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Thread: Really, Is A Righthanded Hitter A Necessity?

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    Really, Is A Righthanded Hitter A Necessity?

    After reading this article, maybe the Reds are better off pursuing the likes of Bobby Abreu.

    12.10.2008 10:33 am
    The Trouble with Trading Outfielders

    By Derrick Goold
    St. Louis Post-Dispatch

    LAS VEGAS — Back in 2003, Chicago Cubs general manager Jim Hendry went into the offseason looking for a lefthanded bat to balance out his lineup. He came to that year’s general manager meetings with that in mind, he planned to hit the Baseball Winter Meetings with that bat atop his shopping, and inbetween the two he made a deal … for righthanded-hitting Derrek Lee.

    Go figure.

    “We were too righthanded,” Hendry said here at the Baseball Winter Meetings. “Same problem we still seem to have.”

    Hendry told the Lee story to provide context for how these meetings often spin and whirl in unexpected directions. He came to find a lefthanded bat. He may leave with another pitcher (i.e., Jake Peavy). But in doing so he also helped describe what is one of the overcrowded markets in this winter’s free-agent field: outfielders. Specifically, lefthanded hitting free-agent outfielders. The Cubs are said to be pursuing Milton Bradley, but a whole handful or other outfielders have also been on their radar. The list of options is long:

    Garret Anderson, who would prefer to go back to the Angels
    Bobby Abreu, whose agent has put together a packet of stats that includes a statement placing Abreu in the company of Albert Pujols and Alex Rodriguez. They are the only three players with at least 100 RBI in each of the past six seasons.
    Raul Ibanez
    Adam Dunn on the high end.
    Ken Griffey Jr.
    Milton Bradley
    etc. (Jim Edmonds, Cliff Floyd, Luis Gonzalez … )
    Add into that market players like Jeremy Hermida, who the Florida Marlins are willing to move, and even a DH-like hitter in Jason Giambi, who could satisfy some of the teams looking for a DH/OF best-buy hybrid in this market. There are more available outfielders than teams looking for outfielders. The Cubs are one. Cincinnati has been mentioned as another team, though a righthanded bat may be a better fit for the Reds. Tampa Bay has been talked about here as a team looking to sign an outfielder after the dust has settled.

    There is a glut of outfielders available to teams who are looking.

    Therein lies the trick for the St. Louis Cardinals as they plan to deal from a strength — their depth in the outfield — and possibly clear a spot for Colby Rasmus in the big-league outfield. (Asked the other night if there was a scenario he saw where Rasmus broke camp with the major-league club this coming April, GM John Mozeliak nodded in the affirmative.) Rick Ankiel may attract a team like Atlanta — where true believer Bruce Manno is the assistant general manager — but for what return? Ankiel is eligible to be a free agent after this coming season and is his arbitration reward going the be all that different than what the market may do to some of the salaries for the free-agent outfielders?

    This market has been billed as one that would encourage teams to deal because of the set salaries and the attractive quality of control through arbitration. But the outfield market is so overrun with options that the better price may be not giving up a prospect or two at all. But will that land the better outfielder?

    Valid points to be sure…but if Chris Duncan proves he can play at all, like it or not, the 2009 Cards will have 4 outfielders with at least a season of major league experience before Rasmus even laces up his cleats. If they’re not going to trade this kid, they have to play him…but where?
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    High five! nate's Avatar
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    Re: Really, Is A Righthanded Hitter A Necessity?

    To answer the subject, no.

    Better hitters are necessary, regardless of their handedness.
    "Bring on Rod Stupid!"

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    Re: Really, Is A Righthanded Hitter A Necessity?

    Quote Originally Posted by nate View Post
    To answer the subject, no.

    Better hitters are necessary, regardless of their handedness.

    Something a lot of us have been saying since forever.

    Nice to have you on board, Krust.

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    Re: Really, Is A Righthanded Hitter A Necessity?

    Quote Originally Posted by nate View Post
    To answer the subject, no.

    Better hitters are necessary, regardless of their handedness.
    without a doubt, the reds outside of Votto are loaded with bottom of the order hitters. They need to find guys with some plate discipline and pop regardless of which side of the plate they stand on.
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    Re: Really, Is A Righthanded Hitter A Necessity?

    For the middle of the order?

    Absolutely yes. A righty bat is needed.

    Votto, Lefty hitter, and Bruce is not the way to go in the middle of the order.

    Neither Phillips nor EE is the right guy to hit between these two. They are both essentially sixth place hitters.

    I have always believed that a major league lineup should be primarily right handed. Righty hitters face so many righty pitchers that the good ones hit them decently -- and destroy lefty pitching.

    Lefty hitters usually have more trouble facing same handed pitchers.

    The only way the Reds should consider another lefty bat now is if they plan to sit Dickerson and use a righty centerfielder. Then they can afford another lefty bat.

    But with Dickerson, Bruce and Votto -- and with Alonso on the way -- the need is from the right side.

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    Re: Really, Is A Righthanded Hitter A Necessity?

    If the Cards really want to clear room for Rasmus,send them Bailey and a prospect or two for Ludwick. There's our slugging RH OF and Bailey would probably win a Cy Young inside of three years under Duncan.

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    Re: Really, Is A Righthanded Hitter A Necessity?

    Quote Originally Posted by nate View Post
    To answer the subject, no.

    Better hitters are necessary, regardless of their handedness.
    Perfectly stated.
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    Vavasor TRF's Avatar
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    Re: Really, Is A Righthanded Hitter A Necessity?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kc61 View Post
    For the middle of the order?

    Absolutely yes. A righty bat is needed.

    Votto, Lefty hitter, and Bruce is not the way to go in the middle of the order.

    Neither Phillips nor EE is the right guy to hit between these two. They are both essentially sixth place hitters.

    I have always believed that a major league lineup should be primarily right handed. Righty hitters face so many righty pitchers that the good ones hit them decently -- and destroy lefty pitching.

    Lefty hitters usually have more trouble facing same handed pitchers.

    The only way the Reds should consider another lefty bat now is if they plan to sit Dickerson and use a righty centerfielder. Then they can afford another lefty bat.

    But with Dickerson, Bruce and Votto -- and with Alonso on the way -- the need is from the right side.
    IMO you couldn't be more wrong. better hitters should ALWAYS be the focus. which side of the plate they stand on should be way down the list.

    Now if you are talking about balance, the balance I prefer is in type of hitter not handedness. While my preference is known ( he who cannot be named, per the Boss-Hog ) I'd love to see the Reds find another Sean Casey circa 1999-2000, 2004. .315-.330 BA excellent OBP, near .400 and solid power. That's balance. In those years, he was as productive as just about any player in the league not named Pujols. Health is the only thing that kept him from that level too.

    Yep, I want a healthy Sean Casey type of hitter. Kevin Youklis is close. He happens to be right handed, but I wouldn't care either way. For all the talk about getting Matt Kemp, Ethier is a better target because he's a better hitter.
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    Re: Really, Is A Righthanded Hitter A Necessity?

    Yes better hitters are necessary, no doubt, but the handedness does matter.

    Not to insult anyone's intelligence, but either you hit right handed or you hit left handed.

    Our #3 hitter and #5 hitter almost assuredly will be left handed. While their splits righty versus lefty aren't huge, they are there and it does correlate negatively. And of course that is versus a generic lefty. What a left handed 3-4-5 order does is set the table for the opposing team to bring in their Loogy in the 7th or eighth inning.

    Now, you shouldn't base your entire lineup on the 7th or 8th inning, so the right handed hitter has to be able to hit right handers as well(this leaves' Phillips out.) They also have to carry whatever burden comes with batting cleanup,(I think this knocks Encarnacion out of the running.)

    But the late inning loogy does make a right handed bat that much more valuable, assuming he can also produce enough in innings 1-6.

    So I nominate Pat Burrell, 2 years, 25 million and let it fly.
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    Re: Really, Is A Righthanded Hitter A Necessity?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kc61 View Post
    For the middle of the order?

    Absolutely yes. A righty bat is needed.

    Votto, Lefty hitter, and Bruce is not the way to go in the middle of the order.

    Neither Phillips nor EE is the right guy to hit between these two. They are both essentially sixth place hitters.

    I have always believed that a major league lineup should be primarily right handed. Righty hitters face so many righty pitchers that the good ones hit them decently -- and destroy lefty pitching.

    Lefty hitters usually have more trouble facing same handed pitchers.

    The only way the Reds should consider another lefty bat now is if they plan to sit Dickerson and use a righty centerfielder. Then they can afford another lefty bat.

    But with Dickerson, Bruce and Votto -- and with Alonso on the way -- the need is from the right side.
    I am in agreement with you. It may just be preception but it seems like Righties hit righties better than lefties hit lefties.

    I don't think it matters all that much through the first few innings. Unless you are facing a Randy Johnson I think the better hitter should always be inserted into the lineup. Where it matters is when you get later into the games. A middle of the order combo of Votto then Bruce would be easier to pitch to than a Votto, RH bat, then Bruce. While I think Votto is a good all around hitter, a lefty specialist should be able to neutralize him. If Bruce is next then the manager won't be forced to make a decision.

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    Re: Really, Is A Righthanded Hitter A Necessity?

    Quote Originally Posted by Hoosier Red View Post
    Yes better hitters are necessary, no doubt, but the handedness does matter.

    Not to insult anyone's intelligence, but either you hit right handed or you hit left handed.

    Our #3 hitter and #5 hitter almost assuredly will be left handed. While their splits righty versus lefty aren't huge, they are there and it does correlate negatively. And of course that is versus a generic lefty. What a left handed 3-4-5 order does is set the table for the opposing team to bring in their Loogy in the 7th or eighth inning.

    Now, you shouldn't base your entire lineup on the 7th or 8th inning, so the right handed hitter has to be able to hit right handers as well(this leaves' Phillips out.) They also have to carry whatever burden comes with batting cleanup,(I think this knocks Encarnacion out of the running.)

    But the late inning loogy does make a right handed bat that much more valuable, assuming he can also produce enough in innings 1-6.

    So I nominate Pat Burrell, 2 years, 25 million and let it fly.
    Just sign Milton Bradley and you're covered from both sides.

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    Posting in Dynarama M2's Avatar
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    Re: Really, Is A Righthanded Hitter A Necessity?

    If the problem is that your RH hitters don't hit RHPs well enough, the solution is not necessarily more RH hitters. It is better hitting vs. RHPs.
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    Re: Really, Is A Righthanded Hitter A Necessity?

    Just for sake of argument, here's Votto's splits:

    vs RHP: .880 OPS
    vs LHP: .862 OPS

    I can somewhat understand the hand-wringing over getting a RH bat to hit cleanup due to the fear of a LOOGY. However, the Reds as a team actually struggled more against righties last year than lefties. And Votto in his one full season handled left-handers pretty well as his numbers show. Just get a good middle of the order hitter and don't focus so much on the handedness. If a really good LH hitter can be had, don't walk away from him just because he hits left handed.

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    Re: Really, Is A Righthanded Hitter A Necessity?

    I get the feeling that managers, specifically Baker tend to look at matchups in the micro so much they ignore the macro. Plan for what might happen later in the game or the season too soon and in too much detail you ignore what's happening right now. 7 Innings vs a RH starter and you have the lineup so staggered to prevent the L/L matchup in the 8th inning that might not have happened had you planned the game against the starter and not the pen.

    70%. 70% of all AB's are vs RH pitching. Why GM's and managers continue to ignore this simple fact in search of a stat that proves a point that might be meaningless, is beyond me.
    Suck it up cupcake.

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    Re: Really, Is A Righthanded Hitter A Necessity?

    I am in agreement with you. It may just be preception but it seems like Righties hit righties better than lefties hit lefties.

    I don't think it matters all that much through the first few innings. Unless you are facing a Randy Johnson I think the better hitter should always be inserted into the lineup. Where it matters is when you get later into the games. A middle of the order combo of Votto then Bruce would be easier to pitch to than a Votto, RH bat, then Bruce. While I think Votto is a good all around hitter, a lefty specialist should be able to neutralize him. If Bruce is next then the manager won't be forced to make a decision.

    I tend to agree with you, bucksfan2. I think that, particularly late in games, too many middle of the order hitters batting from one side of the plate is not a good thing. Makes them very susceptible to LH or RH relief specialists and makes it very easy for the opposing manager. Personaly, I would like to see the Reds score a good middle of the order RH bat.
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