Wash Out - three lefties or four?

Washburn is joking that "he never liked spring training anyway."  Good interview with Jim Street here, Street being the guy to break the Erik Bedard news, if I recall correctly.

Washburn characterizes himself as sitting at home with no offers at all right now (after turning down the lowball from the Twins).  Here's an article on teams that could use rotation depth.

The handwriting's on the wall:  baseball evidently sees Washburn's Safeco results as a context-driven illusion, and his Detroit catastrophe as the real Washburn...  nada.  Here's our article, following Nick Steiner, documenting the fact that Washburn pitched well in Detroit.


=== A 2.64 ERA and four bucks gets ya a cup of coffee, room service ===

We are two baseball months removed from having sat and watched Jarrod Washburn throw 13-of-20 starts allowing 0 or 1 runs.

Let me read that sentence again.  The man threw shutouts, or shutouts+1, in MOST of his Mariner starts last year.   Something was going right with that 9-man run-prevention unit.


=== L-L-L-L problemo ===

Are 3 lefties a problem?  Are 4 a problem, if you wind up with Felix-Lee-Bedard-Wash-RRS?


Among many historical rotations with three lefties, the 2009 Giants had Lincecum and Cain in front of three lefties:  Randy Johnson, Barry Zito, and Jonathan Sanchez.  We're not proving anything with these precedents, just having fun.


Here's a good article about the 2004 Royals, who took four dubious lefthanders into the season.  In this case, you sit and weigh how many RH hitters in the division and the shape of your park and all that stuff.  Platoon managing is a way to wring a few extra runs out of mediocrities.  It becomes important there, sure.


The early 1970's A's, the scourge of my beloved Reds, were stocked with lefties.  Vida Blue and Ken Holtzmann were stars, and for a while the 1973 A's had Darold Knowles and Paul Lindblad giving them 4-for-4 lefties.  They won the World Series, admittedly with minor contributions from Catfish and Blue Moon...

Sure.  You got four Vida Blues, start them all.  You can even put a Lindblad or two in there.


For a while, the 2008 A's had five LHP's in the rotation at once, Eveland, Meyer, Greg Smith, Dallas Braden, and I forget who else.... apparently us Billy Beane sycophants can't say it's stupid...


Last year's Indians frequently had 4 lefties in the rotation.   Jeremy Sowers, Aaron Laffey, David Huff, and, um, Cliff Lee.   They had a big July 7-9 series against the rival White Sox, with their three non-Lee lefties all on Fri-Sat-Sun.  The Indians lost the series two games to one, salvaging a 10-8 win after all three lefties got racked up.


=== Dr's Diagnosis Dept. ===

Let's play Strat-O-Matic and I'll take 11 Erik Bedard player cards for my pitching staff.  You take the Red Sox or Yankees.  Let's see who wins.   I won't even insist on playing in Safeco.  :- )

The platoon advantage is a beautiful thing, worth 0.040 points of batting average, but it's not as important as whether the pitcher is good or not.

Cliff Lee and Erik Bedard don't count as "lefties," any more than Manny Ramirez counts as a "righty" hitter.   Talk platoon when you're talking about average players. 

You're best off just not thinking in terms of Felix, Lee, Bedard, or Walter Johnson as pitching with a particular hand.  It clarifies the logic.  Cancel the fractions.  Direct your attention to gray areas.

Yeah, the M's can afford 1, or even 2, average LHP's in their rotation, Washburn and RRS.  It's not an issue.


Dr D


RockiesJeff's picture

Kind of the skill that makes its own situation match-ups rather than being dictated by them.  I would rather turn in a line up card of all left handed hitters in Fenway if they were all Ted Williams or something like that.
Thanks for the many articles and insights!!!

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