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View Full Version : Reds v. RH Pitching in 2012



Kc61
02-15-2012, 04:07 PM
IMO the Reds' failure to hit right handed pitching well was one of its serious issues in 2011. The team was excellent v. LH pitching, but the numbers were far worse against righties.

There were a number of hitters with over 150 at bats who didn't hit righties well. They are (excluding pitchers), using the OPS measure:

Cairo - .700
Hanigan - .685
Lewis - .683
Gomes - .654
Rolen - .648
Stubbs - .636
Renteria - .623
Janish - .531

Again, this is OPS against right handed pitching.

The Reds have potential to improve in this area. Several of these players are gone or unlikely to be with the big club. Hanigan's .685 isn't terrible for a catcher who hits lefties better.

Rolen will hopefully be healthier and supplemented by Francisco who hits righties MUCH better than he hits lefties. Hitting RHP is his forte.

Stubbs, picking up from the Stubbs thread, hopefully will sit against some tough righties, with Heisey and Ludwick needing some playing time -- they each generally hit righties better than Drew.

The Reds don't have a lot of lefty bats, it's Votto, Bruce, Francisco, Willie Harris when he is up with the club, that's mostly about it.

So even without a major infusion of lefty hitting this off-season, I'm hoping the Reds perform better against RHP this coming year.

oneupper
02-15-2012, 04:32 PM
This is one of the problems I had with the Ludwick signing. Add in that Hernandez is gone (.786 vs RH) and replaced by Mesoraco (vs. RHP?). Plus Baker is not a big fan of platoons.

It doesn't augur well.

Kc61
02-15-2012, 05:20 PM
This is one of the problems I had with the Ludwick signing. Add in that Hernandez is gone (.786 vs RH) and replaced by Mesoraco (vs. RHP?). Plus Baker is not a big fan of platoons.

It doesn't augur well.

It's tricky.

The Reds have few lefty hitters. That cries out for more lefty hitters.

However, the Reds best middle of the order hitters are Votto and Bruce, both lefties. That cries out for a big righty bat.

They decided on Ludwick who has a decent OPS lifetime against RHP. They also have Heisey, a RHH who hits righty pitching well. And, of course, if Rolen is healthy he will hit righties better -- last year he didn't hit righties at all.

Hanigan had a subpar year in 2011, he also may improve against RHP. Mes is an unknown, I agree.

So I am somewhat optimistic that there will be improvement against RHP. But I agree with you that things might not work out in that area given so few lefty bats on the team.

PuffyPig
02-15-2012, 05:41 PM
This is one of the problems I had with the Ludwick signing.

Ludwick hits righties better than lefties, which was the the reason many were against signing him as he was a poor platoon partner with Heisey.

757690
02-15-2012, 06:25 PM
I'm not convinced that Heisey will hit righties better than lefties in the future. He's had less than a full season worth of AB's and spilt between pinch hitting and starting. If he's starting or in a platoon for a full season, his whole approach coild change along with his results.

LegallyMinded
02-15-2012, 07:09 PM
I'm not convinced that Heisey will hit righties better than lefties in the future. He's had less than a full season worth of AB's and spilt between pinch hitting and starting. If he's starting or in a platoon for a full season, his whole approach coild change along with his results.

Agreed. As pointed out in this (http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/index.php/what-should-the-reds-do-with-left-field/) article, we should basically "ignore his reverse platoon splits" because "they’re meaningless" in the sample size he has in the majors.

So, if it turns out Heisey actually does hit lefties better than right-handers, and Ludwick hits right-handers better than left-handers, it's really just a matter of whether Baker plays them as a platoon. I know the odds of that aren't necessarily great, but Baker seems to think (http://fantasynews.cbssports.com/fantasybaseball/players/playerpage/1603026/chris-heisey) he'll play them both at least some of the time:


"Ludwick is going to play. But I don’t want to thwart the progress on Chris Heisey," Baker said. "I had a long talk with Ludwick. I told him everybody on my team plays. Heisey has earned to the chance to play.”

RedsManRick
02-15-2012, 07:16 PM
In 2011, Reds hitters had a .321 wOBA, tied for 4th in the NL. League average was .311

Against lefties, they had a .345 wOBA, 1st by far (Cards were 2nd at .334). League average was .311.

Against righties, they had a .314 wOBA, 7th in the NL. League average was .311.

But what's going to happen this year? Let's look at the 8 guys from last year who are expected to make significant contributions this year


PA wOBA vR vL 2011 LvR Career LvR Diff
Joey Votto 719 .403 .397 .422 .025 .024 .001
Drew Stubbs 681 .314 .286 .391 .105 .053 .052
Brandon Phillip 675 .351 .349 .363 .014 .044 -.030
Jay Bruce 664 .346 .348 .347 -.001 -.028 .027
Chris Heisey 308 .343 .366 .243 -.123 -.132 .009
Ryan Hanigan 304 .320 .308 .384 .076 .039 .037
Miguel Cairo 276 .321 .310 .392 .082 .018 .064
Scott Rolen 269 .294 .282 .322 .040 .020 .020

This compares 2011 platoon splits to career platoon splits. Basically, other than BP, everybody had bigger platoon splits vs. left in 2011 than they have had on their career. So we would expect some regression here -- that the advantage we saw in 2011 against lefties will get smaller. Of course, the most pertinent question is whether that happens on the backs of worse performance vs. lefties or on better performance against righties.

I think the team performance against righties was most hurt by Rolen (who will either be healthy or replaced by Fransisco, who should hit righties well) and by Stubbs who is an open question, but who could lose time to Heisey against righties. And of course, the offense overall stands to gain quite a bit by replacing Janish & Renteria with Cozart and Lewis with Ludwick.

I think you'll see the wOBA against lefties come down a little, maybe to .340 or so, but you'll see wOBA against righties go up a fair amount -- like .325 -- bringing the overall wOBA up to around .328.

oneupper
02-15-2012, 07:57 PM
Ludwick hits righties better than lefties, which was the the reason many were against signing him as he was a poor platoon partner with Heisey.

Wasn't the case in 2011, although it has been over his career. What stands out in Ludwick's career numbers are his numbers hitting in the #2 spot (i.e. ahead of Albert Pujols). .954 OPS.
Sans that, he's pretty much Ludwick, the 2011 version.

mth123
02-15-2012, 08:45 PM
Vs Righties

Phillips 2B
Heisey CF
Votto 1B
Bruce RF
Ludwick LF
Rolen/Francisco 3B
Mesraco/Hanigan C
Cozart SS

Vs. Lefties

Phillips 2B
Heisey LF
Votto 1B
Stubbs CF
Bruce RF
Mesoraco/Hanigan C
Rolen/Cairo 3B
Cozart SS

If Heisey struggles, I'd try Cozart in the 2 hole vs LHP, slide Ludwick in the 6 hole and move Mes/Hanigan to the 8 hole.

*BaseClogger*
02-15-2012, 10:57 PM
Somebody on Clubhouse Confidential mentioned that the Reds got the fewest PAs from LHH in 2011. That was probably the primary factor...

Kc61
02-16-2012, 12:04 AM
Somebody on Clubhouse Confidential mentioned that the Reds got the fewest PAs from LHH in 2011. That was probably the primary factor...

Well, the number of lefty hitters hasn't grown, so the Reds will continue to have relatively few plate appearances from the left side.

The key will be getting better production from the righty bats v. righty pitching.

It's not an ideal formula, the team lacks lefty/righty balance, but if Rolen/Francisco hit righties well at third and if Heisey/Ludwick do pretty well against righties, there should be improvement. Shortstop should also be better offensively, against all kinds of pitching.

RedsManRick
02-16-2012, 12:22 AM
Somebody on Clubhouse Confidential mentioned that the Reds got the fewest PAs from LHH in 2011. That was probably the primary factor...

The biggest problems were Stubbs, Rolen and Janish. Of the 205 players with at least 300 PA vR in 2011, Janish 204th and Stubbs 179th. Rolen would have been around 188th. If Stubbs and Rolen hit righties like they have in years past and Cozart does something north of the suckitude of Janish, we should be just fine against righties.

Captain Hook
02-16-2012, 12:47 AM
Wasn't the case in 2011, although it has been over his career. What stands out in Ludwick's career numbers are his numbers hitting in the #2 spot (i.e. ahead of Albert Pujols). .954 OPS.
Sans that, he's pretty much Ludwick, the 2011 version.

That's interesting.How many PA was that?

I know Ludwick's numbers in Petco and Pitt. last year left a lot to be desired but put him in a good lineup along with playing half his games in GABP and just maybe he could have a nice comeback this year.

oneupper
02-16-2012, 06:28 AM
That's interesting.How many PA was that?


369 AB + 41 BB = 410 PA aprox (don't have HBP, SF, SH, etc).
Not that small a sample size.