No Hope for Gotay
It’s official: Ruben Gotay will not see regular playing time this year — at least, not unless a lot of people go down with injuries and yellow fever.
Willie confirmed this nonsensical decision in an interview with Joe Benigno on WFAN on Friday afternoon (yes, I tune into the FAN, but because it’s the only place to hear Willie). Listen to it to hear the nonsense for yourself, but the most glaring comments were in regard to MetsToday’s favorite man-crush, Ruben Gotay.
Beningo asked Randolph specifically: “What about Ruben Gotay … ?”
“Gotay is better from the left side … and that plays away from us because that’s also Valentin’s best side … Gotay when you’re facing lefthanded pitchers, Easley’s the guy that can give you more pop from the right side … I’ll mix him in, he’s gonna get a start here and there, but he’s not gonna make much of a difference, he’s really a guy that’s help us off the bench right now, and if we need to spot some guy we’ll put him in but he’s not gonna get any extended time right now, so why you try to run him out there if you’re trying to get Valentin going?”
Brilliant. Awesome. Just … friggin’ … great.
So, Gotay is plastered to the bench, at least until Moises or Endy returns, at which point he’ll likely get a one-way ticket to N’Awlins.
As Randolph stated, Damion Easley offers more pop from the right side of the plate, especially against lefthanders. Indeed, Easley is hitting .322 with 4 homers in 59 ABs this year against lefties (he’s also struck out 15 times — or once for every four at-bats). And Gotay is hitting a meager .125 against lefties. But, uh, that’s based on EIGHT at-bats. Kind of a small sample, dontcha think?
And as far as Valentin goes, he’s hitting much better from the right side this year — .295 in 44 ABs, as opposed to .230 from the left side. That said, why not, against lefties, play Valentin at 2B, Easley in left, and against righties, play Gotay at second and shove Valentin in left to “get him going” ? Oh that’s right — Gotay’s not one of Willie’s “guys”, so that idea won’t play.
Look, I’m all for getting Valentin going — I believe he reinvented his career last season, and is an excellent all-around ballplayer. But he doesn’t have the range to play 2B with that bum knee, and he’s not turning the DP too well either. As long as left field is a black hole, and you have Gotay hitting the crap out of the ball, why not shuffle all three of them between second base and leftfield? Why must Gotay — the best of the three all-around — be the one left out?
It’s really a strange perception that Randolph has, considering that Gotay is in many ways very similar to Willie as a ballplayer. For those who didn’t see him play, Willie was a solid #2 hitter, a guy who took a lot of pitches, had good strike zone knowledge and discipline, drew walks, handled the bat well, was excellent as a bunter and with executing the hit-and-run, occasionally drove a line drive into the gap, had above-average speed and ran the bases well, and was solid if unspectacular in the field — good range, strong arm, good pivot on the DP. If that’s not Gotay in a nutshell, I don’t know what is. Maybe Willie has some strange psychological issue with Gotay’s similarity to himself?
In any case, it appears that it will take a reinjury by Valentin, an injury to Easley, and probably flu symptoms for both Anderson Hernandez and David Newhan before we see Gotay start two games in a row.
There’s always next year.