Platoon of Davis, Sanchez working wonders

Platoon of Davis, Sanchez working wonders

LOS ANGELES -- Baseball managers always say that veteran players who've been on the stage, and don't obsess over playing time, make the best platoon partners.

The Bucs' Clint Hurdle is seeing the proof of that theory in Ike Davis and Gaby Sanchez, who are gang-tackling one of the team's biggest preseason issues.

Since general manager Neal Huntington got his man in an April 18 deal with the Mets, Davis has hit .284, with an on-base percentage of .376. Sanchez, with Hurdle better able to pick his spots, has hit .305 across the same stretch. Together, they have hit .293 in the last 36 games.

"I love the way these two guys have complemented each other," Hurdle said. "Their production is playing well. They have really professional numbers. And there's professional respect on both sides, and that always helps in this type of tandem, when they're pulling for each other. They understand the work conditions of the platoon.

"I just like the way they fit in the middle of the lineup; there is some power, but also the ability to see pitches and take a walk. We had it for a while last year, when Garrett [Jones] and Gaby were switching out in the cleanup spot."

With the Bucs facing so few left-handed starters -- they are scheduled to see only their fifth of the season Saturday, with Hyun-Jin Ryu set to start for the Dodgers -- Davis has obviously gotten the bulk of the starts at the position. And even that has been a strength: Sanchez has headlined the Bucs' top-ranked pinch-hitting corps, batting .368 with four RBIs off the bench.

Tom Singer is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog Change for a Nickel. He can also be found on Twitter @Tom_Singer. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.