How hard is it to find eight guys who can play 150+ games, hit both RHP and LHP reasonably well AND field their position?
Very, VERY hard.
Enter "the platoon." The goal is to maximize a player's value by increasing the percentage of playing time that he gets in favorable situations. Some players who might benefit are:
-Reliable defenders who struggle against only RHP or LHP. (Ex. Gyorko as a Padre: decent glove; good vs LHP; below average vs. RHP)
-Exceptional defenders, who only hit well enough against either RHP or LHP to warrant a start. (Ex. 2016 Jankowski: elite defense; OK vs RHP; terrible vs LHP)
-Players who are weak in the field, but mash either RHP or LHP so that they can out-hit their defense in certain matchups. (Ex. Renfroe: poor defender; elite vs. LHP; underwhelming vs RHP)
So, which positions, and which players, are candidates for a platoon this season?
That leaves second base, third base, and left field as possible platoon options.
Check back tomorrow for a detailed look at the second base situation.