Results 1 to 6 of 6

Thread: The Need For Left Handed Relief Pitching

      
  1. #1
    Kipper's Avatar
    Status : Kipper is offline
    Rank : Legend
    Join Date : Oct 8, 2009
    Posts : 67,323
    Threads : 1817
    Last Online : Apr-25-2017 @ 08:36 PM
    Sports Logo Sports Logo Sports Logo Sports Logo Sports Logo Sports Logo

    Default The Need For Left Handed Relief Pitching

    Dave3BA from OnlyBucs.net did this really strong write up and research on left handed relief pitching importance in the pen from a middle view going in....

    --------------------

    One side of the argument says that we need left-handed relievers simply to have left-handed relievers. The posters on this side of the argument seem to believe that we need at least 2, some think we'd be best off with 3 lefty's in the pen. The obvious assumption of this argument is to help out against left handed hitters.

    The other side of this says that a good reliever should be able to get both right-handed batters and left-handed batters out. In other words, there's no point in having two or three guys in your bullpen that are no good against close to 70% of the batters (right-handed hitters).

    So to try to sort this out, I took a look at the other teams in our division, the NL Central, and the make-up of their most-likely starting position players. I then looked at how their left-handed hitters fare against left-handed pitching. The results are below:

    Houston Astros
    L. Berkman (Switch hitter) - Hits .310/.425/.599 vs. RHP, .266/.370/.422 vs. LHP. 1 HR/15 AB vs. RHP, 1 HR/31 AB vs. LHP.
    K. Matsui (Switch hitter) - Hits .272/.323/.388 vs. RHP, .270/.332/.385 vs. LHP. 1 HR/73 AB vs. RHP, 1 HR/ 61 AB vs. LHP.
    M. Bourn (Left) - Hits .270/.339/.359 vs. RHP, .234/.288/.318 vs. LHP. 1 HR/152 AB vs. RHP, 1 HR/95 AB vs. LHP.

    Analysis: On most given nights, the Astros will employ a lineup with only one regular left-handed hitter. That hitter, Michael Bourn is not much of a power threat, but he does have a large split as you can see. The obvious worry here is Berkman. He has a pretty distinct split, and it would seem a LOOGY would be beneficial against him. Overall, I'd say this team doesn't scare you for lack of left handed pitching. Berkman can do damage, but the chances he comes up in the necessary situation would allow the Pirates to save Lopez for that situation, without really having to worry much about the rest of the Houston lineup.

    Milwaukee Brewers
    G. Zaun (Switch hitter) - Hits .248/.340/.393 vs. RHP, .262/.360/.370 vs. LHP. 1 HR/36 AB vs. RHP, 1 HR/64 AB vs. LHP.
    P. Fielder (Left) - Hits .294/.399/.576 vs. RHP, .260/.337/.493 vs. LHP. 1 HR/14 AB vs. RHP, 1 HR/17 AB vs. LHP.
    F. Lopez (Switch hitter) - Hits .267/.342/.401 vs. RHP, .275/.330/.397 vs. LHP. 1 HR/48 AB vs. RHP, 1 HR/47 AB vs. LHP.

    Analysis: As with the Astros, the Brewers will normally send out a lineup card with only one strictly left handed hitter. Zaun and Lopez don't have much of a platoon split at all, and neither of them are a homerun threat to begin with. Fielder is the only one to worry about, and though he is like Berkman in that they both hit right-handed pitching better than left, Fielder is not nearly as pronounced as Berkman, and Fielder hits strictly left-handed. Fielder also offsets the LOOGY argument because he is such a good clutch hitter against left-handed pitching. Again, it looks as if the Pirates would be ok with saving Lopez to pitch to Fielder if the need arose.

    St. Louis Cardinals
    S. Schumaker (Left) - Hits .323/.376/.442 vs. RHP, .205/.271/.220 vs. LHP. 1 HR/72 AB vs. RHP, has never hit a HR vs. LHP in 254 AB.
    C. Rasmus (Left) - Hits .277/.332/.451 vs. RHP, .160/.219/.255 vs. LHP. 1 HR/28 AB vs. RHP, 1 HR/35 AB vs. LHP.

    Analysis: After seeing this, it looks like the Cardinals have something to think about. They desperately need some left-handed hitting. In a normal lineup, Schumaker will not be playing against a left-handed pitcher, and Rasmus definitely needs to improve. I'm confident Rasmus will, the stats above are from just his first full MLB season. Considering Rasmus and Schumaker were normally hitting first and second in the Cardinal lineup (Rasmus normally bats 2nd, and though he hit there last year, eventually the Cardinals will want to drop him to 5th or 6th), you again could conceivably get away with saving Lopez for a situation in which Schumaker and Rasmus were due up, without worrying about the rest of the lineup.

    Chicago Cubs
    K. Fukodome (Left) - Hits .262/.372/.417 vs. RHP, .242/.343/.324 vs. LHP. 1 HR/41 AB vs. RHP, 1 HR in 182 AB vs. LHP.

    Analysis: Again, the Cubs don't have anybody that scares you from the left side. Fukodome has a moderate split, but he's not much of a threat to begin with. The Cubs would appear to be another team that could use some left handed bats.

    Cincinnati Reds
    J. Votto (Left) - Hits .311/.394/.551 vs. RHP, .306/.375/.500 vs. LHP. 1 HR/19 AB vs. RHP, 1 HR/23 AB vs. LHP.
    C. Dickerson (Left) - Hits .288/.387/.458 vs. RHP, .259/.362/.345 vs. LHP. 1 HR/37 AB vs. RHP, has never hit a HR vs. LHP in 58 AB.
    J. Bruce (Left) - Hits .259/.320/.528 vs. RHP, .198/.285/.312 vs. LHP. 1 HR/14 AB vs. RHP, 1 HR/47 AB vs. LHP.

    Analysis: The Reds look to be the first team with some threat to a team without much LHP in the pen. Dickerson, who is a leadoff type hitter has a moderate platoon split (however not many MLB at bats with only 357 so far), while Bruce has a very pronounced split in his young career. Votto crushes anybody he faces, so you're just going to have to deal with him getting his hits. Even so, Dickerson is extremely inexperienced, and Bruce's troubles have been well documented all the way around.

    Overall, the NL Central is not a deadly left-handed hitting division by any stretch. After looking at all this, and the Pirate reliever splits, which favor RH hitters slightly overall, I'm not surprised getting another left handed pitcher isn't a priority for Huntington. It wouldn't hurt, obviously, but he just might be right in waiting until Bloom or Moskos show they are ready in AAA.

    A couple more things to think about. The likelihood that the Pirates are in a close game where they need to use a LOOGY over the last few seasons has been relatively small. The likelihood they arrive in a situation where a left handed pitcher is necessary twice in a game is even lower, obviously. Also, this is all assuming the rest of the league is similar, however I should caution it's likely most teams have more threat from the left side than the NL Central does. Since the Pirates play a ton of games against teams from their own division (the central has more teams in it than the other divisions), the statistics would say having one left handed reliever with good splits against left handed hitters is all that's necessary.

    Count me in on the side that says we're ok with Lopez as our only sure-fire lefty going into Spring Training.

  2. #2
    Kipper's Avatar
    Status : Kipper is offline
    Rank : Legend
    Join Date : Oct 8, 2009
    Posts : 67,323
    Threads : 1817
    Last Online : Apr-25-2017 @ 08:36 PM
    Sports Logo Sports Logo Sports Logo Sports Logo Sports Logo Sports Logo

    Default Re: The Need For Left Handed Relief Pitching

    the only thing I'll suggest that wasn't really taken into account and I just brought this up the other day with the signing of Donnelly is that LH/RH pitchers doesn't matter as much as whether a guy can get out specific batters.

    For instance, the reasoning for having a left handed pitcher in the BP is to get lefties out. If there's a righty that can out lefties out at a similar split as a lefty then, there's not a a difference really IMO. The end objective is solved - we have a pitcher that can get a specific batter out if need be.

    That's what I liked about this Donnelly signing. He's right handed lefty specialist type Even someone like Javier Lopez hasn't really been a loogy over his career, he's fluctuated, but when he's on, he can get either out.

    I think, like Dave3BA at OBN thinks, we are fine with guys that can face lefties out of our BP. I'm personally more concerned about long relief guys.

  3. #3
    indybucfan's Avatar
    Status : indybucfan is offline
    Rank : Major Leaguer
    Join Date : Oct 16, 2009
    Posts : 1,226
    Threads : 45
    Last Online : Feb-11-2015 @ 07:42 AM
    Sports Logo Sports Logo Sports Logo Sports Logo Sports Logo Sports Logo

    Default Re: The Need For Left Handed Relief Pitching

    I wouldn't mind a second lefty in the bullpen, but only if it falls within the best 11 pitchers available. A third would be overkill.

  4. #4
    jnn123's Avatar
    Status : jnn123 is offline
    Rank : Superstar
    Join Date : Oct 17, 2009
    Posts : 2,954
    Threads : 197
    Last Online : Nov-10-2013 @ 11:50 AM

    Default Re: The Need For Left Handed Relief Pitching

    Quote Originally Posted by Kipper View Post
    This quote is hidden because you are ignoring this member. Show Quote
    the only thing I'll suggest that wasn't really taken into account and I just brought this up the other day with the signing of Donnelly is that LH/RH pitchers doesn't matter as much as whether a guy can get out specific batters.

    For instance, the reasoning for having a left handed pitcher in the BP is to get lefties out. If there's a righty that can out lefties out at a similar split as a lefty then, there's not a a difference really IMO. The end objective is solved - we have a pitcher that can get a specific batter out if need be.

    That's what I liked about this Donnelly signing. He's right handed lefty specialist type Even someone like Javier Lopez hasn't really been a loogy over his career, he's fluctuated, but when he's on, he can get either out.
    The thing with Donnelly is that he doesn't even have a reverse platoon split, he's very good against lefties, but he's actually even better against righties. He's just a guy you can throw out there against anyone pretty much.

  5. #5
    Kipper's Avatar
    Status : Kipper is offline
    Rank : Legend
    Join Date : Oct 8, 2009
    Posts : 67,323
    Threads : 1817
    Last Online : Apr-25-2017 @ 08:36 PM
    Sports Logo Sports Logo Sports Logo Sports Logo Sports Logo Sports Logo

    Default Re: The Need For Left Handed Relief Pitching

    Quote Originally Posted by jnn123 View Post
    This quote is hidden because you are ignoring this member. Show Quote
    The thing with Donnelly is that he doesn't even have a reverse platoon split, he's very good against lefties, but he's actually even better against righties. He's just a guy you can throw out there against anyone pretty much.
    To an extent. Going back yearly to 2002, he's been more dominant against lefties in most of those seasons but the bottom line is that he's very good at getting both out, which is important.

    Another thing something like this does, is (I think Dave3BA mentioned it), it puts less emphasis for a coach that has very little in game strategical prowess like Russell to work matchups. when you have relievers that are "balanced", now you're not worrying about matchups as much but you also don't have to worry about over working a specific pitcher as well, with more rounded options.

    I'm still working on that lefty/righty thing I promised a week or so ago

  6. #6
    wvkeeper's Avatar
    Status : wvkeeper is offline
    Rank : Major Leaguer
    Join Date : Oct 17, 2009
    Location : Right There
    Posts : 1,367
    Threads : 158
    Last Online : Nov-03-2016 @ 07:14 AM
    Sports Logo Sports Logo Sports Logo Sports Logo Sports Logo Sports Logo

    Default Re: The Need For Left Handed Relief Pitching

    Donnelly easily replaces Grabow.

Quick Reply Quick Reply

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Members who have read this thread: 0

There are no members to list at the moment.

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •