Sunday, January 07, 2007

The Lefty Dilemma

With the signing of Eye Chart, the Yankees' regular lineup will probably look like this:

L - Damon
R - Jeter
L - Abreu
L- Giambi
R - Rodriguez
L - Matsui
L - Cano
S - Posada
L - Mientkiewicz

That's really the only way you can put those nine guys together without having three lefties in a row. The spacing is nice, actually: it follows a constant LLR pattern.

The downside is that there's no avoiding LOOGies. No matter what, teams will be able to use their crappy lefthanded middle relievers for at least two batters. Is it possible, however, that the Yankees' extreme lefthandedness gives them the advantage in the matchup game?

Many managers will be tempted to leave a LOOGY in to face four-of-five lefties. That means Jeter, Rodriguez and Posada will gain at bats against crappy lefties, often in crucial spots. If, on the other hand, managers switch to a righty, that means the next wave of lefthanded batters gain the platoon advantage back.

That the Yankees' lineup now features three matchup opportunites and no team has three quality lefty relievers (some lack even one) should guarantee the Yankees the platoon advantage more often than not.

1 comment:

Zachary A. said...

If you took Matsui out and replaced him with Melky, you could do LR all the way through:

L- Damon
R- Jeter
L- Abreu
R- Rodriguez
L- Giambi
R- Cabrera
L- Cano
R- Posada
L- Mientkiewicz

But that would take Matsui's powerful bat out of the lineup and mess us up badly. :)

I really like your site, btw! I've linked you to mine - http://baseballmaniayankees.beeplog.com/

If you could link back to me, that'd be awesome!

- Zachary