And for today’s most hilarious Dodgers quote, we bring you Manager Don Mattingly:
“I like platoons.”
Right, and Chris Christie is crazy about the George Washington Bridge. But before you worry Mattingly has gone all Billy Beane on you, understand spring is about possibilities and managers get asked about a lot of them, few of which they’re willing to take off the table. Particularly in February.
So if Mattingly is asked whether he could foresee a scenario where rookie Alex Guerrero platoons at second base, what is he supposed to say? Sure it’s possible, though he may have gone a tad too far with:
“I like platoons, it gets you a good matchup usually. It keeps those guys both involved, keeps them fresh so they're even better off the bench. I think it would be good for him because then you're giving him a chance to play, getting him favorable matchups, but also keeping him strong and rested. As someone who hasn't played much in a couple years. I could see that being a possibility if he ends up as one of those guys.”
Mattingly has always said he prefers to have an everyday lineup. If he loved matchups so much, he’d be talking about platooning in the outfield where he has two left-handed hitters (Andre Ethier, Carl Crawford) and two right-handed hitters (Matt Kemp, Yasiel Puig).
The trouble with platooning at second base is he really has no strong left-handed complement to the right-handed-hitting Guerrero.
The only left-hander is Dee Gordon, which is a problem, because like Guerrero he has being converted from shortstop. And in the last two seasons, he has hit a combined .229 with a .289 on-base percentage. If the other half of your platoon is a guy who is also learning the position and has struggled at the plate, that’s more a problem than a solution.
All the other candidates – Justin Turner, Chone Figgins, Brendan Harris, Miguel Rojas – are switch-hitters or right-handed hitters. Figgins is a switch-hitter who has batted .258 against left-handers in his career.
And do you really want to play Guerrero only against left-handers? He wouldn’t be playing much. It sounds nice. Like something you almost have to say in the spring.Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times