Gabe Of The Month

Everyone knows the Rays can hit. Carlos Pena, Evan Longoria, Ben Zobrist, B.J. Upton, Carl Crawford… their offense is strong and deep. However, over the last month or so, their best hitters have been two guys named Gabe.

When Gabe Kapler was signed as a free agent over the winter to be Gabe Gross‘ platoon partner, the fellows over at DRaysBay gave the arrangement the nickname “Gabe Of The Day”. It didn’t start off so well, with a .321 wOBA between them in April representing a rather disappointing performance from Gabe Squared. As such, they lost playing time to Ben Zobrist, who was busting out in a big way (and hasn’t stopped since). However, when Akinori Iwamura‘s injury forced Zobrist back to the infield, the Gabes responded in a big way.

Here are their June performances:

Gross: 68 PA, .333/.441/.491, .411 wOBA
Kapler: 32 PA, .444/.500/1.148, .632 wOBA

The Gabe Of The Day platoon put up a .482 wOBA in June, while playing their usual excellent defense in the outfield. For comparison, Albert Pujols has a .478 wOBA on the season.

On the season, Gross and Kapler have combined for +2.3 wins so far this year. If we do the ever so popular morphing thing and treat them as one player (Grapler?), that would rank them 5th in baseball among right fielders in win value, behind Justin Upton, Ichiro, Nelson Cruz, and Hunter Pence. Not bad company for a couple of platoon outfielders picked up on the cheap.

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Dave is a co-founder of and contributes to the Wall Street Journal.

11 Responses to “Gabe Of The Month”

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  1. Tommy R says:

    Platoons are nice especially since their combined cost is less than $2.5 million.

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  2. Tom B says:

    you forgot to mention that kapler has the most embarrassing strikeout this season :)

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  3. JH says:

    As amazing as the Rays’ front office has been with moves like the Gabes (which I was against at the time – Matt Joyce fan), I’ll never understand Jason Hammel for Aneury Rodriguez. Hammel was pretty clearly going to turn into at least a 5th starter, and Rodriguez is intriguing, but righties sitting 88-91 with so-so breaking stuff and no third pitch grow on trees. Hammel’s not an impact guy, but trading a valuable innings-eater for a C-level prospect is a bit of a stain on Friedman’s otherwise awesome record.

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    • Chris says:

      Hammel was out of options if I remember correctly and they were set with Niemann as the fifth starter. Better to trade him for a prospect with some potential instead of DFAing him and losing him for nothing.

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  4. Tommy R says:

    The Hammel choice was between Hammel and Niemann. Rather than just DFA Hammel for nothing he took a shot on a live arm. Hammel has had a nice start for Colorado, but where was his future in Tampa Bay? Heck, Niemann doesn’t even have much of a future with Davis coming soon.

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  5. rwperu34 says:

    I prefer Krapler.

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  6. Jon says:

    Yay! Platoons are fun!

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  7. ace and gary says:

    it’s the Ambigously Gabe Duo

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  8. Wrighteous says:

    kaplers a juicer

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