by, 09-28-2013 at 12:39 PM (398 Views)
Two topics that appeared in the forums led me to wonder which teams are getting the platoon advantage.
How did the Indians do it? I look at their numbers and see a combined 6.1 WAR from Jan Gomes and Ryan Raburn. Those cheap additions will be the difference between contending for the wild card and being on the fringe. Francona has found a role for them to put up fantastic numbers.
We also debated about how platooning might help the Twins.
I wondered how often teams are getting the platoon advantage. I guess I could have waited two more days, but I don't think the numbers will change significantly. Below is a table listing the percent each AL team was able to have the platoon advantage in a plate appearance. I could have included NL, but the DH gives the AL teams a different context for controlling the platoon advantage.
There are many ways of increasing the platoon advantage. Managers can use a traditional 1 for 1 platoon. Managers can manipulate the batting order so that the top of the order has hitters with the advantage. Managers can make more frequent use of pinch hitters. Teams can seek switch hitters. General managers can provide bench players that can be used in platoon and pinch hitting roles.
I look to the top and I am not surprised. The front office of the Indians, Orioles and A's have found inexpensive pieces like Raburn, Valencia and Moss and hired managers that utilized their talents well. I can imagine that Plouffe would thrive in such a situation.
I was a little surprised that the Twins find themselves with Baltimore. The Twins have rostered several switch hitters. That helps. It would help more if they could hit from both sides.
As the Twins make roster decisions for 2014. There is no question they need to improve starting pitching. There are few inexpensive routes towards that goal. They also desperately need to improve the offense. Will they look to Cleveland and Oakland's use of the platoon advantage as an inexpensive route towards improving the offense?