Up through July, the lineup had five mainstays. It appears that Brad Miller is no longer among that group for now, but that doesn’t help us evaluate very much of the difference between the prior months and July because he was starting regularly until July 24.
Anyway, here’s the percentage of team plate appearances for those five:
The bulk of the variation, obviously, occurs with the other spots. Peaks (over 7%) are in red. Guys whose percentage went up by more than 2% in July are in blue:
From which we learn:
- James Jones and Endy Chavez pop up during May and June, but they both had significant roles in both June and July, so if we’re looking for the difference between those months, it’s not because they were getting more plate appearances.
- Michael Saunders and Justin Smoak were out (and/or demoted, in Smoak’s case) for most of both months, so their playing time is immaterial in a July-June comparison too.
- Chris Taylor took PAs away from Miller, and Jesus Sucre from John Buck, but those aren’t huge amounts of the total.
- The main difference in terms of plate appearances was that Corey Hart and Kendrys Morales showed up and took away pretty much all of Cole Gillespie‘s PAs, as well as some from Willie Bloomquist, Stefen Romero and also Buck and Mike Zunino. Plus Logan Morrison took over a slice that probably would have gone to Smoak.
But wait! Wasn’t getting Gillespie out of the lineup and diminishing the role of Bloomie and Romero supposed to be a good thing? Especially with two veterans with solid bats taking their place?
Well, to morph, merge and paraphrase the last two governors of Texas: Mission Accomplished … Oops.
But that’s not the whole story either.