerey Dave Philley Taffy Wright
1949 Don Wheeler Chuck Kress Cass Michaels Luke Appling Floyd Baker Gus Zernial George Metkovich Dave Philley
1910 Fred Payne Chick Gandil Rollie Zeider Lena Blackburne Billy Purtell Patsy Dougherty Freddy Parent Paul Meloan
1911 Billy Sullivan Shano Collins Amby McConnell Lee Tannehill Harry Lord Jimmy Callahan Ping Bodie Matty McIntyre

The 1911 Pale Hose squad is the first team with a whole new group, without any holdovers merely switching positions.

Cleveland Indians

Year C 1B 2B SS 3B LF CF RF
1962 John Romano Tito Francona Jerry Kindall Woodie Held Bubba Phillips Chuck Essegian Ty Cline Willie Kirkland
1963 Joe Azcue Fred Whitfield Woodie Held Jerry Kindall Max Alvis Tito Francona Vic Davalillo Al Luplow

Detroit Tigers

Year C 1B 2B SS 3B LF CF RF
1945 Bob Swift Rudy York Eddie Mayo Skeeter Webb Bob Maier Jimmy Outlaw Doc Cramer Roy Cullenbine
1946 Birdie Tebbetts Hank Greenberg Jimmy Bloodworth Eddie Lake George Kell Dick Wakefield Hoot Evers Pat Mullin

Another 1945-46 team, and our second team listed with all new players.

Kansas City Royals

Year C 1B 2B SS 3B LF CF RF DH
2010 Jason Kendall Billy Butler Mike Aviles Yuniesky Betancourt Alberto Callaspo Scott Podsednik Mitch Maier David DeJesus Jose Guillen
2011 Brayan Pena Eric Hosmer Chris Getz Alcides Escobar Mike Moustakas Alex Gordon Melky Cabrera Jeff Francoeur Billy Butler

Minnesota Twins/Washington Senators

Year C 1B 2B SS 3B LF CF RF DH
1975 Glenn Borgmann Craig Kusick Rod Carew Danny Thompson Eric Soderholm Steve Braun Dan Ford Lyman Bostock Tony Oliva
1976 Butch Wynegar Rod Carew Bob Randall Roy Smalley Mike Cubbage Larry Hisle Lyman Bostock Dan Ford Craig Kusick
1958 Clint Courtney Norm Zauchin Ken Aspromonte Rocky Bridges Eddie Yost Roy Sievers Albie Pearson Jim Lemon
1959 Hal Naragon Roy Sievers Reno Bertoia Billy Consolo Harmon Killebrew Jim Lemon Bob Allison Faye Throneberry

Some position changes led to the Minnesota franchise's two entries, including the 1958-59 team from their days as the Washington Senators.

Houston Astros: Never

Los Angeles Angels: Never

Oakland Athletics

Year C 1B 2B SS 3B LF CF RF DH
1976 Larry Haney Gene Tenace Phil Garner Bert Campaneris Sal Bando Joe Rudi Bill North Claudell Washington Billy Williams
1977 Jeff Newman Dick Allen Marty Perez Rob Picciolo Wayne Gross Mitchell Page Tony Armas Jim Tyrone Manny Sanguillen
1943 Hal Wagner Dick Siebert Pete Suder Irv Hall Eddie Mayo Bobby Estalella Jo-Jo White Elmer Valo
1944 Frankie Hayes Bill McGhee Irv Hall Ed Busch George Kell Ford Garrison Bobby Estalella Jo-Jo White

Two A's teams here, one from Philadelphia and one from the post-dynasty days in Oakland. Of the nine listed teams since the 1961 expansion, the 1976-77 team is the only one that changed over all nine players without any position switches.

Seattle Mariners: Never

Texas Rangers/Washington Senators: Never

Atlanta Braves

Year C 1B 2B SS 3B LF CF RF
1924 Mickey O'Neil Stuffy McInnis Cotton Tierney Bob Smith Ernie Padgett Bill Cunningham Gus Felix Casey Stengel
1925 Frank Gibson Dick Burrus Doc Gautreau Dave Bancroft William Marriott Dave Harris Bernie Neis Jimmy Welsh

The one Braves team listed is from their time in their original home city of Boston.

Miami Marlins

Year C 1B 2B SS 3B LF CF RF
2005 Paul Lo Duca Carlos Delgado Luis Castillo Alex Gonzalez Mike Lowell Miguel Cabrera Juan Pierre Juan Encarnacion
2006 Miguel Olivo Mike Jacobs Dan Uggla Hanley Ramirez Miguel Cabrera Josh Willingham Reggie Abercrombie Jeremy Hermida

The Marlins make it one time for their second firesale in the aftermath of their World Series title in 2003.

New York Mets

Year C 1B 2B SS 3B LF CF RF
1991 Rick Cerone Dave Magadan Gregg Jefferies Kevin Elster Howard Johnson Kevin McReynolds Daryl Boston Hubie Brooks
1992 Todd Hundley Eddie Murray Willie Randolph Dick Schofield Dave Magadan Daryl Boston Howard Johnson Bobby Bonilla

Philadelphia Phillies

Year C 1B 2B SS 3B LF CF RF
1988 Lance Parrish Von Hayes Juan Samuel Steve Jeltz Mike Schmidt Phil Bradley Milt Thompson Chris James
1989 Darren Daulton Ricky Jordan Tom Herr Dickie Thon Charlie Hayes John Kruk Lenny Dykstra Von Hayes
1959 Carl Sawatski Ed Bouchee Sparky Anderson Joe Koppe Gene Freese Harry Anderson Richie Ashburn Wally Post
1960 Jimmie Coker Pancho Herrera Tony Taylor Ruben Amaro Al Dark Bobby Smith Bobby Del Greco Ken Walters
1944 Bob Finley Tony Lupien Moon Mullen Ray Hamrick Glen Stewart Jimmy Wasdell Buster Adams Ron Northey
1945 Andy Seminick Jimmy Wasdell Tony Daniels Bitsy Mott John Antonelli Coaker Triplett Vince DiMaggio Jake Powell

The Phils and Pirates are the only teams that have done this three times.

Washington Nationals/Montreal Expos: Never

Chicago Cubs

Year C 1B 2B SS 3B LF CF RF
1877 Cal McVey Al Spalding Ross Barnes John Peters Cap Anson John Glenn Dave Eggler Jimmy Hallinan
1878 Bill Harbridge Joe Start Bill McClellan Bob Ferguson Frank Hankinson Cap Anson Jack Remsen John Cassidy
1879 Silver Flint Cap Anson Joe Quest John Peters Ned Williamson Abner Dalrymple George Gore Orator Shafer

We have to go way back to the early days of the National League, but the Cubs give us our first of two three-season blocks thanks to position changes by Cap Anson.

Cincinnati Reds

Year C 1B 2B SS 3B LF CF RF
1929 Johnny Gooch High Pockets Kelly Hughie Critz Hod Ford Chuck Dressen Evar Swanson Ethan Allen Curt Walker
1930 Clyde Sukeforth Joe Stripp Hod Ford Leo Durocher Tony Cuccinello Bob Meusel Evar Swanson Harry Heilmann

There are three future Dodgers managers here: Durocher, Dressen and Clyde Sukeforth. Sukeforth was Brooklyn's interim manager for the first two games in 1947, making him the first skipper of an integrated team when Jackie Robinson debuted on April 15.

Milwaukee Brewers: Never

Pittsburgh Pirates

Year C 1B 2B SS 3B LF CF RF
1954 Toby Atwell Bob Skinner Curt Roberts Gair Allie Dick Cole Jerry Lynch Frank Thomas Sid Gordon
1955 Jack Shepard Dale Long Johnny O'Brien Dick Groat Gene Freese Frank Thomas Eddie O'Brien Roberto Clemente
1952 Joe Garagiola Tony Bartirome Jack Merson Dick Groat Pete Castiglione Ralph Kiner Bobby Del Greco Gus Bell
1953 Mike Sandlock Preston Ward Johnny O'Brien Eddie O'Brien Danny O'Connell Hal Rice Frank Thomas Cal Abrams
1889 Doggie Miller Jake Beckley Fred Dunlap Jack Rowe Bill Kuehne Jocko Fields Ned Hanlon Billy Sunday
1890 Harry Decker Guy Hecker Sam LaRocque Ed Sales Doggie Miller John Kelty Billy Sunday Tun Berger
1891 Connie Mack Jake Beckley Lou Bierbauer Frank Shugart Charlie Reilly Pete Browning Ned Hanlon Fred Carroll
1884 Ed Colgan Jimmy Knowles George Creamer Bill White Joe Battin Doggie Miller Live Taylor Ed Swartwood
1885 Fred Carroll Jim Field Pop Smith Art Whitney Bill Kuehne Charlie Eden Fred Mann Tom Brown

The Buccos have done this the most times (four), the last coming in 1954-55 when they ushered in a new era of Pirates baseball with the debut of Roberto Clemente. Frank Thomas staying in center field for 1953 and 1954 was the only thing preventing a four-season block (1952-55).

St. Louis Cardinals

Year C 1B 2B SS 3B LF CF RF
1897 Klondike Douglass Mike Grady Bill Hallman Monte Cross Fred Hartman Dan Lally Dick Harley Tuck Turner
1898 Jack Clements George Decker Jack Crooks Germany Smith Lave Cross Dick Harley Jake Stenzel Tommy Dowd
1891 Jack Boyle Charlie Comiskey Bill Egan Shorty Fuller Denny Lyons Tip O'Neill Dummy Hoy Tommy McCarthy
1892 Dick Buckley Perry Werden Jack Crooks George Pinkney Jack Glasscock Cliff Carroll Steve Brodie Bob Caruthers

The Cardinals haven't done this since the 19th Century, when they were known as the Browns. The 1897 team gives us what might be the best name in the post in Klondike Douglass. The 1891 team features not only Charlie Comiskey and Tip O'Neill, but also Dummy Hoy, who racked up 2,048 hits as the most accomplished deaf player in big league history.

Arizona Diamondbacks: Never

Colorado Rockies: Never

Los Angeles Dodgers

Year C 1B 2B SS 3B LF CF RF
1898 Jack Ryan Candy LaChance Bill Hallman George Magoon Billy Shindle Jimmy Sheckard Mike Griffin Fielder Jones
1899 Duke Farrell Dan McGann Tom Daly Bill Dahlen Doc Casey Joe Kelley Fielder Jones Willie Keeler

The 1898 Brooklyn club was called the Bridegrooms. The following year they became the Superbas.

San Diego Padres: Never

San Francisco Giants

Year C 1B 2B SS 3B LF CF RF
1976 Dave Rader Darrell Evans Marty Perez Chris Speier Ken Reitz Gary Matthews Larry Herndon Bobby Murcer
1977 Marc Hill Willie McCovey Rob Andrews Tim Foli Bill Madlock Darrell Evans Derrel Thomas Jack Clark
1901 Jack Warner John Ganzel Ray Nelson George Davis Sammy Strang Kip Selbach George Van Haltren Algie McBride
1902 Frank Bowerman Dan McGann Heinie Smith Joe Bean Billy Lauder George Browne Steve Brodie Jack Dunn
1889 Buck Ewing Roger Connor Danny Richardson Monte Ward Art Whitney Jim O'Rourke George Gore Mike Tiernan
1890 Dick Buckley Dude Esterbrook Charley Bassett Jack Glasscock Jerry Denny Joe Hornung Mike Tiernan Jesse Burkett

You would think that with the advent of free agency that this would be a recent phenomenon, but of the 30 groups listed, only four have come since 1977. If we disqualified teams that merely had a starting player change positions, we would only have ten teams:

Pittsburgh 1884-85
Pittsburgh 1890-91
St. Louis 1891-92
N.Y. Giants 1901-02
Chicago (A.L.) 1910-11
Boston (N.L.) 1924-25
Detroit 1945-46
Pittsburgh 1952-53
Philadelphia 1959-60
Oakland 1976-77

The Yankees could join this more exclusive list if Gardner is dealt for pitching and not just shifted over to left field.

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