I wrote an article a few months ago suggesting that Terry Collins should take a page out of the Oakland Athletics’ playbook and start to utilize more platoons in his everyday lineup.
It was for this reason that I was excited when Ike Davis was recalled from Las Vegas and Josh Satin remained with the team. Davis’ career .253/.346/.468 line against righties and Satin’s .417/.500/.625 line against lefties this year, while unsustainable, would play very nicely with each other and gave the Mets potential for very good production.
They also both have experienced drop offs in their production while facing pitchers of the same handedness, with Davis’ wOBA dropping 78 points and Satin’s dipping 74 points.
Surely a Davis-Satin platoon at first was warranted, especially since Satin has absolutely earned the right to playing time with his stellar performance since his call up.
Then on Sunday morning, Collins spoke to the media and said that Davis and Satin would definitely not be a platoon.
Not that that stopped him from starting Satin against a lefty and sitting Davis later that day. The results were good, and the Mets won the ballgame largely because of Satin’s contributions.
But still, Collins maintains they’re not a platoon.
There are exactly no logical reasons that I’ve been able to come up with that could explain this stance.
The idea that you have a player who mashes against lefties but struggles (relatively speaking) against righties, and a player who hits righties well, but struggles against lefties, they both play the same position, and you’re not going to platoon them is mind boggling.
You don’t have to be crunching spreadsheets in your mother’s basement to figure out that this platoon would succeed. Look at the incredibly small size of the Milwaukee series; Mets first basemen combined to go 6-11 with 2 doubles, 3 RBIs and 4 runs scored. They also combined for a .667 OBP.
Now I’m not suggesting that a potential platoon would be that successful in any given three game stretch, but anyone who has watched Ike Davis bat against a lefty over the past two seasons knows that Satin is clearly a better option.
It is possible that Davis’ month long banishment to Las Vegas magically cured his woes, and he can now capably hit left handed pitching, but to give him the reins to the full time first base job immediately after being recalled is downright irresponsible.
Davis should have to prove that he is cured before he should be allowed to get his full time job back.
Terry Collins has been gifted with a great situation and in true Terry Collins fashion, he has found a way to mess it up.
Scott Rice performing marginally well? Better pitch him every day until he’s no longer effective.
Get gifted a potentially productive platoon which could help the team win more games? Don’t even bother to give it a shot, even though there is no real risk involved.
If the platoon was tried and it failed, what would really be the consequences? The team wins 72 games instead of 74?
So why kill it before it even has the chance to live? As with so many other decisions that Collins makes, I just don’t know.