It has somehow gotten worse for Ron Villone. Here is his line since Aug. 17: 13.2 innings, 27 hits, 25 earned runs, 17 walks, 17 strikeouts. 0-2, 16.46. Joe Torre has been supportive in his public comments. But if this keeps up for two more weeks, can they keep him on the roster for the division series?
I would say that Villone should be on the roster – as a left-handed specialist only. This goes back to what I said last December:
Villone does not do an excellent job against RH batters. In fact, I do not believe that you want him pitching to a righty with the game on the line – at least not on a regular basis.
Still, it’s more than safe to say that Villone can get lefties out.
Further, check the stats for this season on Villone, to date:
vs. LHB – 103 AB, .184/.295/350 (BA/OBA/SLG) allowed
vs. RHB – 184 AB, .272/.387/.408
But, of course, we know that Villone before/after August 1st seems to be two different pitchers, right? Maybe not – see the following:
This season before August 1st:
vs. LHB – 66 AB, .167/.257/.288
vs. RHB – 118 AB, .220/.324/.305
To date, since August 1st:
vs. LHB – 37 AB, .216/.356/.459
vs. RHB – 66 AB, .364/.494/.591
As you can see, LH-batters still have a hard time hitting the ball consistently against Villone – even during his “bad” time.
And, what basically has happened with Villone is that his numbers against RH-batters are just finding their normal level. He was over-achieving against RHB earlier this year. And, the last seven weeks have just been righties catching up to that freak performance.
This all said, Villone can be useful in the post-season – if Torre does not let him pitch to RH-batters.