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Wednesday, February 09, 2005
Lefty Handicap

I have been on the record as saying I think that Jermaine Dye will have a "more productive" season than Magglio Ordonez. So it came as a surprise to me tonight while I was trying to put together line-ups, with and without Frank, just how bad Dye has been the last three seasons vs. RHP (.240/.306/.429). If Aaron Rowand had put up a line like that he'd be in Charlotte. On his career, Dye hasn't been nearly as bad (.268/.327/.463). I can take about .270/.330, but when struggle just to reach base 30 percent of the time, you don't have a place in my line-up unless you play catcher, and even then it's begrudgingly.

So anyway, here's the line-up I put together

vs. LHP                      vs. RHP

Rowand .298/.361/.523 Spod .284/.354/.404
Iggy* .285/.365/.475 Iggy* .260/.333/.415
Dye .255/.354/.413 Everett .288/.361/.501
Konerko .299/.360/.540 Konerko .265/.338/.461
Crede .274/.321/.457 Rowand .285/.321/.457
Uribe .264/.303/.453 Pierz .305/.353/.450
Everett .238/.301/.354 Dye .240/.306/.429
Pierz .262/.287/.396 Uribe .257/.304/.407
Spod .246/.312/.387 Crede .248/.298/.434

* I just estimated the Iguchi lines. They are an estimate off of Clay Davenport's over at Baseball Prospectus.

The bottom third of that order vs. LHP is terrible. Carl Everett needs to seriously consider giving up switch hitting. Given his terrible line against lefties, I decided to replace Everett in the line-up. The problem is, with Whom?

Timo Perez? Nope -- .154/.201/.191 -- That line is so ugly it's actually humorous.
Willie Harris? Nope -- .186/.234/.233 -- I was complaining before the Iguchi signing about needing a platoon partner for Willie.
Ben Davis? Nope -- .229/.278/.361 -- Who else in on the bench?
Wilson Valdez? Maybe -- .273/.304/.455 -- Before the Iguchi signing, I was one of the few who actually felt comfortable with a Willie Harris/Wilson Valdez platoon. But these numbers aren't a great indicator as they represent 22AB's. I can't speak of what he did in the minors.
Ross Gload? -- .383/.420/.574 -- I guess we have a winner. Although these numbers are also from a ridiculously small sample size (47 AB's), I'd feel much more comfortable with Gload in the line-up.

LHP                   

Rowand .298/.361/.523
Iggy* .285/.365/.475
Dye .255/.354/.413
Konerko .299/.360/.540
Crede .274/.321/.457
Gload** .383/.420/.574
Uribe .264/.303/.453
Pierz .262/.287/.396
Spod .246/.312/.387

** Only 47 AB's

That's better, but it's still lacking.

And finally my line-ups for Frank's return.

LHP                          RHP

Rowand .298/.361/.523 Spod .284/.354/.404
Iggy* .285/.365/.475 Iggy* .260/.333/.415
Thomas .259/.407/.563 Thomas .263/.381/.515
Konerko .299/.360/.540 Konerko .265/.338/.461
Dye .255/.354/.413 Rowand .285/.321/.457
Crede .274/.321/.457 Pierz .305/.353/.450
Uribe .264/.303/.453 Dye .240/.306/.429
Pierz .262/.287/.396 Uribe .257/.304/.407
Spod .246/.312/.387 Crede .248/.298/.434

Bench
Everett .288/.361/.501

Now the interesting decision is how to get Everett into the line-up against righties. He's too good to ride the pine. In fact He's got a better OPS than the other three outfielders, and trails only Frank.

Just thinking about how valuable that roster spot wasted by Timo Perez makes me sick to my stomach.

That $1M could have gone to Eric Young(.294/.383/.436), or even Josh Phelps (.309/.373/.535) who's probably no worse than Timo in the outfield.

The Sox were a woeful 21-34 against LHP last season, and I can't say they've improved on that, especially with Frank probably out for a little bit of time. If the sox have 55 games against lefties again next year and put up the same record, they'd have to go 69-38(31 games over .500) in the remaining games against righties to reach 90 victories. A lofty goal, I know, but one can dream right?...

I didn't state it before, but just so you don't yell at me, the numbers for all players are 3-year splits from ESPN unless otherwise noted.