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San Francisco Giants: Why not platoon Michael Morse & Gregor Blanco?

By Mark ONeill
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What I do not understand is why San Francisco Giants’ Mike Morse and Gregor Blanco cannot coexist in the same left field position, in an age-old workable solution to many problems, known as platooning. The arrangement is so simple in its concept, implementation and almost-guaranteed workability, it would seem foolish to not at least explore the idea.

What we have is two players who have consistently demonstrated that they are able to function in the clutch, even though neither is capable of sustaining acceptable numbers when playing full-time. Blanco bats and throws left-handed, whereas Morse bats and throws right-handed, meaning that nine innings could be split between the two.

A platoon between Morse and Blanco would be a win/win proposition.

This time-share, would be based more on performance against particular opposing pitchers, rather than exclusively relating to whether a righty or lefty is pitching, thereby extending playing time for Morse.

Morse has certain roles that he performs, that Blanco has not proven he can do, such as supply power off of the bench in non-starts, or fulfill the designated hitter role in American League parks, which has been problematic for San Francisco for quite some time now.

Correspondingly, Blanco is most efficiently utilized though his clutch defense, particularly when Bruce Bochy has been staked to a lead, but he is no slouch when it comes to being able to put a ball in play, when called upon to pinch-hit, in the late innings of a game.

September 9, 2014; San Francisco, CA, USA; San Francisco Giants left fielder Gregor Blanco (7, center) is congratulated by first baseman Buster Posey (28) for scoring on a RBI-single by second baseman Joe Panik (12, not pictured) against Arizona Diamondbacks catcher Miguel Montero (26, right) during the sixth inning at AT&T Park. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Between the two of them, they combine speed, power, and defense, and what more do you need from any given position, even if there is that one minute detail, the fact that not all are present at the same time? You can’t have everything.

Granted, this arrangement appeals more to the heart than to the head, as it is obvious that both bring a different element also with them to the table, and that is their unique personalities. Yes, They bring that element of chemistry into the arena.

Beginning with Blanco, the White Shark, you know if you have been a follower of his blog, that he has faced hard times in his native Venezuela, including being kidnapped and held at gun-point for ransom. There is something about overcoming tremendous adversity to accomplish success, that instills an unshakeable confidence that he can get it done. Other players note that confidence and derive inner strength from it, and it shows.

Mike Morse brought his own unique blend of power and sheer joy to the diamond, that made him an instant favorite. His main issue is that playing full-time wears down his body, and how do you solve that? Many managers extend the “shelf-life” of their players, by platooning, thus taking advantage of what both players have to offer.

Both have proven adaptable, Morse flip-flopping back and forth from left field to first base, and Blanco playing center and left field, team players both of them. The Morse Force was so prevalent in the playoffs, that it would seem that the Giants would retain him for that reason alone.

Power, postseason clutch capacity, chemistry, and a willingness to place the needs of the team ahead of his own, are stellar reasons to hang onto to a guy, especially if money is an issue. If?

Speed, postseason clutch capacity, stellar defense, inner confidence derived from adversity, and a willingness to place the needs of the team above his own, are stellar reasons to hang onto to a player, especially when money is an issue.

Why Brian Sabean would not continue to take advantage of this duo, to handle the duties in left field, defies explanation. Oh yeah, I forgot. They’re still trying to cage that Panda, the one whose brother likes to stir it up, so we’ll just have to wait.

Speaking of putting one’s own needs first.

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