It's not a platoon, damnit.
Both Jeff Francoeur and Chris Getz have seen their playing time reduced in the last week. You can't help but be shocked that these two have been drags on run scoring production. I mean, if we only had a stat that could tell us these two aren't that good when it comes to swinging the bat. But I digress.
So while Jarrod Dyson and Elliot Johnson have seen their names on the lineup card with a little more frequency of late, we're not seeing a platoon situation. That's according to the man who fills out the lineup himself, Frank Ned Yost.
Quoth the Yost:
"I could play Francoeur on Friday against a right-hander, then it's not a platton. I'm going day to day right now."
Fine. Be that way.
Since the Great Lineup Shakeup of 2013 took place on May 9, the Royals have played seven games. Francoeur has appeared in four of those contests. Twice he was in the lineup against a right handed starter. He started against Freddy Garcia in Baltimore on the 9th and against Hiroki Kuroda of the Yankees on the 12th. I loathe Pitcher vs. Batter stats as much as the first inning bunt, but worming my way into the mind of Yost, I found that Francoeur has five hits in 14 at bats against Kuroda and three hits - one home run - in 10 at bats against Garcia. Interesting. Sadly, my hypothesis doesn't hold water. Against Joe Blanton - a pitcher Francoeur sat against this week - he has six hits in 14 at bats. Damnit, Frank!
So even with Yost's threat to play Francoeur on Friday, we truly haven't seen a platoon in the strictest sense. We've seen a manager who is limiting playing time. He's been holding Francoeur out against some - not all - right-handers. Granted, it's not enough, but it's a start. Although I worry that when Francoeur is still hitting around .220/.250/.300 in a month, the party line will be he wasn't able to get consistent reps in the lineup because Dyson was so damn good.
(As I write this, word comes that Dyson is on the DL, with David Lough coming up as his replacement. I can only hope Yost sticks to his guns and gives Lough the playing time that would have gone to Dyson over the next few weeks. But you know he won't. Damn.)
Meanwhile you have Getz. Remember how it was fun when he hit his home run in Atlanta? How we joked when, for a moment, he was leading the team in slugging percentage? Yeah. That's over. Since going yard, Getz has four hits - all singles - in 47 plate appearances. In the game of arbitrary endpoints, that's a slash line of .093/.152/.093.
For his career, Getz doesn't really have a platoon split. He's pretty deficient no matter what hand the pitcher uses. Last year was really the first time he held an edge over a right-handed pitcher versus a lefty. He's not really a platoon candidate. But in the last seven games, he's been in the lineup twice. Once was against Garcia in Baltimore. (That game was more about moving the pieces of the lineup while the band played. Yost didn't start shifting guys in and out until the next day against the Yankees.) The other game was against Blanton to open the series in Anaheim. That was the night of the Royals 19 hit attack. Getz was 0-5 with two strikeouts. OK.
Who cares what Yost calls it? In the last week, he's removed dead weight from the Royals lineup on a semi-regular basis. At this point, I'll take it if Johnson and Dyson (or Lough) are marginal upgrades. As long as I don't have to watch Francoeur swing at the first pitch and Getz ground out, I'll take it.