Travis Ishikawa is an upgrade at first whether you believe it or not.
I know that the overall sentiment is that Huntington didn’t do enough over the offseason to shore up first base. And you’d be right. Although they did try, the fact is that they fell short. Plain and simple.
But Travis Ishikawa is not going to be dead weight out there, mark my words. Not only that, but in some areas he is a clear cut upgrade from last year’s platoon of Garret Jones.
Don’t believe me? Let’s go to the chalk board.
Let’s compare Garrett Jones’ number last year against right handed pitching to Travis Ishikawa’s career stats against RHP and let’s see what we can anticipate.
.241 BA, .295 OBP, .435 slug, and a .730 OPS.
.262 BA, .329 OBP, .408 slug, and .737 OPS.
Now, let’s have even more fun. Let’s compare their Spring Training numbers so far against rightys!
45 AB’s .214 BA, .250 OBP, .429 slug, .679 OPS, 3 HR
25 AB’s, .320 BA, .414 OBP, .680 slug, 1.094 OPS, 3 HR
I’m no expert, but one of these two is clearly swinging the bat better. I know, I know, it’s spring training, but just thought I’d share.
While you’re not going to get 15 Home Runs from Travis Ishikawa, which is what Garret hit last year, you’re going to get quality-at-bats. And more of them.
There is at least a handful of times I can remember GI Jones being up to bat last year with bases loaded, or 2nd and 3rd two outs, etc and he’s come up completely empty.
Expect better at bats from Travis Ishikawa. Better pitch selection, more patience, less strikeouts, and some real clutch hits. He will surprise you, but don’t say I didn’t tell you so.
And for those that would say that Justin Morneau is better than Travis Ishikawa against right handers, (I’m not rolling my eyes, really), you would be right. But the career numbers are much closer than you would think, I promise you.
So granted Gaby will most likely have all the chances in the world to play 75% of the time this year. Should he falter against right handers again, all is not lost. In fact, to the contrary, we are in better shape than we were a year ago.
Believe it or not.
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