Interesting news out of Spring Training on Tuesday, as Tom Haudricourt reports that Geoff Jenkins wants no part of a platoon this season. Jenkins said that he would rather be traded than face any significant cut in playing time.
I suspect that most fans will react to this news negatively and say that Jenkins has outstayed his welcome, but it’s hard to blame him for feeling this way. He’s basically in a contract year, (the Brewers have a $9 million option that they almost surely won’t pick up next season) and he wants enough playing time to earn one last sizable contract.
There are a couple things wrong here though. One is that Jenkins thinks he’s better than he is.
“It was just one of those years,” he said. “Sometimes you can’t explain why things happen. For eight years, I hit them(lefties), and for one I didn’t. I’ll take that ratio. Unfortunately, the one I didn’t was last year, so that’s why everyone’s all of a sudden, ‘Let’s platoon.”
Jenkins hit .133 against left-handers last year, which he would have to admit himself is terrible. He points to his career numbers, but he has hit .256 in his career against lefties, which isn’t a whole lot to brag about either. I’d be willing to bet that Jenkins wouldn’t be nearly as bad against lefties again this year, but I’d still choose to platoon him with Kevin Mench or Brady Clark.
Another thing that Jenkins might not be considering is that he would still get the vast majority of at-bats in such an arrangement, as left-handed hitters always get the majority of ABs. Finally, there is no guarantee that another team would not platoon Jenkins after a trade as well.
The bottom line is that I’d prefer that the Brewers hold on to Jenkins if they can. I can definitely see a big year from him. If he becomes too much of a distraction, Gabe Gross would take his place, but I’m guessing this story will be forgotten in a couple months.