In Right Field, NaDiaz …
Willie Randolph plans on “platooning” Xavier Nady and Victor Diaz — two righthanded hitters — in right field. Hmmmmm…. seems to go against Jeff Torborg’s doctoral thesis on the subject of the righty-lefty platoon.
The logisitics behind the plan is the fact that Nady kills lefthanded pitchers, but is abysmal against righthanders. Meanwhile, Diaz is fairly consistent — though not spectacular — against both.
As dumb as it sounds, to me it is a good thing, provided that Diaz stays on the big league roster all year, and gets his AB’s against righthanders. Putting Diaz up against the righties will make him a better hitter, in the long run, and it would seem that in 2007 he will inherit the left field position from Cliff Floyd. Hence, 2007 should be a breakout year for Vic.
Though I’m not too keen on waiting till ’07 to see Diaz explode — and I do believe he has the talent to be another Kevin Mitchell (with the bat, not with cats) — I would rather see him in a part-time job, facing big leaguers, than see him languish in AAA against substandard hurlers. Victor Diaz has no more to prove in the minor leagues, he only needs reps against ML-quality arms.
And who knows, with injuries and slumps, we may very well see both Nady and Diaz in the lineup together more often than we expect in 2006.