26 Different Batting Orders in 26 Games means….

Cut4 wrote up the situation.  The Braves have used 26 different combinations of batters in the first 26 games of the season.  If you’re a nerdish baseball fan like myself, you thought “I wonder how many combinations are possible?”  Well, the answer is 741,354,768,000 if you just solve for permutations of 9 batters from a 25-man roster.  Of course, it’s only 362,880 combinations if you have the same 9 players in every game.  If we take the 741 billion number, we can reach new levels of nerd-dom rather quickly.

If Freddie Gonzalez had cloned players delivered daily to the ballpark (so they never went on the disabled list, grew old, or retired), how long would it take Freddie (or the future clone-Freddies) to get through all of the 741 billion combinations?  If they only played 162 games every year and never reached the playoffs (today’s roster, remember), it would take the Braves just over 4.5 billion years to use all of the combinations.  Astro-physisicist types suggest that the sun only has about 5 billion years of hydrogen left.  We have to get on this.

If we cloned our best possible lineup and got rid of all platoons, it would only take 2,240 years to use up all of the possible combinations.  That means on the 27th game of the season in the year 4255 we would end up repeating a line-up.

By the way, based on season-to-date WAR, that lineup would (arguably) be Shelby Miller pitching to Bethancourt, with Freeman, Peterson, Simmons and Kelly Johnson in the infield, with Gomes, Maybin and Markakis in the outfield.