The San Francisco Giants have a terrible time scoring runs, a main reason as to why they’re so bad. They make it even worse without Panik and Crawford.
The Giants have scored a whopping 179 runs in 53 games (not including anything that happened last night), which comes out to a paltry 3.25 runs/game. That’s good for worst in baseball. So now, the Giants think taking the guys with the third and sixth best OPS on the team, will help them in games against lefties.
I have a couple thoughts on this strategy, and I’m going to elaborate more as to why the platoon is incredibly stupid, outside of that statement in front.
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First, guys like Panik and Crawford, no matter how bad they are against lefties (they really aren’t, and I’ll show you) are good enough bats to “insulate” Posey. Last night’s lineup was evidence of this.
Posey came up in the first inning with a runner on second, and the Nationals pitched around him, got to Justin Ruggiano who struck out, again. Then again in the third inning, Posey walks, making it runners on first and second with one out. Ruggiano and Aaron Hill (one of the platoon replacements) fail to move the line and kill the rally. It’s a matter of protecting Posey with players who can ACTUALLY PLAY.
Nobody is respecting Hill and Ruggiano, especially in comparison to Panik and Crawford. Now, let’s take a look at my second point, Crawford and Panik aren’t terrible against lefties either, at least in comparison with their platoon mates.
- Joe Panik vs. Lefties 2017: .213 batting average, .552 OPS
- Aaron Hill: .167 BA, .750 OPS
- Brandon Crawford vs. Lefties 2017: .317 BA, .816 OPS
Crawford’s numbers are good for 3rd on the team against lefties, so again, this debunks all. There really is no good reason to sit him against lefties, outside of a scheduled day off.
The Panik thing? Ok, I kinda understand. He hasn’t been good. But if you’re going to tell me that Aaron Hill is a better option than Panik, then you’re flat out wrong. Kelby Tomlinson is batting .275 against lefties, in as big of a sample size. He was on the roster, but for some reason, the Giants don’t really believe in him.
Needless to say, the platoon with Crawford and Panik is stupid and pointless. There really is no reason to do it, especially when the alternative options aren’t performing against lefties, at a level better than either.