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Ishikawa, Sandoval, and Divvying

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While collecting pictures, quotes, and locks of hair for my forthcoming Pablo Sandoval shrine, I stumbled across Sandoval’s minor league splits. I’m embarrassed to admit I wasn’t aware how extreme they were:

AB H 2B 3B HR BB K BA OBP SLG
vs. LHP 130 35 6 0 3 7 20 .269 .309 .385
vs. RHP 307 120 32 2 17 28 37 .391 .436 .674

Whoa. He’s on the right side of the platoon split, as it’s still possible for a hitter to be an All-Star when he’s weak against LHP – see Lance Berkman in his first few years in the league – but it probably wouldn’t be good for his development to just throw him up against every LHP in the majors next year.

And the rebirth of Travis Ishikawa comes with a caveat as well:

AB H 2B 3B HR BB K BA OBP SLG
vs. LHP 107 22 5 0 2 20 27 .206 .333 .308
vs. RHP 298 99 30 3 22 32 54 .332 .394 .674

So it wouldn’t do anyone any good to platoon Sandoval and Ishikawa, as both have the same struggles against LHP. But with the Sandoval-at-third experiment working out okay, the Giants should be able to find enough at-bats for both against right-handed pitching. Against left-handed pitching, they should still get some starts to help with their development, but it might be counterproductive to let them struggle for 200 or so futile at-bats against lefties.

What the Giants need is a player who can play first and third, and who can hit left-handed pitching. Like, oh, Rich Aurilia:

AB H 2B 3B HR BB K BA OBP SLG
vs. LHP 129 42 13 0 5 12 16 .326 .383 .543
vs. RHP 255 68 8 1 5 12 37 .267 .306 .365

Here is the perfect complement to Pablo Sandoval and Travis Ishikawa…if he doesn’t get any substantial at-bats against right-handed pitching. And by "substantial", I mean "more than two." If Bochy can keep his veteran holstered, Aurilia would be a good player to re-sign.

Odds that Bochy can keep his veteran holstered: 2%. And that’s sad, because Aurilia really would fit on next year’s roster if he were used properly. Toss in a 25th-man like Scott McClain (MLEs: .246/.390/.430 against LHP, .253/.324/.425 against RHP) and you’d have a couple of veterans who could help the younger players against lefties without forcing outright platoons.

So if anyone sees Bochy on the street, let him know that Rich Aurilia can’t hit righties. Be polite, yet firm. Tell him that Aurilia is welcome back on the team – hell, it would allow me to continue displaying his bobblehead with pride – but he needs to be used effectively. Aurilia needs to be used effectively, that is. Not the bobblehead. And not Bruce Bochy. Certainly not a Bruce Bochy bobblehead. A prototype Bruce Bochy bobblehead exists, but they can’t figure out how to make packaging that can escape the gravitational pull of the head.

Too easy? Tough. Open Ishikawa, Sandoval, and How You Would Split Up At-Bats Thread.