Playoff experience doesn't matter
When filling out lineups, manager should always choose talent over experience
Last week, Tampa Bay Rays manager Joe Maddon made a surprising decision when he announced that rookie left-hander Matt Moore would start Game 1 of the ALDS against the Texas Rangers. Moore wasn't just a rookie but a rookie with one major league start under his belt who spent more than half the year with the Double-A Montgomery Biscuits. The decision worked out well, as Moore shut down the 96-win Rangers on their home turf for seven innings.
In this case, ability trumped experience, and the young player came through in the clutch. Conventional wisdom suggests that playoff experience is a valuable factor for the postseason. The question is, does this bit of conventional wisdom survive scrutiny, or is it merely urban legend?
To examine this, I started looking at the value of experience in the playoffs at the individual level using all playoff games since 1969. Why 1969? The start of the divisional era greatly increased the potential number of at-bats or innings pitched a player could collect in the postseason, making any pattern easier to find.
For an explanation of why playoff experience doesn't matter, become an ESPN Insider today.
We see that you are not an ESPN Insider. Upgrade today and gain access to our exclusive coverage.
MORE MLB HEADLINES
- Dice-K defends Mets' Warthen after his slur
- Phils' Rollins: No idea why I'm benched
- Rays tab ace Price to start opener vs. Jays
- Pineda in control again, holds Orioles scoreless
MOST SENT STORIES ON ESPN.COM
Insider MLB Content
- Nike Women's Atlanta Braves Racerback Navy/Red Tank Top