FanPost

Possible 1B/DH/LF combinations


We all know that the less "premium" defensive positions are most likely DH, 1B and LF.  The other positions often require a special athlete with certain attributes to properly handle those positions, whether be it speed, arm strength, reflexes, footwork, etc.  That leaves some flexibility for manning the DH, 1B and LF.  You can try to find the best possible combination of hitters to fill these spots.  In my opinion, the use of platoons is often the best way to exploit this.  There are obviously some exceptions.  Some players (more often RHB) don't have big differences in their splits.  While others are so good that it wouldn't seem right to platoon them.  For instance Ortiz and Fielder are only OK vs. LHP, but you wouldn't platoon them, at least not yet...

So I decided to take a look at one particular potential combination for 2012, just for fun.

It would involve bringing back Edwin Encarnacion, and signing Jonny Gomes as a free agent.  Both of these players have excellent splits vs RHP, which would work well with the Jays, since they have a few players with good splits vs. LHP.

Encarcion's career OPS vs LHP is about .850 (with a .370 OBP!).  Gomes' career OPS vs LHP is about .880 (.370 OBP!).  Gomes shouldn't be too hard to get, given his overall numbers aren't that great this year, though if you look at his splits, they're right in line with his career #'s, which are very good vs. LHP.  Gomes can play OF, and obviously DH.

So now you have Lind, Gomes, Snider, Thames and Encarnacion to man 3 positions.  It leaves you 2 roster spots, one for a backup Catcher (Jeroloman) and the other for a backup SS (McDonald or McCoy?).  Encarnacion can also backup 3B.  This gives Farrell a lot of flexibility, and allows him to actually use his 25 roster spots productively, instead of having bench warmers.  I'd be inclined to set it up as follows:

Lineup

DH

1B

LF

Vs RHP

Thames

Lind

Snider

Vs LHP

Gomes

Encarnacion

Snider

This combination can change, based on performance.  For example, I'm putting Snider in LF vs LHP due to his potential and his better defence, but if he struggles mightily, you can replace him with Thames.  Cooper is also in AAA, in case of injury or poor performers.

At 1B, this gives us production similar to (slightly better) Teixeira, which would rank only behind Cabrera and Konerko in the AL.  At DH, it gives us production similar to Billy Butler, which would rank only behind Ortiz and Michael Young in the AL.  It does, however, leave us banking on Snider (or perhaps Thames) to bust out and have a great season in LF.  Is it too much to expect a combination of Snider/Thames to OPS .800 next year?  After all, the only LF to OPS .800+ this year so far are:  Alex Gordon, Josh Hamilton and Josh Willingham.

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