First Pitch

First Pitch: The Actual Value of Platoons

First Pitch: The Actual Value of Platoons

Last night I wrote about how the problem with the Pirates offense this year has been that three positions in the lineup struggle against left-handed pitching. Pedro Alvarez, Neil Walker, and the right-field duo of Travis Snider and Jose Tabata have all struggled against lefties this year.

Platoons are very underrated. Or should I say the left-handed side of the platoon is underrated. Just look at a lot of the comments about Gaby Sanchez's value. Some will see how valuable he is this year. Others will point to his .233 average and .754 OPS and say he's a horrible hitter.

Then you've got Pedro Alvarez. He's got an .833 OPS. However, that's because he's crushing right-handers and struggling against lefties. Every time you talk about platooning him, you inevitably have someone demand the conversation stop. Who would ever consider platooning Alvarez? It's almost like he wouldn't continue crushing right-handers if you didn't keep him in there to struggle against lefties.

The thing a...

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First Pitch
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Tim is the owner and editor in chief of Pirates Prospects. He started the site in January 2009, and turned it into his full time job during the 2011 season. Prior to starting Pirates Prospects, Tim worked with AccuScore.com, providing MLB, NHL, and NFL coverage to various national media outlets, including ESPN Insider, USA Today, Yahoo Sports, and the Wall Street Journal. He also writes the annual Prospect Guide, which is sold through the site. Tim lives in Bradenton, where he provides live coverage all year of Spring Training, mini camp, instructs, the Bradenton Marauders, and the GCL Pirates.

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