By Nate Trop & Glen McKee, AngelsWin.com Satirists -
Since he was called up, Calhoun has been platooned against left handed pitching. Considering his career numbers against lefties are very good, it has always caused a ruckus among AngelsWin.com posters. There have been many recent posts and write-ups on this exact subject and we at P/CP will never miss the opportunity to beat a dead horse. Which is to say, “we’re basically out of ideas.”
Calhoun should start every day! By Nathan Trop
We have endured many Mike Scioscia platoons, Morales and
, Mathis and Napoli, and the list goes on. Calhoun/Cowgill is just another frustrating platoon that doesn’t seem necessary.
Glen recently posted that Calhoun should be starting 80% of the games. As usual, he is wrong. Calhoun should start every day. Sure he might get a day off here and there, but a platoon with Collin Cowgill is just insulting. According to AngelsWin.com member AngelsJunky, Calhoun has a WRC+ of 150, second on the team. Cowgill, at 119, is trailing far behind. Now, I am not smart enough to tell you what WRC+ is or why it is a good stat for this comparison, but I trust AJ here. (Editors note: For readers not familiar with this stat, Fangraphs gives a good explanation here. But don’t tell Nate!)
Calhoun has good power and speed. He plays a great OF and the ladies (and Geoff) love him. I am not one to avoid the obvious, so let’s get it out of the way… The poor guy is a Ginger. Don’t you think that Scioscia could throw this guy a bone and start him against lefties? He will spend his whole life trying to convince people he has a soul, he doesn’t need the added stress of trying to convince his manager that he can hit lefties.
Collin Cowgill has a name that conjures images of some sort of bad Syfy channel movie monster. He is a decent bench player and a more than adequate injury replacement in the OF. He doesn’t have any power, he isn’t a stolen base threat and he is just average on defense. His WRC+ might be 119 but once you weight it against the fact that his name has too many L’s in it, it probably comes in at around 100, which is only better than the likes of Freese and Conger, and certainly not good enough for a platoon with our favorite soul-eating right fielder.
You might say, “But Nate, Scioscia is always going to do this stuff.” And you are absolutely correct. My solution to this dilemma is another platoon. Dipoto should platoon Scioscia with a manager who will start Calhoun against lefties (and keep starting Aybar every day! I love me some Aybar!). Baylor or Disar can start at manager against LHP and Scioscia can start against RHP. I think this is a platoon we would all embrace. Sure, there might be some logistical concerns, like who is really in charge and some other unimportant team dynamics. But if it worked, Dipoto would be seen as a visionary! The man that changed baseball! If it doesn’t work, at least we got more Calhoun (and still lots of Aybar).
I can’t believe I’m saying this, but platoon him – by Glen McKee
Nate, you ignorant slut!
Devil’s Advocate isn’t just the name of my favorite Keanu Reeves movie (any movie that has Al Pacino yelling “God is an absentee landlord!” or something similarly absurd is gonna entertain me), it’s a position I’m forced to take in this P/CP. As mentioned above, I made a case for Calhoun getting 80% of the starts. Now I’m going to destroy Nate’s assertions and make a case for the pla…plat…damn, I have a hard time even typing it…the platoon of Calhoun.
First off, my esteemed colleague makes several good points that I agree with. However, one thing Nate didn’t consider was the casual female fan. We have baseball god Mike Trout on the team and that will garner some casual viewers. But there’s another demographic that Cowgill can exploit. You know the one. In case you don’t, here are a few visual reminders:
Yep, we’re talking the horny broad or gay dude demographic. Trout is cute, I guess, and so is Conger, in that “wanna pinch an Asian dude’s cheeks” kind of way. After that, this team has slim pickings. Put up a few posters of Cowgill in the stadium and the ladies will be flocking to the stadium, ovulating and tossing beach balls during crucial moments in the game. That’s a valuable demographic and it will help fill the stadium. And if any of you guys wanna complain, just think about the extra eye-candy you’ll be able to scope out with your binoculars when you’re “checking out the game.” It’s a fair compromise.
(My sincere apologies to the ladies who are true fans of the game for the stereotype above, but even you dames will have to admit that when you saw Cowgill after the Gatorade bath, a little something tingled inside of you. Hell, it did for me and I’m a dude. And look at that first picture: is that a mullet? Aww yeah it is! This team needs somebody in the lineup who not only knows but proves the importance of “business in the front, party in the back.” That’s some mojo that the Angels have been lacking.)
Another thing to consider is the aforementioned “Scioscia Unnecessary Platoon Urge.” He can’t control it; it’s an addiction on the level of crack cocaine or binge-watching Orange is the New Black. Scioscia has to have a platoon. Platooning managers or coaches won’t cut it; it has to be not just a player, but a player that doesn’t deserve to be in a platoon. Since Conger has been stinking it up at the plate lately his platoon with Iannetta is justified, so it doesn’t count. It has to be a good player, and Calhoun fills that bill. He’s the one player this team can afford to unnecessarily platoon right now. And, it isn’t like Cowgill is terrible. He’s decent. The difference between Cowgill and Calhoun (aside from in the looks department – sorry, Ginger) isn’t that great and the offense is rolling. It honestly doesn’t make much of a difference.
Finally – who cares about all those advanced stats? The bottom line is that we all know Scioscia has to have an unnecessary platoon, WRC+ be damned. Until Sosh is gone, this is a sacrifice that has to be made. Calhoun is the virgin that gets thrown into the volcano this year. We can live with it.