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Old 12-06-2001, 02:17 AM   #1
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Post Aussie Mark's Using Depth Charts in OOTP3 FAQ

Aussie Mark's
USING DEPTH CHARTS IN OOTP3
Assuming that you have set your lineups, you'll next want to start work on your depth charts, which are accessible from the menu bar on the team page.

CONTENTS

1. What is a depth chart?
2. Why are there 4 different depth charts?
3. Depth Chart basics
4. Defensive Replacements
5. Utility players
6. Pinch Hitters and Pinch Runners

1. WHAT IS A DEPTH CHART?

In simple terms, a depth chart is a convenient way for you to tell OOTP how to use the position players that are on your 25 man active roster. Just as the Pitching Staff screen allows you to allocate your hurlers to certain roles, your Depth Chart will determine which players get the most playing time and which players will be used off the bench.

If you play all of your games (as opposed to letting the computer sim games) you don't really need Depth Charts, because you'll be making substitutions and setting lineups yourself every game, but if you sim games or are in an online league, depth charts are an important tool to get the most out of your offense and ensure that your stars are on the diamond according to your wishes.

2. WHY ARE THERE 4 DIFFERENT DEPTH CHARTS?

Just as OOTP3 gives you the ability to set different lineups against left handed and right handed pitchers, as well as when you are using a DH, you can also set different depth charts for all 4 pitching situations.

3. DEPTH CHART BASICS

The first thing to do is drag and drop players into the appropriate depth chart starting slots for each of the 4 pitching situations, in much the same way as you set your lineups.

4. DEFENSIVE REPLACEMENTS

OOTP3 allows managers to allocate a Defensive Replacement for each position, in all 4 pitching situations. When simming games, a Defensive Replacement will be brought into a game by the computer in a late inning (usually not before the 7th inning) where your team is ahead by just one or two runs, or where the score is tied.

Generally, you should name Defensive Replacements only where their fielding ratings are significantly better than your starter, because if the game goes extra innings you won't have your starter's bat to help you out.

For example, if your big hitting left fielder is rated D for range and .960 for fielding percentage, and you have a spare outfielder rated at LF with B range and .980 fielding percentage, then this is where you should use a Defensive Replacement.

However, if your spare outfielder has D range and a .970 fielding pct, the 1% better fielding percentage may not be worth the risk of losing your slugger's stick in a close game.

Generally, you should use a Defensive Replacement if your bench guy has (a) at least one better range rating and/or (b) a significantly better fielding percentage.

Please note that while fielding percentage is an important rating, the range rating is probably more important in OOTP3 (unless the fielding percentage is really bad), since players with better range will make more plays, so in a close game your A or B range outfielder will have a better chance of cutting off a hit that is headed for extra bases, and your slick fielding infielder with A or B range might be able to get to a sharp grounder that would otherwise be a game winning hit.

Here's another way of putting it. Let's say you have two fielders, one with A range and .930 pct, and another with E range and 1.000 pct. Let's hit 100 ground balls to each of them. The A range guy might get to say 90 of them, and will make an errorless play 84 times (93% of 90). The E range guy with concrete boots might only get to 70 of those 100 grounders, and even though he has a safe glove, making 0 errors, he only ends up making 70 plays, which mean that 14 of those ground balls get past him for a base hit.

Therefore, given that a late inning Defensive Replacement will most likely only get the chance to make a handful of plays at most (unless he's a 1B or C, but that's another story), you can see that range is much more important than fielding percentage in this situation.

5. UTILITY PLAYERS

For each position on the field, in all 4 pitching situations, OOTP3 gives you the choice to assign Utility players. There are 2 main reasons for doing this.

Firstly, because OOTP3 doesn't have a player fatigue feature, there is no need to "rest" your everyday players. However, the chance of an injury occuring to any player is obviously higher if they have more playing time, because their number is sure to come up one day. So, one strategy is to use Utility players to give your everyday players a day off every now and then, to reduce the chance of injury. If you're lucky, the Utility will be the one who has a season ending injury, and not your All-Star! Having said that, there are no other penalties associated with playing someone every day for 162 games, so if you have Mark McGwire on your roster, there is little point in slotting in some bum who is rated at 3 for getting hits just to give Big Mac a day off every now and then.

The second reason for naming Utility players is to share playing time with bench players who are pretty decent ballplayers. For example, if you are fortunate enough to have a fourth outfielder who is just as good with the stick as your regular right fielder, you would probably want to make this guy a Utility and give him anything up to 50% playing time. Or you may not have a genuine DH on your roster, so you might choose to share the DH job around 3 or 4 hitters. In this case, make one guy the starting DH, and allocate the other candidates as Utilities, giving them each 20% or 25% playing time.

When allocating playing time percentages to your Utilities, the percentage represents the percentage of games that the Utility will start in. For example, 10% means that the named Utility will start 1 game out of every 10. Please note that this means 1 game out of every 10 IN THE SITUATION THAT YOU SPECIFIED (eg. against RHP, LHP with DH, etc).

6. PINCH HITTERS AND PINCH RUNNERS

Unfortunately, OOTP3 does not allow managers to allocate who will be used in pinch hit or pinch running situations. Generally, the computer does a fair job of deciding who will be used in these situations, although you will probably notice a few strange substitutions at times. The computer will often bring in a pinch runner late in close games, and will choose the fastest guy on the bench to run for your E or D speed baserunner. Similarly, the computer will try and match pinch hitters using the hitters ratings against LHP and RHP (depending on who is on the mound).

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Old 01-26-2002, 08:12 AM   #2
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Old 03-10-2002, 12:54 AM   #3
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