John Jaso is on people’s minds. The Pirates have one heck of a muddled battle for the first base position.
Bill Brink at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette had a longer piece on the catcher turned designated hitter turned first baseman. Apparently’s he’s an avid traveler, outdoors man and budding theologian.
Certainly, Tim Williams, of PiratesProspects.com, has been praying at the temple of John Jaso. He called Jaso a “great hitter who does an outstanding job getting on base, and is one of the best in the game against right-handed pitching.”
With Pedro Alvarez gone at first base, all we know for sure is that John Jaso will be handling the platoon facing right handed pitching. But who will be the go-to versus lefties Jason Rogers or Michael Morse? It seems to be a safe opinion that both of them will start the season on the roster given the club’s investment in them. Plus, both Morse and Rogers can do some outfield. Even Jaso can do some outfield as well.
The First Base Contenders vs. Righties
Jason Rogers /.306/.372/.459/.831 (sample size is 85 MLB at-bats)
Michael Morse /.278/.332/.456/.787
The First Base Contenders vs. Lefties
Jason Rogers /.263/.341/.395/.736 (sample size is 76 MLB at-bats)
Michael Morse /.273/.334/.472/.808
Of course, it’s not new information that Jaso is terrible against left handed pitching. The bad news seems to be for guys like Jake Goebbert and Matt Joyce – they will have a hard time making the club – a conclusion that Williams correctly points out in his article.
One of the challenges of having so many players that can do so many different things is that your sample sizes shrink, guys that deserve a full time opportunity miss it, and you get to a way of doing business that could do take someone like Jason Rogers out of the mix – or even a more proven commodity like Michael Morse – and replace it with something demotivating and demoralizing to all of the players at hand.