FanPost

Gabe Gross: Not so average?

I think most of us who frequent this site are aware of Gabe Gross' unusual righty/lefty split this year (i.e. he's hitting righties like usual, murdering lefties), and after watching him nearly collect his second HR off lefty Renyel Pinto, I began to question the perception of Gross as a righty-only kind of guy. So, I took a gander at some of his statistics and produced a number of the following inquiries...

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via cache.daylife.com

 

 

 

First, career Gross' splits (per Yahoo! Sports, bleh):
  G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB K SB CS AVG OBP SLG OPS  
 vs. Left   120 136 19 23 8 2 3 13 22 49 2 0 .169 .285 .324 .608  
 vs. Right   429 950 149 244 51 5 34 136 141 212 15 7 .257 .354 .428 .782  

 

Obviously, Gross' recent prolific hitting hasn't affected his considerably dismal career numbers against left handed hitting. However, with only 136 AB in 120 games, Gabe No. 1 sees these left handers only one time around -- when he actually does see them. Delving further, we find that Gross has accumilated 68 of his 136 ABs (49%) during 2008 (mostly with the Rays). Before that year, he was seeing lefties 11-21 times a year.

This year, as noted earlier, he's doing much better vs. LHP:

  G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB K SB CS AVG OBP SLG OPS  
 vs. Left   10 14 5 5 2 1 1 7 4 2 1 0 .357 .500 .857 1.357  
 vs. Right   47 115 18 30 6 0 3 17 19 28 5 1 .261 .366 .391 .757  

 

Now, here's where my informations end and my questions begin:

  • Is that sample size (136 ABs / 158 PAs) too small to determine whether or not he's suited for platoon work? I definately know that his 14 ABs (18 PAs) this year is too small to predict anything. But anectdotally he seems sharper against LHPs.
  • Is there some place I can get BABIP or any other advanced metrics vs. LHP? I just can't seem to find anything. Mayhaps Gross was unlucky in '08 against LHPs?
  • Seeing as how I can't seem to find minor league splits, I'm assuming he must have had a track record of struggling against LHPs, otherwise we wouldn't be where we are. Does anyone else know if this is actually the case?
  • Is it possible that his increased PAs against LHPs in 2008 resulted in a significant improvement in his ability to see their pitches? Is there any prescedant for this?

Could Gross, with his "averageness" against righties and a possible potential "averageness" against lefties and plus defense, actually be above average!?! [pause for effect]

With an everyday Gross, we could deal Kaplar -- who's too good to just sit, IMO -- and let Joyce incubate for as long as necessary. Who knows?

Let me know what you think.

This post was written by a member of the DRaysBay community and does not necessarily express the views or opinions of DRaysBay staff.

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