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...
First, career Gross' splits (per Yahoo! Sports, bleh):
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:
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.