Sunday, January 6, 2013

Remaining Platoon Options

There are not many holes on the Blue Jays roster. At the end of the day, if the Jays enter 2013 with the personnel that they have right now, they would still be considered favourites to win the pennant. In my opinion, there is only one thing that needs to be improved, and that is the DH spot. Many have turned on Adam Lind, the club's current DH because he hasn't been a productive hitter since his Silver Slugger winning 2009(-1.5 rWAR since 2010).What people fail to realize, is that Lind would be a very serviceable player , if he were to only face righties. This year, he had a 116 wRC+, and a .343 wOBA vs right handed pitchers, both of which are both well above average. Unfortunately, Lind is among the worst hitters in the MLB when it comes to facing lefties (48 wRC+, .245 wOBA). In order to utilize Lind the best way possible, you would have to get him a platoon partner, to start at DH when the Jays come up against a left handed starting pitcher. In this article, I will explore the options that the Jays have in terms of acquiring someone to platoon with Lind, whether it be via free agency, a trade, or a waiver claim.

Option 1 would be to take the internal route, and use someone who is already in the organization. This option actually wouldn't be too bad. The choices you'd have are: Rajai Davis and David Cooper. First, let's explore Davis. Davis, similarly to Lind, is accused of not being able to hit. When you look at his stat-line, the accusation is understandable. But the fact is, the only reason his stats look so bad is his inability to hit righties(and a breaking ball). Against lefties, Rajai has been great, boasting a 114 wRC+ in 2012, which is superb, to those not familiar with the stat. I would have no problem with Rajai being slotted into the DH spot vs LHP. 

The final option would be David Cooper. I really like Cooper. He is a pure hitter who has shown the ability to hit for gap power, and I feel that if Cooper is in the lineup, his bat could help you win day in and day out. With that being said, for this situation, I would rather use Davis, as he can use his legs to make things happen on the base paths. Cooper is the guy that I would use if Lind struggles vs RHP, or if Lind gets hurt. Sometimes it's impossible to put out the ideal lineup though, so Cooper will probably be used in this spot sometimes as well. (If he even makes the MLB team out of Spring Training.)

If the Jays do decide to go this way, I think it'll actually make a nice rotation. The 2 players' (Davis,Cooper) average career wOBA vs LHP is .334, which is actually quite above average.

The Jays could also sign a free agent for the role. The only free agent that really makes sense for the Jays is Scott Hairston. He is known for being able to crush lefties. His career wOBA vs LHP is .353, and sports a wRC+ of 119 as well!

The Jays are stuck with Lind because nobody wants him, and his salary is too big to just stick in the minors. By only using him against righties, the Jays can at least get some value out of him. Combining him with a player like Hairston would create the best possible scenario for a team in this situation. 

Potentially, the Jays could get their man via trade, and I am not saying it can't happen happen, but I have learned that trying to speculate about what trade will happen when AA is your team's GM is just too hard to do. 

If you guys think I missed anyone (FA, or internal), feel free to let me know in the comments. I am always welcoming feedback. I hope you enjoyed. Go Jays! 

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  1. Jesus Guzman and Freddy Sanchez would both be awesome options.

  2. Was thinking of putting Sanchez in, he's another great option.