Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Should he stay or should he go?

By Nicole
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More Gabe Kapler love today...

Kapler's obviously swinging the hot bat. BUT he's part of a platoon in center until Mike Cameron finishes his suspension. He's only supposed to start when the opposing starter is a lefty. In the series at St. Louis that starts tonight, we're scheduled to see three righties. Does Kapler play anyway, or do we stick with the platoon and go with Gabe Gross?

Ned Yost's past plays in this sort of situation are contradictory, so it's hard to say which way he'll go. He's been very adamant about keeping this platoon going, keeping them in the 2 spot of the batting order, since that's where Cameron will be, and generally trying to keep things as even keel as possible up to and through the Cameron switch-over.

That being said, he's also shown a proclivity for staying with the "hot bat."

But what's to say Kapler keeps it up? Do we ride him til he goes cold? A hot streak is great and easy to see and be excited about while it's going on, but you never know how or when it will end. You have to know when to get off the train and Ned showed last year that he doesn't necessarily have the ability to make that call. (*cough*KevinMench*cough*)

You'll remember that both Kevin Mench and JJ Hardy started off last season red hot. Heck, even Gabe Gross had some good numbers at one point last season.

Tony Gwynn's first 36 AB last year: .417/.500/.500/1.000 (He finished the season
.195/.247/.241 /.488 )

Kevin Mench's first 42 AB last year:

.405/.419/.595/1.014

So we "rode his hot bat" and here's what he did over the next 48 AB: .208/.204/.313/.517

One could even make this argument about Jason Kendall this season already. He started the season with: .538/.567/.731/1.298 in 26 AB.

We all got really excited and people were talking about putting him at a more advantageous spot in the lineup. Then he did this in the Mets series: .091/.167/.091/.258 in 11 AB with a HBP.

So which way should we go?

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