Oscar Taveras, Randall Grichuk and Peter Bourjos all have cases for playing in the outfield right now. The problem is there’s only one spot open, as Jon Jay has been hitting well lately. Assuming Jay continues to hit, who gets the spot? We’re also going to say that consistency equals production, so rotating on a daily basis is out of the question (though defensive replacement in later innings is allowed)
For today, let’s forget the long term situation and decide who starts against Jake Peavy…
Taveras bats left while Grichuk and Bourjos bat right. Peavy allows a higher average to righties .265 vs .249 to lefties) but allowed over twice as many home runs (16 to 7) to lefties.
Given our power struggles during the regular season, I say we take the slight hit in average and slot Taveras in the lineup and have him play right with Jay playing center. Yes we’ve hit some home runs during the off season but who knows if it’s going to last, so my feeling is you take advantage of any power boost you can get.
As for long term…
Since Jon Jay is a lefty, you could technically keep all four and play the platoon split game, with Jay n Taveras pairing up one day and Grichuk and Bourjos the next, with any of the four giving Matt Holliday a rare day off. However, since I doubt management wants to pay five outfielders, the odd man out, to me, seems to be Bourjos. Both Grichuk and Taveras have high upsides management can dream on and Jay has become something of a fan favorite. That leaves Bourjos. While I like Bourjos, if Jay can keep his high OBP (.372 this year) I’m ok with moving Bourjos. Jay has had a .370+ OBP in the past, with a .373 OBP in 2012, so it’s possible. Plus, his career OBP is .359, so it’s not that far off the mark.
As always, thanks for reading.