Back in February, Bobby Evans made a surprising, if welcome, comment that the Giants weren’t planning to platoon Jarrett Parker and Mac Williamson. It was welcome because it would be a platoon that didn’t make sense. It was surprising because one guy was left-handed and one guy was right-handed, and sometimes baseball analysis doesn’t go much deeper than that.
But with Williamson drifting uncomfortably close to the Kyle Blanks career path, Parker became the de facto starter. Which is fine. The only problem is that while the platoon for Williamson and Parker didn’t make sense, there most certainly did need to be some platooning going on if Parker won the job, right? Right? RIGHT?
The Giants finally responded: Right.
Bochy gave clarity on #sfgiants battle for LF, saying the team will platoon Parker and a right-handed hitter to start the season pic.twitter.com/7GL5SjZB2P— KNBR (@KNBR) March 31, 2017
Even though you knew that Evans wasn’t on the internet the night before, googling “WHAT DOES SPLITS MEAN BASEBALL,” it was still a little disconcerting to have the earlier story in mind, with the Giants explicitly ruling out a platoon.
The bad news is that Chris Marrero doesn’t have great splits against lefties, so there isn’t a true lefty-masher to complement Parker. It seems like that should be the easiest outfield piece to find in baseball — corner outfielder who thrives against left-handed pitching — and it could be that Marrero is just keeping the spot warm for Michael Morse if/when he returns.
But I guarantee you that I’d rather watch Marrero against Rich Hill than Parker. Parker might have a fine season, but the Giants will have to keep him far, far away from left-handers at every opportunity if they want him to succeed. They knew that. You knew that. It’s nice to hear Bruce Bochy confirm that.