A more reasoned post on platoon splits
That last one was uhhhhh… not constructive, I know.
Here’s the thing: when you pinch-hit a dude, the dude doesn’t hit as well as they do normally. Or, as Tango puts it in The Book, “a pinch hitter would have to be significantly better than the player he is hitting for in order to make the substitution worthwhile.”
Pretty much, it’s ~25 points of OBP. Or ~35 points of wOBA, if that’s how you roll.
Then the average platoon split amounts to ~17 points for righties and ~27 for lefties.
Now, let’s do the math. Jenks is a right-hander. Sweeney cannot hit. So here’s about the overall line you want for the left-hander you’d be swapping in:
Actually, okay, Sweeney’s hitting .248/.306 /.393. So you want to swap him out for anyone on the bench hitting either that line as a lefty, or significantly better than that as a rightie.
Here are the guys the M’s had sitting on the bench:
Langerhans (remember that guy? Yeah, he’s good)
Johnson, assuming his sore elbow isn’t affecting his hitting
Woodward (remember kids, don’t just write your post and publish! you’ll do the roster circa two weeks ago and be wrong!)
So the lefties, then: pretty much there were three, count ‘em, three players on the bench who would have been good pinch-hit options.
I know Don’s not a big pinch-hitting guy, and there’s probably some clubhouse/intangible/whatever justification for why. But I just do not care. The team’s wasting high-leverage opportunities late in games where they have to get hits to avoid taking the loss, and it’s driving me batty. If — as we’re to believe by all accounts — Wakamatsu is a great people manager, those moments are where he can spend that credit to the team’s best advantage. And isn’t Sweeney supposed to be the consummate professional and teammate, willing to sacrifice for the team?
I don’t get it.