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Deep League Thoughts: Jefry Marte, the light half of the platoon

Sure, you'd rather be the left-handed hitter who mashes righties, but the opposite side can still be helpful in the right situation.

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You'd always rather be David Murphy than Ryan Raburn. Put the two of them together and you have one heck of a complete offensive player, but that's because Murphy, the lefty, can hit righties, while Raburn, the righty, can hit lefties.

The mirror of the two is pretty striking, frankly. Murphy has an .807 career OPS against righties and a .659 against lefties. Raburn has an .810 against lefties, .697 against righties. One has a strength and a weakness; the other has the reciprocal.

Only ... the salaries. Raburn is a year older than Murphy, yet has just reached $10,000,000 in career earnings this year, despite having the versatility to at least fake playing almost every position on the diamond. Murphy is truly outfield only, but his $6 million 2015 salary pushes him over $20,000,000 in career earnings. On top of that, Murphy is due to be paid more than twice as much as Raburn in 2016.

See, if you can hit righties but not lefties, you're a regular player who has a ready-made day off once every few days. But if you can hit lefties but not righties, you're a bench player. You're the weak half of the platoon. You're a pinch-hitter who they look to replace if the starter gets hurt. Both guys are big-leaguers, and bully for that, but yeah, you'd always rather be Murphy than Raburn.

Only, in fantasy, sometimes you need your Raburns. Or, more to today's point, sometimes you need Jefry Marte.

The Tigers called Marte up when Miguel Cabrera got hurt. He's just past his 24th birthday, and there's an obvious reason he doesn't fit in the mold of all the uber-prospects we've seen come up already this season: .697. That's his career minor-league OPS against right-handed pitchers. Against southpaws, Marte has performed to the tune of a 1.120 OPS.

Detroit isn't slated to face another left-handed starter before the All-Star break. Coming out of the break, pitching rotations are so up in the air that projecting who the Tigers might face when is a fool's errand. But there will be left-handers in the team's future.

If you're in a normal-sized league, or a league with weekly lineups, Marte, 1-percent owned in Yahoo! leagues, is a complete no-go, even with dual eligibility at first and third base. But if you get deeper, more flexible. AL-only league. Daily lineup moves. The ability to say "Hey, they're facing a left-hander, let's do this."

It's got to be a deep league to utilize Jefry Marte. But hey, I'm writing deep league advice. And in those super-deep leagues, a 1.120 OPS against a certain type of pitcher (sure, correcting for the jump to the big leagues) is a worthwhile investment. A short-term investment, granted — Miguel Cabrera is coming back — but an investment is an investment, and in leagues of that depth, you take any advantage you can get.