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When Melky Cabrera was suspended for PEDs last year, many people thought the Giants were doomed. However, the Giants went on to win the World Series using the suspension as motivation.
But they also used some other things to win it all, such as the inspired play of Gregor Blanco in left field.
Blanco stepped up and made tons of great defensive plays while being accountable for all of San Francisco's runs in Game 3 of the World Series. He made two diving catches in Game 1 of the World Series, had a perfect bunt in Game 2 and stepped up big time in Game 3.
However, the Giants wanted someone to hit left-handed pitching, so they signed Andres Torres, their catalyst in 2010, to hit left-handers. Torres hit .286 against left-handed pitching in 2012, and he is a switch-hitter. Blanco hit .244 in 2012 and hit .242 against right-handed pitching. For a left-handed hitter, that mark is terrible.
Torres can hit lefty as well, so we could see one of the two players seeing the bulk of the playing time. Presumably, it would be Blanco, because there are more right-handed pitchers than left-handed pitchers. However, the Giants could be shuffling the players around.
Blanco struck out 26.5 percent of the time in 2012, and Torres hit just .230. I doubt that either will perform much better in 2013, and that could be a problem for the Giants. Because they don't have any thumpers in the lineup (outside of Buster Posey), the Giants rely on everyone to produce.
While Torres and Blanco have both been on the bench before, it could even cause chemistry problems in the clubhouse. I doubt that will happen with such an unselfish team, but it's a possibility. Injury is also a possibility, and I don't think the Giants will feel comfortable with just Blanco or just Torres in left field.
There are lots of concerns, and with both players being streaky, manager Bruce Bochy will have a lot of shuffling to do, especially in the midst of slumps. While both players will help on defense, there are lots of legitimate concerns about this platoon. I wouldn't expect more than a combined .250 batting average, and that isn't enough.
Runners will be on base, as the Giants manage a good amount of hits but not many home runs. Therefore, it will be up to the platoon to produce runs, and I don't see that happening with the abundance of strikeouts.
One more thing I don't see happening is the platoon being successful.