In managing your team's offense and defense, you have control over the following:
- Starting lineups vs right-handed and left-handed pitchers
- Depth charts (for substitutions)
Note: For information on managing your starting pitching and bullpen, go to the Pitching Roles page.
The first step in setting your starting lineups should be to manage your defensive positioning. On your team's '''Lineups''' page, you can choose to '''Edit Defense vs RHP''' or '''Edit Defense vs LHP'''. You must select one player at each position, including DH. Players not chosen will be available on the bench.
When selecting defensive positioning, you can put any player at any position. However, players who play out position will suffer performance penalties (see Playing Out Of Position And Position Changes).
Note: You don't set your batting orders on the ''Defensive Positioning'' pages. Batting orders are set separately, as described below.
Many winning owners use platooning – putting more left-handed batters in the vsRHP lineup, and more right-handed batters in the vsLHP lineup – to maximize righty/lefty matchups.
Once you set your defensive positioning – which sets the nine players who will make your starting lineup – you can set your batting order. When setting the batting order, you can only choose from the nine players selected in your defensive positioning. If you want to put different players in the starting lineup, you must use the ''Defensive Positioning'' pages, not the ''Batting Order'' pages.
Much like defensive positioning, you set your batting order separately versus right-handed and left-handed pitchers.
Typically, your best hitter (power - SLG and average - AVG) bats third. Your top two men in the order should have a high on-base percentage - OBP; a #2 batter who puts the ball in play a lot is also valuable. Put your power hitters (SL) who don't hit for as high average starting with the #4 slot (clean-up), and work your way down from there. If you find you are not winning, try mixing up your batting order – you will be amazed at how much small changes can impact run production!
Your depth chart allows you to control which players will be used if the computer manager needs to substitute players due to fatigue. At the bottom of your team's lineups page, you will find a section outlining the depth chart at each position (including DH but excluding pitchers). The following guidelines apply to depth charts:
- Each position has a three-deep depth chart.
- Each slot in the depth chart must be filled (i.e. three players at each position).
- Only players on the active roster are eligible to be on the depth chart.
- Players in the first tier of the depth chart must be unique; think of these nine players as your nine starting players.
- Players in the first tier of the depth chart (i.e. "starters") do not have to be starters in your actual game lineups. They are considered starters for depth chart purposes only.
- Any player can be placed in the second and third tier of the depth chart, including starters and players in the depth chart at other positions.
- A player cannot be listed twice in the depth chart at the same position (e.g. Winthrop Jones being listed as the first, second, and third-string right fielder).
- If a player comes out of the active roster – through reassignment, trades, and so-forth – the computer manager will automatically juggle your depth chart as appropriate. It does its best to keep your existing depth chart, moving people up to replace the newly unavailable players, and assigning new players to fill holes in the depth chart. You should review your depth chart after removing an active player to ensure it is set up to your preference.
How Depth Charts Are Used
The way the sim engine replaces players who fall below your fatigue threshold now works as follows:
- Players are replaced in order of fatigue, with the most fatigued being replaced first.
- For each fatigued player, the computer manager searches for an eligible replacement (i.e. a player not playing the field and not fatigued below your team’s threshold) in the depth chart. If no eligible player is found, the starting DH will be moved into the position.
- If the DH moves into the field, he will occupy the spot in the batting order of the position player he replaced. The next eligible DH on the depth chart will replace the starting DH, and occupy his batting order slot.
- If, after the above 2 rules are executed, no eligible player is found, a player will be taken from your bench. There is no attempt made to match the substitute by position; the first eligible bench player is always used.
- It is possible for a DH and a position player to swap (the DH taking the field and the position player becoming the DH) in situations where there's no additional players on the bench. It is rare, but at least you know your fatigued player is being covered while he rests.