With the ever rising cost of offense, more and more teams are looking to platoons as low-cost, high-reward options. The platoon is hardly a new managerial tool, but it seems as though there are more teams using the stat-heavy angle to leverage player’s stronger sides to enhance the team’s production–while also saving a penny or two in the process. Below is an in-depth, projected list of National League organizations and their respective platoons for 2013.
ATLANTA BRAVES – 3B -As much as the Braves like Juan Francisco‘s pop, it still looks like the Reds got the better end of the deal that sent him to Atlanta for power-reliever J.J. Hoover (208 ERA+ in 30.6 IP in ’12). But that’s a moot point. The Braves plan to use a combination of Francisco and Chris Johnson at third base to replace Chipper Jones. It was pretty evident last season that the 25 year-old was not a full-time player (88 OPS+ and 5.3% BB%), but he was, at least, better against RHP (.245/.291/.477) than he was versus LHP (.189/.225/.243). Also, all 9 of Francisco’s homeruns came against righties.
Using Chris Johnson in a traditional platoon might be a bad move, as the right-handed hitter is actually better against his own kind (career .283/.323/.452) than he is against southpaws (career .255/.294/.372). The 28 year-old enjoyed a better overall season than Francisco did in 2012, posting a 108 OPS+ and 15 HR. Even though Johnson was a minor piece in the deal that landed Justin Upton in Atlanta, with a giant void at third base, the hitter might become an integral part of the organization–at least for 2013.…read the rest of this article at Baseball News Source.