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May 24, 2013

Raising Aces

Splitting the Platoon: Lefty-Phobic Pitchers

by Doug Thorburn


On Wednesday, Jason Collette wrote an excellent piece on the improvements that Justin Masterson has made this season, specifically citing the right-hander's sudden ability to quiet the noise from left-handed bats. The article caught my attention for a number of reasons, including the revelation that Jason and I share an unreasonable affinity for Nick Swisher. Jason kindly dropped a reference to my evaluation of Masterson from the 2013 Starting Pitcher Guide, and the story came full circle thanks to the fact that Masterson had been assigned to me for podcast homework by co-host Paul Sporer at the conclusion of our most recent episode of TINSTAAPP

Jason outlined some of the statistical differences in Masterson's 2013 performance, particularly noting his split stats versus left- and right-handed batters. Left-handed batters have accounted for 43 percent of all plate appearances league-wide since 2011, yet they tend to receive the majority of the attention when it comes to pitching strategy. Lefty hitters enjoy multiple advantages, ranging from the head start toward first base they get out of the box to the lesser gloves that typically populate the pull side of the infield (one of whom is tethered to the first-base bag).

 

AVG

OBP

SLG

K %

BB %

RHP vs RHB

.251

.308

.396

20.4%

6.7%

LHP vs RHB

.263

.328

.426

18.3%

8.4%

RHP vs LHB

.260

.332

.416

19.0%

9.3%

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<< Previous Article
Premium Article Pebble Hunting: How Pi... (05/24)
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Premium Article Raising Aces: Kevin Ga... (05/30)
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