|Ben Revere: Should|
he be an everyday guy?
It is, let us say, unusual to see a corner outfielder at the bottom of the batting order. Corner outfielders are supposed to hit. Bottom-of-the-order guys are at the bottom of the order for a reason.
It's certainly possible for Revere to be a more productive hitter in 2012 than in 2011. He's hit for average at every minor league stop, he seems to have an idea at the plate, and, of course, he's one of the fastest players in the league. But even if he hits .300, his almost complete lack of power at a power position is a significant disadvantage.
Much of Revere's value as a player figures to come on defense, where he provides center field range (and then some) in a rather spacious left field. Indeed, I've seen some analysis suggesting that his combination of offense and defense will be more valuable than the departed Delmon Young's was.
Revere's a young guy, and even such a devout platooner as Earl Weaver was wary of imposing a strict platoon role on a player before getting a handle on his abilities. Still, Revere's lack of power is so pronounced that it obviously limits his ceiling.
Then there's the Trevor Plouffe factor. His major league time is also limited, and so his platoon splits may not be a real indicator of his abilities or liabilities, but he has so far been far better hitting left-handers —.301 vs southpaws, .201 vs. right-handers. If Plouffe is to be on Gardenhire's bench, it would appear to behoove Gardy to get him in the lineup against lefties.
Plouffe could be a platoon partner for Revere. Plouffe could also be a platoon partner for the switch-hitting Ryan Doumit, who has over his career hit better against righties than against lefties. Sit Doumit, and Plouffe could DH or play right with Josh Willingham DHing, or first with Justin Morneau DHing. Doumit's platoon splits aren't as pronounced as Plouffe's at this point, but they are considerably well established.
All this is probably irrelevant. Gardenhire has shown little tendency in his managerial career to lean on the platoon differential when deploying his bench players. I don't expect that to change this year.
But I wish he would. We're dealing here with flawed talents. It would make sense to use them ways that maximizes their strengths and minimizes their problems.