9 Questions: #5 The Role of Gamache
Let's get this out of the way first: I love Dan Gamache. How can you not? How can you not love a guy who came to Auburn from Rhode Island to Auburn to play baseball. Not as a scholarship player, but as a walk on. 2,000 Miles from home just to play baseball at a school we all know and love. Gamache got a bad rap last year for his defensive flaws. However, baseball is a team game. Gamache can be blamed for losses as much as Brooks Conrad can be blamed for Braves losses (baseball realist definition: not much). Dan Gamache has a role on the 2011 Auburn team and finding the role will be one of the keys for the Tigers.
To me, that role isn't in the field. Sure, Gamache's defense could have improved in the offseason but Gamache's biggest contribution is with his stick. The Numbers don't lie:
College Splits actually adjusts Gamache's average to .381 when you factor in Park/Schedule. More than his raw numbers for Gamache there are his 20 Multi-hit games and 10 Multi-RBI games. That puts him in the top half of Auburn's 2010 totals.
I know Gamache's glove is where he gets most of his flack but in reality Casey McElroy had more errors than Gamache, yet CMac is in no position to lose his starting spot.
With the addition of Zach Alvord to the infield it allows Dan Gamache to move in a more comfortable role as a DH. A DH at the back end of the lineup (preferably in the 5 or 6 hole) because it all comes down to this: Dan Gamache gets on base. He's patient. He has an easy swing. He has surprising power and solid speed. He's what you want in a DH. A guy who is designated to hit.
I'm sure Gamache will get some turns at 3B, but with Alvord and with the IF being so congested, it lets Gamache breath a bit easier as an everyday player. He does have limited experience at 1B but if the KP Experiment fails, then he's a good fallback.