New York Yankees: Does an Ibanez-Hairston Platoon Makes Sense?
Would Raul Ibanez and Scott Hairston make an effective platoon for the New York Yankees? Dan Martin of the New York Post mentioned this as a thought in one of his articles but did not elaborate on how the numbers would actually play out.
Obviously, because of some excellent production in the postseason, Ibanez has become a popular player in the Big Apple. When they squared off against the Baltimore Orioles in the ALDS, he hit .444 with two big home runs and three RBI. It is always helpful to get hot right before entering the free-agent market.
Ibanez, 40, had a pretty strong season in general in 2012. While he only hit .240 he did hit 19 home runs and drove in 62 runs. This was a little bit less than what he turned out in 2011, so age might slowly be dropping his production, but those numbers are definitely respectable.
Perhaps not so surprisingly, Hairston had very similar numbers. He ended up hitting .262 with 20 home runs and 57 RBI. He is also only 32 years old and has more speed than Ibanez.
Obviously, the main problem with both of these hitters is their low batting averages. However, those problems can be partially neutralized in a platoon setup. The left-handed Ibanez hit .248 against right-handers with all 19 of his home runs while the right-handed Hairston hit .286 against left-handers with 11 of his 20 home runs. Neither one hit well against pitchers of the same handedness.
The Yankees need to make sure that both of these players are willing to play in part-time roles, but if they are, the benefits should be significant. Neither of these players will necessarily break the bank, but they can provide some serious run production and power from the bottom of the lineup.
Yankee Stadium does tend to surrender quite a few home runs, and because of that, both of these hitters could be right at home.
Assuming that the price will be right, going to this type of platoon set up does make a lot of sense for the New York Yankees right now.
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