While I am not exactly thrilled about the idea of LF in Fenway being handled by a platoon, I decide to do a little further number crunching. Based on the hitting profile of the last 3 years with normalized BABIP, my guesstimates for the production out of LF is as follows.
Gomes certainly fared worse than expected vs. LHP. Assuming a nice even split of 150 PA for Gomes and 450PA for the LHH outfielder, Gomes posted a rather lackluster .247 / .344 / .452 (.796OPS) batting line with 7HRs and 20 Runs Created. Clearly he does better, given he has not had an OPS vs. LHP lower than .856 during that stretch. The reason rests on the fact that his BABIP vs. LHP over the last 3 years is .366, whereas his normalized BABIP given his LD/GB/FB splits figures to be in the area of .272. Gomes does not make up for the difference with speed, and it could be that he simply mashes the tar out of the ball vs. LHP, making defensive lays difficult. But, hey, my splits are my splits and Gomes did not match up well.
For left-handed hitters getting the bulk of the plate appearances, I looked at primary candidates Nava, Carp, Sweeney and the readily available Brennan Boesch. They tabulated as follows.
Nava .245 / .324/ .379 (.703OPS) with 5 HRs and 49RC.
Carp .267 /.337 / .440 (.777OPS) with 15HRs and 60RC
Boesch .243 / .297 / .388 (.685OPS) with 12HRs and 48RC
Sweeney . 269/ .330 / .368 (.698OPS) with 4HRs and 50RC.
Clearly Boesch is not worth looking at for a solution. Right now, Carp figures to be the clear winner.
This means the expectations from the Carp / Gomes LF platoon should net a result of .261/ .338 / .443 (.781OPS) with 21HRs and 81RC. Or almost exactly what Hanley Ramirez did last season…