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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