Maggs and Clete to platoon
The latest technique to milk productivity from Magglio Ordonez is to platoon him and only give him starts against left handers. Clete Thomas will form the other side of the platoon which means he’ll get the bulk of the starts, especially with the team facing more right handers.
For his career, Ordonez has hit lefties about 12% better than righties (in terms of OPS). That differential is more pronounced this year with an 825 OPS against southpaws versus 611 against right handers. So if there is any advantage Leyland can give to Ordonez, it is probably a lefty only diet.
But where this gets really interesting of course is the impact on the vesting option. As of tonight, Ordonez is 166 plate appearances shy of his vesting option. Through the first 84 games the Tigers have faced 27 lefty starters. At the same rate the Tigers would face 25 more lefty starters this season, and with about 4 PA’s per start Ordonez would come up 60-70 plate appearances short of the vesting option. That is significant enough to not be conspicuous or grievance-able, especially if Thomas or a bat to be named later hits well enough against righties.
As for Ordonez’s take on the situation, it certainly is professional:
“When I produce, I play,” he said.