I recently came across the book (remember those) Sixty Feet, Six Inches by Bob Gibson and Reggie Jackson at a yard sale and found my 75 cents well spent. I also picked up Judas Priest’s British Steel on vinyl for a buck. Breakin’ the law, breakin the law. It was a great day all around, but I don’t know what I’m going to do with this. Anywho, back to the book. In the rectangular thing that has words written on paper, the two Hall of Famers discuss a number of topics including gaining an edge. Here’s Reggie and Gibby discussing it on what may or may not have been an appearance on Between Two Ferns. Baseball players are all about getting an edge. Some ways are subtle: peeking back at the catcher, stealing signs, watching for tipped pitches. Some, not so subtle: an arm slathered in Coppertone, a bat full of superballs, some ground up deer antler injected directly into the brain stem. A way to gain an edge in our world of fake baseball (time to toot the Razzball horn) is using the Hitter-Tron, the Stream-o-Nator, and paying attention to lefty/righty splits with Platoony Tunes. Now someone buy Rudy a drink! I spend more time with these tools than I do with my own. Sorry ball-peen hammer. Sorry Dremel. Sorry oscillating bandsaw, but last time I used you it didn’t go so well.
This week let’s look at some jammer crammer platoony types. Streaming the overlooked bat that crushes lefties or righties is a cheap source of power. Personally, I like to have an open roster spot or two and rotate hot hitters depending on matchups. If you’re in a “set it and forget it” weekly league or have a short bench, you probably don’t have the room to carry a guy just to face lefties once or twice a week. However, if your roster’s big enough and managed wisely, going a bit Platoony Tunes is an easy way to pad the stats and gain an edge. Time to jam it or cram it.
Jam or Cram: Adam Lind, 1B, Toronto Blue Jays
Availability: 73% Yahoo, but only 22% ESPN
Career Platoon Splits: Vs. righties 2097 AB, 124 HR, 432 RBI, .270 AV, .501 SLG, .840 OPS
Vs. lefties 772 AB, 19 HR, 90 RBI, .227 AV, .356 SLG, .627 OPS
Platoony Tune Value: $12 vs. righties, $-4.7 vs. lefties
The Gist: Adam Lind is one hot schmotato right now. He hit .370 for the week, .409 this month and .340 on the year. He even had a hit against a lefty. It’s Bizarro World! Lind will get the majority of his starts against right-handers which makes him the Platoony Tune poster boy. I’m sure he’s honored.
Key Stats: Lind’s BABIP is .391. His line drive rate is 21.6%. The Blue Jays hold a $7 million option for next season. CHA-CHING!
X-File: Lind’s career high in walks in a season is 58. This year he has 23 walks already. Did this guy get LASIK surgery or something when we weren’t looking?
Jam or Cram: Just like my red hot romance with my Russian mail-order bride won’t last, neither will this steaming streak by Lind. But, like in both cases, I’m going to enjoy the ride. JAM. Anastasia???
Jam it or Cram it: Cody Ross OF, Arizona Diamondbacks
Availability: 89% Yahoo, 99% ESPN
Career Platoon Splits: Vs. lefties 970 AB, 60 HR, 178 RBI, .293 AV, .576 SLG, .935 OPS
Vs. righties 2214 AB, 64 HR, 290 RBI, .250 AV, .407 SLG, .716 OPS
Platoony Tune Value: $10.6 vs. lefties, $4 vs. righties.
The Gist: It’s been a disappointing season for Cody Ross thus far. He ended a 16-game homerless streak May 28 and hasn’t hit one since. Ross only has two home runs on the year after hitting 22 with the Red Sox last season. Ross did have seven hits in the Dodgers series last week, raising his average from .253 to .271. And he didn’t punch anyone. He may be about to get hot.
Key Stat: In his career, Ross averages 36 HR per 500 AB against left-handed pitchers.
X-File: Chase Field is great for right-handed hitters and Ross gets the Miami Marlins at home this week.
Jam or Cram: The Red Sox Dark Lord, Larry Lucchino, once described Cody Ross as “cheerful”. Then he let him walk to Arizona. That’s 2634 miles. Thanks Google Maps. While Ross has always hit lefties in his career, I’m not blind Razzballers. The blind are courageous. Ross has been turrible. I’m not courageous enough to put the cheerful one on my All-Platoony Team yet. CRAM
Jam it or Cram it: Tyler Colvin 1B/OF, Colorado Rockies
Availability: 92% Yahoo, 97% ESPN
Career Platoon Splits: Vs. righties 763 AB, 39 HR, 127 RBI, .255 AV, .489 SLG, .793 SLG
Vs. lefties 253 AB, 7 HR, 30 RBI, .225 AV, .415 SLG, .683 OPS
Platoony Tune Value: $13.8 vs. righties, $1.6 vs. lefties
The Gist: It was a disastrous week for the Rockies. Did someone put a curse on Denver? The Rockies lost Troy Tulowitzki to broken ribs, Michael Cuddyer has bruised ribs, Carlos Gonzalez got whacked with a foul ball in the on-deck circle thinking of ribs and Dexter Fowler hurt his hand trying to take Todd Helton’s baby-backs. I hope Tyler Colvin is wearing a flak jacket. Since being called up a week ago, Colvin has seven hits, three of those are home runs and he’s knocked in nine.
Key Stats: At Triple-A Colorado Springs, Colvin was batting .293, with a .914 OPS, four triples, eight doubles, nine home runs, 29 RBI and 42 runs in 56 games.
X-File: Rockies manager Walt Weiss said Colvin will get playing time, especially against right-handers. Weiss then collapsed in the dugout and an alien burst through his ribcage.
Jam or Cram: Colvin is just a year removed from a season in which he hit 18 home runs, drove in 72 and batted .290. 17 of those homers came off right-handed pitchers. He should be one of your Platoony Tune friends. JAM. Now let’s go to Sticky Fingers, me want ribs!
Jam it or Cram it: Mike Carp, 1B/OF, Boston Red Sox
Availability: 87% Yahoo, 81% ESPN
Career Splits: Vs. righties 501 AB, 21 HR, 73 RBI, .257 AV, .450 SLG, .782 OPS
Vs. lefties 144 AB, 4 HR, 23 RBI, .299 AV, .340 SLG, .805 OPS
Playtoony Tune Value: $10 vs. righties, $1.4 vs. lefties
The Gist: Mike Carp is finally getting some playing time in Boston and making the most of it. Shane Victorino can’t play every day, Jonny Gomes can’t hit and Mike Napoli has been out with “intestinal distress” since eating a Fenway Frank out of Dustin Pedroia’s beard. This year, Carp has crushed right-handed pitchers with seven homers, 22 RBI and a .337 average in 39 games. Carp had another home run off a righty yesterday. Or as they say in Boston, “CAAHHP GOES YAAHHD.”
Key Stats: Of players with at least 100 plate-appearances this season, Carp ranks second in SLG (.680) and third in OPS (1.052).
Jam or Cram: Setting aside my Red Sox bias, (I’m putting it right over here next to the Big Papi bobblehead the kids got me for Father’s Day) Mike Carp is a must pick up. He’ll hit for good average and above average power. If Carp can get the at-bats, he could end up with 15-18 home runs. I’m not saying that just for the halibut. *collective groan* JAM.
Here’s some other Platoony Tunes that may give you the edge:
Rajai Davis TOR $14.9 vs. lefties
Garrett Jones PIT $12.I vs. righties
David Murphy TEX $12.1 vs. righties
Dayan Viciedo CHW $11.9 vs. lefties
*Bonus Tracks* Streaming Starters:
Bud Norris vs. CHW: Norris has allowed just eight earned runs over his last five starts. The White Sox are last in the AL in runs scored. JAM
Jarrod Parker vs. TEX: The Rangers are top 10 in runs scored, RBI and average. CRAM
C.J. Wilson vs. SEA: Wilson allowed five hits, two runs and struck out four in beating the Yankees Friday night. JAM
Jon Lester vs. DET: Lester’s career ERA against the Tigers is 4.78. CRAM
Thanks for the read. Now let’s grill some ribs and listen to some Priest. As usual, your humble Guru will be here for questions, comments and mail-order bride advice. Get The Guru’s daily jam or cram and fantasy roster 411’s on Twitter @TheGuruGS.