Sunday, July 20, 2008

Brewers Love a Good Platoon

For being a potential World Series contender, the Brewers sure are relying heavily on the platoon. Maybe it's a good thing, we're getting the maximum amount of production at each position every day, but I've always figured that if you were going to start for a contender, you were good enough to be an everyday starter. Guess that's not the case this year.

Of course, we all know about the Bill Hall / Russell Branyan platoon, which has worked out better than imagined. Branyan went on a bit of a home run tear a few weeks ago, while Bill still loves a good 0-2 pitch high in the zone. Branyan has been playing less of late, but should see a good amount of time in the upcoming St. Louis series.

The Brewers are also going to be attempting something I've never seen done before, which is platoon their pitchers. Yost says he'll start McClung when on the road, and Bush when at home, because that's what the numbers dictate. I think this strategy is at least worth a shot, but don't feel it should be one we depend on down the stretch. McClung and Bush are going to have a hard time getting into a rhythm as they shuttle in between the starting five and the bullpen. If anything, I think you give the 5 spot to Bush right now, with the way he's been pitching. We'll see how McClung's start goes on Monday.

It also seems like the Brewers are about to get set with another platoon with the acquisition of Ray Durham. Yost says Durham will play a couple of days a week, which is basically slang for platoon. I'd imagine the platoon won't be anything like lefty/righty or home/road, but more like when Weeks is playing well/when Weeks is sucking.

What do all these platoons mean? Nothing really, besides the fact that the Brewers are doing whatever they can to put the best nine out on the field every night. It either means that we're so talented that we can't limit our starters to just nine guys every night, or it means that we are getting by with mediocrity at some of our key positions.


Winks said...

I think Durham's been batting in the 2 hole with the Giants. Does he bat leadoff for us when he starts? Or does Hart bat leadoff and Durham bat 6 or 7?

Anonymous said...

Hart's OBP is at .329 not exactly great for a leadoff hitter. I think leadoff will be a platoon with With Weeks and Durham. Hart's bat stays in the five hole were he can drive in runs with his .508 slugging percentage.

Jonk said...

Good teams have used platoons all the time. That's part of the reason why decent teams become good teams.

The Hardball Times did series last year about platoons, dating back to 1914 and through 2007. The Brewers show up a few times on their lists, including 1987 (catcher: B.J. Surhoff and Bill Schroeder) and 1983 (left field: Ben Oglivie and Mark Brouhard).

Total Pageviews


This site is not affiliated with, nor endorsed or sponsored by, the University of Wisconsin.