With Scott Kazmir joining some combination of Clayton Kershaw, Hyun-jin Ryu, Brett Anderson and Alex Wood (along with righty Kenta Maeda), the Dodgers’ rotation is strongly left-handed, MLB.com’s Tracy Ringolsby notes. Historically, Ringolsby argues, there’s been little evidence that relying heavily on left-handed starters is a disadvantage. He notes that the 1965 Dodgers, for example, won the World Series with a team that got 112 starts from lefties. That’s not to say that having a lefty-heavy rotation creates an obvious advantage either, however — the 2004 Royals started lefties 108 times and lost 104 games that season. Here are more quick notes from around the game.
- The Tigers’ lineup and bench, meanwhile, are heavily right-handed, but they’re designed that way on in order to give Brad Ausmus plenty of late-inning flexibility, Anthony Fenech of the Detroit Free Press writes. Many of the Tigers’ key offensive players (like Miguel Cabrera, J.D. Martinez and Ian Kinsler, all of them righties who hit righties very well last year) are not candidates to be lifted for a pinch-hitter, regardless of the handedness of the pitcher. In fact, the only regular who might be a candidate to be lifted is lefty Anthony Gose, who could be removed if a left-handed reliever is on the hill. That means the Tigers simply don’t need many lefty hitters.
- Indians manager Terry Francona did not want the team to lose any of its best starting pitching, and the team isn’t close to a significant deal to add a hitter, writes Terry Pluto of the Plain Dealer. They will, however, continue to look for relievers. Pluto also notes that the Indians preferred Mike Napoli (with whom they recently agreed to terms) at first base rather than fellow free agent Justin Morneau because Napoli is right-handed.
Sure, the Tigers have 4 righties that hit RHP, but Castellanos, McCann, are two righties that will be in the lineup regularly that can’t hit RHP, while Gose, and T. Collins are both certainly candidates to be lifted for a PH late as well, unless Maybin starts, and he’s not a very good hitter.
Maybin actually hit righties, but couldn’t hit lefties last year. Kelly Johnson would have been a good fit, could have stepped in for Castellanos late, both offensively and defensively, plus can play 2B, Lf, and 1B. Would have been a better choice than Aviles.
The Tigers, like most teams, will have a 4 man bench: Aviles, Romine, Maybin, and Saltalamachia. Two right handers, a lefty, and a switch hitter. What are they talking about?
Romine and salty are switch hitters
You are correct sir. My mistake. My point remains the same.
Seems like the 4 man bench will be Aviles, Romine, Salty, and Collins with Maybin and Gose as starters in LF/CF. I realize that the Brewers are picking up some of the tab on Maybin, but they traded for and are paying him to be a starter.
Tigers are in a rough spot. Gose is mainly a defensive starter that is an average to weak hitting CF and does not come close to hitting like a LF Maybin is an average hitting CF but would be considered near average to weak hitting as a LF. Tigers basically traded to have 2 CF and no LF.
Tigers need 2 CF at Comerica. One of them needs to learn how to get on base.
I agree that the size of LF is close to a CF. The question is: How much offense are you willing to sacrifice to get a better defensive player to cover LF at Comerica.
8MM might have guaranteed a starting job once upon a time, but not today. Collins is the lefty half. He will get most of the ab’s. Your salary argument would have young players never earning a job. I am not excited by either Maybin or Collins, and especially not by the two of them platooning. Still hoping Span is healthy and gets signed by Detroit.
The only way Maybin is not a starter is if Detroit signs another FA to play the outfield. My logic is based on fact. Tigers traded Krol and Speier for a starter, not a bench bat. Young or old, ability and production will determine who starts.In this case, the fact that he is paid $8MM and was just traded for, does guarantee him a starting role to lose on this Tiger team. Maybin for his career hits RHP better than LHP, and will start the majority of the games until his production says otherwise.
I too would prefer Span if healthy. The problem then is we have 3 OF that are CF and bat like CF. At least Span would be a proven leadoff man,a big upgrade over Gose,and hits LH.
Charlie, I was wondering who do you think will get the boot from the rotation if anyone when Brandon McCarthy comes back from TJ surgery and what the opening day rotation would be? Would McCarthy go to the bullpen or will someone else go. Kershaw is set in stone. You have Ryu, Anderson, Maeda and Kazmir and Wood to start off the season. I’m thinking:
Wood goes to pen mainly because he’s getting paid the least and the youngest. Dangling him for a solid bullpen piece or two could be in the fold as well.
Maybin had his ups and downs last year, basic decent to solid the first half, and regrettably replaceable the 2nd…It depends on which one you get truthfully…
I’m not sure how having a right handed lineup gives you more versatility, even if they can hit pitching from both sides. If you have an equal amount of lefty’s that can also hit pitching from both sides, how is that less flexible?
It sounds like spinning the story to fit the narrative.
Most teams have right handed closers. Chapman’s trade just put two of the lefty closers on the same team. Perkins for the Twins. I believe that’s it. Lefties on the bench can be valuable.
The point with matchups regarding handedness is that hitters always tend to see the ball coming from the pitcher longer if they are hitting from the same side as the pitcher delivers. So pitchers who “hide the ball” longer are value at a premium, because it is perceived their pitches are more difficult to pick up for all hitters.
The Adrian Beltre
Well, it’s because righties that can hit righties are pretty much everyday players, especially considering that almost all righties hit southpaws even better. Blue Jays this season is a great example of many everyday RH hitters. My Rangers, for example, really only have Beltre in that capacity(though Andrus and Deshields play everyday as well). Lefties, on the other hand, can still have a platoon issue against southpaws. The good ones can hit both or at least still have a decent OBP. Choo and Fielder still kept a decent OBP even though their power numbers dropped against southpaws(Choo more than Fielder), thank goodness neither desperately needs a platoon partner yet. But the point being made is that if you are an everyday RH player, your numbers get better against southpaws, whereas a lefty’s numbers will usually get worse losing the platoon advantage. So if your righties can hit righties, good deal.
I know, but that wasn’t my point. My point was on a hypothetical roster:
If you have a righty who can hit pitchers of both handedness
You have a lefty who can hit pitchers of both handedness,
They are both the same. One doesn’t give more “flexibility” than the other since we aren’t talking about players with platoon splits.
I may be in the minority but I think that the whole righty vs. lefty match up thing is overblown in most cases. I would wager that many hitters only struggle against certain handed pitchers because they are not given enough opportunities to improve against them. And vice versa.
Most guys get enough chances in the minors. If they can’t do it there it’s highly unlikely that they can do it in the minors. Hitting the ball to the opposite field is a skill that some guys depending on their stroke or learning ability will never learn.
I meant in the majors.
Watch Lonnie Chisenhall bat and you may change your mind. The dude is lost with lefties. This s why Ryan Rayburn got so many at bats. Ask the white sox fan, with all their lefties, they would rather face Chisenhall than Rayburn every at bat.
The Adrian Beltre
Platoon splits are the reason why guys like Justin Ruggiano, Ryan Raburn, and Jeff Baker were on big-league rosters last season. A Ethier/Ruggiano platoon made for one pretty good outfielder at the end of last season, and Moreland/Napoli was good(offensively and defensive) as well. I guarantee you both teams would have loved to have that platoon partner the whole season. You just see the ball better from the opposite side, which is why switch hitters bat opposite-handed from the pitcher(aside from the occasional switch hitter who hits knucklers same-handed).
Why is it that the “Lefty – Lefty” matchup seems to cause more problems than the “Righty – Righty” matchup? Wouldn’t that support the idea that there are fewer opportunities to perfect the lefty – lefty matchup throughout the whole process of “becoming a baseball player”…??? It sure does make sense…..
“He notes that the 1965 Dodgers, for example, won the World Series with a team that got 112 starts from lefties. That’s not to say that having a lefty-heavy rotation creates an obvious advantage either, however — the 2004 Royals started lefties 108 times and lost 104 games that season.”
Is there any chance that the abilities of the individual pitchers involved makes a difference?
Perish the thought. I wasn’t like having Drysdale in that ’65 Dodgers rotation made any difference.
The White Sox are looking at 4 LHP and one RHP for their rotation this upcoming season.
The Dodgers might set a record for geekiest front office ever, starting with this lefty trend. Since there are supposed scientific links between left-handedness and geekiness, and the Dodgers’front office is extremely geeky, would that mean their front office is also predominantly lefty, including AF? And these other trends:
The Dodgers’ manager is left-handed.
Their pitching coach is left-handed.
Which probably also means they came with USB drives for plugging in of thumb drives loaded with GB of sabermetric data.
More importantly, will be they changing sides of the credit card readers for those who swipe left-handed, and if two left-handed people have an argument, can either ever be right?
This Tiger article is the worst piece of PR spin I have read in a long time.If both the lineup AND bench are heavily right handed, how does that give you any flexibility and why would you “design” it that way? All last year management kept saying that “V-Mart stays in the 4 spot to have a R-L-R setup in the middle of the order. We need another lefty bat to have a more balanced line up.”
Now this winter they trade for a RHH center fielder (that may play LF), RHH bench piece in Aviles, and a switch hitting catcher with a “just average” lifetime .251/.325/.447/.772 slash line against RHP.
Not sure what their end game is but they make themselves look like morons with logic and actions like this.
Pretty much the same thing I wrote above. It doesn’t make sense.
That slash line is above average for a catcher. Check last year’s numbers and you will find lots of back up catchers that failed to reach the Mendoza line.
You are right about catchers and I liked the signing of Salty. The point I was trying to make is his slash line is the BEST the Tigers have done regarding their lack of having LHH guys.
The dodgers have an oddly constructed roster to correspond with their,strange offseason. are they waiting to go big in 2017?