All through the offseason, speculation from fans and the media had resulted in talks of a platoon situation at first base with Gaby Sanchez, with Andrew Lambo being the platoon partner. That was even the talk as the Pittsburgh Pirates reported to Bradenton several days ago, but now it seems that Pirates’ Manager, Clint Hurdle could have a difficult decision on his hands.
The reason the decision becomes difficult is due to the fact that the Pirates created some additional options for themselves in the off-season with Matt Hague and the signing of Chris McGuiness, and those options are producing at a high rate so far this Spring.
Hague, a 28-year-old, has gone 3-for-6 this Spring with a triple-slash of .500/.571/.500. Most recently with AAA Indianapolis, Hague posted a .385 average with eight homers in 142 games. He even saw some action with the Bucs in 2013, appearing in 30 games, hitting .229 in 70 at-bats with the team. The only problem with Hague is that he seems to struggle, at least statistically, against right-handed pitching (of course, we are working with a small data set).
McGuiness has been doing some serious raking so far this Spring in his own right, going 4-for-5 with a double and RBI. From a platoon consideration, McGuiness, a left-handed hitting first baseman, may be a good fit with Gaby Sanchez, as the latter would start against left-handed pitchers. This would leave the possibility for McGuiness to split some time against righties with Sanchez.
As for Lambo, he’s not off to the start he had hoped for all Winter, as he’s only 1-for-7 so far this Spring. In the end, Lambo is probably going to win, but only for the simple fact that he can also spend some time in the outfield. In any case, Lambo is going to need to start hitting if he wants any chance of staying with the big club into May and beyond.
Vinny Gala is a Pittsburgh Pirates writer for Rant Sports. Follow him on Twitter @VinnyGala.