Disclaimer: there is absolutely no research behind this post and any ideas that I present may be completely false. This is intended as a topic of discussion.
In the previous thread, I was asked to post my ideal lineup for the Dodgers, and after a bit of thinking I came up with this, assuming we were stuck with Pierre:
I think the main goal in a lineup is maximizing the amount of plate appearances your best players get. To this effect, I like leading off the three biggest on base threats in the lineup. (LaRoche can be swapped with Kent if Kent finally falls off a cliff at age 40). Once those guys get on base, you have the four "power" bats in the lineup to drive them in (Kent gets to play double duty). After that, you go with the speed guys. Originally, this was just because Furcal and Pierre are the weakest hitters in the lineup, but the more I thought about it, the more I liked the idea of shoving your speed down at the bottom of the lineup.
Speed comes into play in two main situations: on a single with less than two outs, and when you're trying to steal a base. I don't have any numbers on this to back me up, but it seems like a clean single will advance almost anyone an extra base if they're running on the pitch, and no one can squeeze three bases out of a single, so the speed only really comes into play with zero or one out.
If you steal a base, you come across a similar situation. On an extra base hit, your speed guy is probably going to score whether or not he was on second or first, so the only real advantage you gain from a steal comes on a single. Basically, speed only truly matters if the guy behind you hits a single. Why then, does the traditional lineup put the speed guys in front of the guys most likely to get an extra base hit, negating what they did?
With the speed guys on in front of the slappier players, it gives them more of a chance to make things happen. Pierre on first, two out and Loney coming up? Give the Dodgers a far better chance at scoring by swiping the bag. Speed guy on with the pitcher coming up? There's a much better chance the bunt actually works. By sticking the speed guys in front of your singles hitters as opposed to the mashers, you get to take advantage of that speed far more often.
Of course, this is all theory and I've got no numbers to actually back any of this up. I'm sure I'm forgetting something important in this matter, otherwise someone would have tried this at one point. However, the Dodgers are paying dearly to have Pierre's speed right now, wouldn't it be a stupendous idea to find the way to best take advantage of it?