Sometimes the A’s hear words of praise for their willingness to use a platoon. Just as often the words are of scorn.
Oakland has made the platoon thing work, however, particularly at catcher where John Jaso and Derek Norris have formed a 1-2 punch that has helped the A’s put together an offense that has scored 187 runs (heading into Monday), the second-best total in the American League.
It’s no stretch to say that the A’s have gotten more mileage from their catchers than any team in the American League. Together Jaso and Norris have combined for a .338 average, a .419 on-base percentage, a .507 slugging percentage and a .927 OPS (on-base plus slugging).
The batting average among all team’s catchers is the best in the AL by 27 points. The on-base percentage is best by 46 points. The slugging percentage is best by 13 points. And the OPS is best by 80 points.
Norris, who has 90 plate trips, and Jaso, who has 94, have five homers and 22 RBIs between them in their starts.
The number of plate trips is closer to 50-50 than one would expect in a strict platoon because Norris’ season so far (.384, four homers, 19 RBIs) has earned him seven starts against right-handed pitchers lineups that were out of the norm because manager Bob Melvin liked the matchups. Jaso’s numbers (.288, three homers, eight RBIs) aren’t as good, but they are above the league norm even so.