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    • Platoon Advantages
  • To:All
  • 1/30/13
  • metsheart

When I said platoons could be a path to success & cited Gil Hodges using FOUR platoons on 1969 Championship Mets a poster on another thread claimed...

"Platoons worked when you had 7 extra position players...not so much today when you have 4"



But platoons still work. A's proved it by making the playoffs w/ $55M payroll & FOUR platoons.

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2012/writers/joe_lemire/09/26/oakland-athletics-moneyball-platoon/index.html

"The new Moneyball: How the A's built a surprise contender"

"Platoon advantages

By baseball payroll math, two halves don't make a whole. In other words two half-time players cost less than one full-time player.

It's something the Rays ($64 million payroll) have done effectively for a few years, but no team platoons like the A's ($55 million), who currently have four everyday time-shares at catcher, first base, second base and designated hitter.

"When you have the resources that we have or the Rays have," Forst said, "you don't get the opportunity to put someone at every position who's going to be able to do a little bit of everything, and that maybe includes hitting both right and left. You try to micromanage the roster to the point where you give [manager Bob Melvin] the right weapons."

As a result, the A's have had 3,840 plate appearances in which a righthanded batter faced a lefthanded pitcher or a lefty batter opposed a righty on the mound; that's the second-largest total of opposite-handed plate appearances in the majors behind only the Giants and accounts for 65 percent of Oakland's total PAs.

Oakland has benefited from these favorable matchups. Among lefthanded bats, Brandon Moss has 17 home runs and a .958 OPS in his 215 PAs against righthanders, Seth Smith has 12 home runs and an .823 OPS in his 349 PAs and George Kottaras -- who hit a game-winning homer Tuesday night -- has six HRs and an .803 OPS in 65 PAs. Conversely, Jonny Gomes has 10 HRs and a .938 OPS in 184 PAs against southpaws, Chris Carter has five HRs and a .921 OPS in his 103 PAs and Collin Cowgill has one homer and an .844 OPS in 51 PAs.

So while players would prefer to play every day, the A's have bought in, almost universally repeating a certain buzz-phrase.

"It's something most of us haven't done," Carter said, "but I think it's putting hitters in a position to succeed."

"Every team would love to have a set nine," shortstop-turned-second baseman Cliff Pennington said. "That's kind of the goal, but we've got a good thing going here playing matchups. Bob Melvin puts us in a position to succeed, and that's been working for us." "

http://www.hardballtimes.com/main/article/the-all-platoon-team1/

"The all-platoon team"

"When it comes down to it, there are just more starting positions in the major leagues than there are players worthy of getting that many at-bats, and while no team has ever gone to the extreme I’m about to, the point remains that sometimes two flawed players, when their flaws complement each other properly, can come together to produce at an all-star level"





So I believe Mets can compete w/ OF platoons. Maybe not all 3 positions. But 2 out of 3 should produce at least average OF results. Probably even better than average. Almost certainly better results than 2012 OF.

Agree? Disagree?

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  • 1/30/13
  • Kranesback

It's not that they don't work, it's just not a great strategy for putting together a team. Look at it this way. Player A hits .350 against lefties and .150 against righties. Player B is the opposite. In a close game, the left starter gets relived by a right handed specialist. Here are your options:
1. Have the .150 batter hit and hope for the best. This leaves you with a bench of 3 guys, since the backup catcher is rarely used.
2. Pinch hit his platoon mate at which point the opposing manager swithches pitcher to another lefty, neutralizing Player B. Still leaves you with a bench of 3 guys.
3. Pinch hit somebody else for Player A and put in the platoon mate after the inning. That reduces your bench to two.

I think a platoon would work best when you have players that are pretty close in talent with a slight advantage for either one depending on the picther. When you try to create essentially one "solid" player out of two because of complementary weaknesses of both guys, that's at beat a stopgap, and at worst, a terrible team with a cheap owner.

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  • 1/30/13
  • MetObserver
It may not be a great strategy for putting together a team over the long haul, meaning years. But in order to have a competent outfield for one or two years, while you look for trades or free agents that work, it could be.
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  • 1/30/13
  • RobfromLI

It's not a goal to have but it is a stop gap measure.

There's simply no upside to batting Duda against a lefty - for example - so why not let Turner (as an example) get the starts against the lefty?

Is it ideal?

No.

Does it potentially make the offense more productive in the first half of the game? Yes.

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  • 1/30/13
  • Kranesback
I will go along with that 100%..for one position for one year (I'll go along 50% for two positions or more than one year).
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  • 1/30/13
  • brianinwi

I've been saying for a while now that I expect Baxter and Cowgill will make a fine platoon in LF or RF. They complement each other very well in terms of LH/RH splits, and both field well. I have no problem with them sharing one of the corner outfield spots all season long in 2013.

Mets don't have the right complementary parts to do the same for the other two OF positions. Duda, Den Dekker and Nieuwenhuis are all lefthanded, all three are question marks with the bat no matter what the pitching matchup is, and Duda is a defensive liability.

Hopefully, this is the year Andrew Brown steps up at the major league level.

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  • 1/30/13
  • MetObserver
Actually Duda hit one point less vs left handed pitching. .239 left and .240 right. So the lefty righty thing wasn't his problem. It was that he just didn't hit at all last year.
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  • 1/30/13
  • thebobymon

The only way to disagree would be to state that you need to trot out players that have enough offensive talent to overcome their respective defensive shortcomings.

2 bad halves do not make 1 good whole. And factor in Terry Collins is stubborn to a fault.

But I still think it is going to be interesting to watch this outfield this year, all the hating aside.

  • Reply to this Message
  • 1/30/13
  • metsheart
Doesn't work? Tell that to A's & Rays.

At least the first 5 or 6 innings of every game will show benefits of platoon. That's about 2/3 of the time through the season w/ righty-lefty advantage.

See 2011 Bill James piece:

http://www.billjamesonline.com/stats279/


"Platoon Tendencies"

"As has been demonstrated for quite some time, hitters fare much better when facing opposite-handed pitchers. In 2010, right-handed pitchers allowed a .710 On-base Plus Slugging (OPS) when facing righty batters, but a .750 OPS when facing left-handed batters. The split is reversed for lefty pitchers"
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  • 1/30/13
  • 4545_ajd
I have always been a big advocate for platoons in the right situation.
  • Reply to this Message
  • 1/30/13
  • metsheart
Andrew Brown and/ or Jamie Hoffmann (only 28 MLB PAs -- but minor league stats look pretty good) could be part of platoon. Remains to be seen how well they do though.
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  • 1/30/13
  • metsheart

"2 bad halves do not make 1 good whole. And factor in Terry Collins is stubborn to a fault"




from SI article Sept 2012:

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2012/writers/joe_lemire/09/26/oakland-athletics-moneyball-platoon/index.html

"As has been noted many times before, Moneyball wasn't about the particular skill of on-base percentage so much as it was about exploiting market inefficiencies that undervalued some players.

With this thought in mind, SI.com has tried to reverse-engineer Oakland's success this season in an effort to shed light on where the Billy Beane-led front office has found value.

Platoon advantages

By baseball payroll math, two halves don't make a whole. In other words two half-time players cost less than one full-time player.

It's something the Rays ($64 million payroll) have done effectively for a few years, but no team platoons like the A's ($55 million), who currently have four everyday time-shares at catcher, first base, second base and designated hitter"



SI's reverse-engineering cites platoons as a major reason for A's 2012 success. Also for Rays success over past several yrs.





from Hardball Times Oct 2012:


http://www.hardballtimes.com/main/article/the-all-platoon-team1

"The all-platoon team"


"My lineup vs. righties looks like this:

•1- Fowler, CF

•2- Denorfia, RF

•3- Zobrist, 2B

•4- Jones, 1B

•5- Doumit, LF

•6- Rollins, SS

•7- Carpenter, 3B

•8- Jsao, C

And versus lefties:

•1- Fowler, CF

•2- Keppinger, 3B

•3- Zobrist, RF

•4- Goldschmidt, 1B

•5- Rollins, SS

•6- Guzman, LF

•7- Forsythe, 2B

•8- McKenry, C

Neither lineup has anyone truly fearsome in it (except perhaps Goldschmidt against lefties), but they both offer balance and have no real holes.

Again, this is not a realistic exercise, but one that does point out the advantages of using platoons properly. This team may never be able to come together completely, but aspects of it could be used to help many teams that struggle for offense"





See OPS chart for R-L in Bill James article:

http://www.billjamesonline.com/stats279/

"Platoon Tendencies"

"On-base Plus Slugging- 2010"





Platoons can be very effective. The whole is sometimes greater than the sum of its parts.


Edited 1/30/13   by  metsheart
Edited 1/30/13   by  metsheart
  • Reply to this Message
  • 1/30/13
  • metsheart
A's & Rays pretty successful with platoons. Bill James shows hard data there's value to platoons. Certainly can't dismiss the idea out of hand. Could be reasonable solution for next yr or 2 at least.
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  • 1/30/13
  • RobfromLI

".239 left and .240 right"

Oh man .. that's so much worse than I thought.

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  • 1/30/13
  • metsheart
"Player A hits .350 against lefties and .150 against righties. Player B is the opposite. In a close game, the left starter gets relived by a right handed specialist. Here are your options:
1. Have the .150 batter hit and hope for the best. This leaves you with a bench of 3 guys, since the backup catcher is rarely used.
2. Pinch hit his platoon mate at which point the opposing manager swithches pitcher to another lefty, neutralizing Player B. Still leaves you with a bench of 3 guys.
3. Pinch hit somebody else for Player A and put in the platoon mate after the inning. That reduces your bench to two"




If opposing manager brings in RH specialist to face RH hitter Mets pinch hit LH platoon mate. If opposing manager takes out RHP before he throws a pitch & brings in LHP to face him not only have Mets shortened their bench but other team has also shortened their BP! So it evens out to a good extent.
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  • 1/30/13
  • Kranesback
Unless the RHP is pretty good at getting out lefties too. Your scenario would be trus about half the time. Not worther getting into a big thing about it, but I think you may be using the hope of a successful platoon as a defense of our really horrible outfield.
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  • 1/30/13
  • metsheart

"Unless the RHP is pretty good at getting out lefties too"


So then pinch hitting LH platoon mate is a good strategy if RHP's brought in & stays in! No need to make another pinch hit change w/ LH hitter facing RHP which Bill James showed has the hitter w/ the advantage!
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

"Your scenario would be trus about half the time"


Nope. Not 1/2 the time. 65% (which is 2/3). See SI article:

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2012/writers/joe_lemire/09/26/oakland-athletics-moneyball-platoon/index.html#ixzz2JUMh8EZe

"As a result, the A's have had 3,840 plate appearances in which a righthanded batter faced a lefthanded pitcher or a lefty batter opposed a righty on the mound; that's the second-largest total of opposite-handed plate appearances in the majors behind only the Giants and accounts for 65 percent of Oakland's total PAs"
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

"you may be using the hope of a successful platoon as a defense of our really horrible outfield."




Not "defending" anything. Since there's nothing to defend at this point. We don't know what we have yet. Platoons can be very effective. Just ask A's & Rays! And Bill James!


Edited 1/30/13   by  metsheart
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  • 1/30/13
  • Kranesback
Since there's nothing to defend at this point. I agree our outfield is nothing...just ask Sandy.
  • Reply to this Message
  • 1/30/13
  • ewok54
Agree, but don't think that is what Alderson is thinking. If it was, he would have gone to $3MM to get Hairston back. At this point, we have Cowgill as our only major league righthanded hitting outfielder. Minor league guys might surprise but not the way you plan for an outfield platoon. Maybe, the missing platoon guy is on the radar, I hope!!!!!!
  • Reply to this Message
  • 1/30/13
  • metsheart
"Unknown" does NOT = "nothing." Just ask anyone with a working brain.

"Unknown" means yet to be seen 1 way or the other. "Unknown" can turn out to be above average. Or below average. Means WE DON'T KNOW YET.

Edited 1/30/13   by  metsheart
Edited 1/30/13   by  metsheart
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