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Early Season Lefty-Righty Splits

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The season is now 18 games old and some trends can be determined. The Twins are hitting .231 vs. left handers with an OPS of .670, while they have hit .261 vs. right handers and put up an OPS of .773. Looking at splits when the season is only 11% complete means that the sample sizes are really small, so there will be outliers. However, I think the numbers tell us something.

Some items of note: Three right handed hitting regulars (Dozier, Plouffe, and Pinto) have reverse splits. All are hitting markedly better against right handed pitching than against left handers. Colabello also has a slightly higher OPS vs. RH pitching, but he's hit well against everybody. Going into this season, Dozier and Plouffe were thought to be lefty mashers, but so far they've reversed that trend. Pinto is only 3-20 vs. LH pitching, but two of his hits have been homers. The Twins two left handed regulars (Kubel and Mauer) have been better against right handers.

All of the Twins switch hitters haven't hit much. Hicks, in full-time play, has a dreadful .139 BA and .395 OPS with a still-substandard .208 BA and .636 OPS vs. southpaws. Escobar is 4 for 11 vs. right handers (.727 OPS), but 1 for 7 (.393 OPS) against lefties. Florimon has been terrible across the board, but particularly against RH pitching (.115 BA, .409 OPS).

The most substantial splits are Dozier (.942 OPS vs. RH, .454 OPS vs. LH), Kubel (1.006 vs. RH, .714 vs LH), Suzuki (.959 vs. LH, .707 vs. RH), Hicks (.636 vs. LH, .395 vs. RH), Pinto (1.057 vs. RH, .820 vs. LH) and Mauer (.755 vs. RH, .575 vs. LH).

What conclusions can we draw from this? First of all, it is early and one good game can change bad numbers into acceptable numbers. For now, it looks like Suzuki should be playing against left handed pitching and that Pinto has no problem with right handers. If the numbers continued, that would set up a platoon of Suzuki vs. left handed starters and Pinto vs. the righties. The numbers say that Kubel should be platooned if a decent RH bat is available and that Colabello has mashed against everybody and deserves to be playing every day, at least until he cools off.
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  1. Oldgoat_MN's Avatar
    Nice breakdown.

    It would be great if Plouffe and Dozier can continue to hit RH pitching.
    Really did not expect what we're getting from Plouffe. Very nice to see.
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