So says this article at SI, anyway.
For ballplayers, the gig economy divides work among more players, which means less pay for players. A record 1,270 players appeared in major league games last year. That’s a 15.8% increase in jobs since 1998, the first season with 30 teams. Yet the average salary went down last year for the first time since 2004—while revenues again went up.
The Dodgers are an example, says the author:
Take Los Angeles outfielder Joc Pederson, 26, as an example. Pederson hits 58 points lower against lefthanded pitchers than righthanders, so he has been given a gig job. Had he played outfield for the Dodgers in the 1960s, as Willie Davis did, Pederson would have been a full-time player. Davis hit 42 points worse against lefties than righties at the same age as Peterson. Yet by age 26, Davis had five seasons with 550 or more plate appearances. Pederson has only one such season.
It’s easier for the Dodgers to give at-bats against lefties to somebody else than to commit to sticking with Pederson in hopes that he improves on his career .181 average against lefties.