How should the bench be filled after signing Carlos Pena?

After the announcement of the signing of Carlos Pena, I got to thinking about the potential platoon problems and how it leads to our bench being constructed in 2012. I decided to take the WAR Spreadsheet and split it up into different categories for each hitter facing a lefty or a righty with stats adjusted for their splits. Since our lineup against right-handed pitcher is pretty much set outside of the catcher position (I left it blank since I expect very little offensively and getting data points for the platoon will be difficult with Molina as the only 1 with much major league experience and that consists of 1500 PA over 10 years.) this is what our offense looks like as of now with only Sean Rodriguez and the backup catcher on our bench.

Screenshot - Spreadsheet of Rays Platoon Splits

As of right now Sean Rodriguez would take the platoon at shortstop, because it's the biggest gain at almost 2.5 WAR over 200 PA. I still put the numbers in the other spots Sean could start against lefties to compare other positions we could pick up a lefty masher to help fill out the bench.

I tried to project to the best of my abilities of the splits since there are some SSS issues specifically related to stats against lefties. But for the final numbers as the team stands the team average vs RHP is .350 and vs LHP is .345. This is a little surprising, but Evan Longoria and Ben Zobrist pick up the slack from Carlos Pena and Matt Joyce versus lefties.

This is where the biggest offensive gains can be found before we complete our roster for the 2012 season. What really got me thinking about this is my thinking Sam Fuld doesn't really fit into the current roster as it currently stands since Brandon Guyer would make a better option as a right-handed hitting fourth outfielder. I really am a fan of Sam Fuld, but just thinking about this from what's best for our the team with what looks like it could be the best shot to win the World Series.

Projected Bench:

C Jose Lobaton/Robinson Chirinos

UI Sean Rodriguez

OF Brandon Guyer

1 Right-Handed Bat/Sam Fuld

This leaves 1 spot that could be used to pick up a 1B/SS/OF that mashes lefties (could theoretically be Russ Canzler) in order to really beef up the lineup versus left-handed pitcher and would more than likely make this a team that is better versus lefties. They would also have a pretty lethal bench to pinch hit for late in the game when most relievers are right-handed of Matt Joyce and Carlos Pena.

Any questions or comments are greatly appreciated.

*Sorry about the spacing not working right now I'll try to fix it in the morning.

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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