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Moments with Maddon, Part 3

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My apologies, by I haven't been able to finish the write-up on last week's Moments with Maddon quite yet. To be entirely honest, I procrastinated doing the math for a bit and now I find myself in a hole, since these calculations aren't exactly the quickest things to do. The write-up will be finished at the very least by early next week, so again, sorry if anyone was dying to know the answer.

Since I haven't gotten last week's Moments with Maddon finished yet, I'm loathe to put up anything too stats heavy; I'm hoping for these to build off each other somewhat and it'd be silly to try and build off of results that you haven't even heard. So instead of delving into a specific game situation this week, I've got a topic that's a bit more general: the overlap between statistics and scouting.

We all know (or at least we should) that statistics aren't the be-all-end-all. Sure, we love our statistics here on DRaysBay, but they're only one half of the equation. In order to get the most accurate answers, statistics should always be combined with good scouting reports. Both statistics and scouting data have their strengths and weaknesses, so when combined you get a much more complete look at a player and their skills. We try and do this in our analyses here as much as possible, but lacking major-league-caliber scouting skills, we have to rely upon things like Pitch f/x, batted ball, and plate discipline data to serve as standbys.

With this in mind, how do you accurately weigh the value of scouting data in relation to statistics? Do you favor one over the other or combine the two as much as possible? If they both give you widely disparaging opinions of a player, which one do you trust? Or do you attempt to find the middle ground still? These can be difficult questions for a general manager to make, but they can be equally challenging for managers that need to make game-day decisions about players, lineups, and match-ups.

And now, without further ado, here's the situation for this week:

It's game-day and you need to determine your lineup. In particular, you're having trouble with the 2B/RF slots. You're debating between Ben Zobrist, Sean Rodriguez, Gabe Kapler, and Matt Joyce for the two openings, but can't decide which to use. There is a righty on the mound for the opposing team, which makes you lean towards using Joyce in right field and Zobrist at second in order to get the platoon advantage. However, your scouts have informed you that in the limited at-bats that Zobrist and Joyce have faced this pitcher, they have looked utterly and completely fooled. Zobrist is 2-19 against him with 7 strikeouts, Joyce is 1-9 with 4 strikeouts, and the scouts insist they both look even worse than those numbers. They can't hit this guy.

Conversely, Kapler and Sean Rodriguez both have exemplary scouting reports against this pitcher. Their "swing planes" line up with the pitcher's stuff and they've looked locked and loaded against him in the past, although in only five plate appearances each.

For argument's sake, let's say each player has been performing to that point of the season at the level of their CHONE predictions. No player is on a particular hot or cold streak.