• The (Local) Kid’s All Left

    Posted by on September 19th, 2006 · Comments (7)

    Today, Pete Abraham blogged the following on Ron Villone:

    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.

    Comments on The (Local) Kid’s All Left

    1. MJ
      September 19th, 2006 | 1:54 pm

      Steve, we both know that isn’t happening. Now that Torre’s got it into his head that Villone can get both righties and lefties out, you can count on Villone getting lit up like a Christmas Tree in the playoffs. I’d rather Torre stop trusting him altogether (like back in May/June) than ever pitching him against righties at this point.

    2. September 19th, 2006 | 2:11 pm

      Villone’s struggles shouldn’t be that much of a surprise. If you look at his splits over the last 3 years of so, he’s been very good during the first half, and very bad during the second:

      Pre All-Star Break: 2.72 ERA, .206 BAA
      Post: 5.07 ERA, .253 BAA

      That from ESPN’s 3yr splits.

    3. rbj
      September 19th, 2006 | 2:19 pm

      Then can the Yanks afford both Villone and Myers in the pen? I assume the rotation will be Unit, Moose, Wormkiller and Mr. “five innings” Wright. Mo, Bruney and Proctor. Karstens and Lidle as innings eaters (someone will have to pitch 6, 7 & 8 on Wright days, Proctor’s got Unit & Moose days.)
      11 pitchers or just 10?
      Damn, getting those last couple of spots isn’t easy.

      I assume they’ll leave Dotel at a rest stop on the Jersey turnpike.

    4. Don
      September 19th, 2006 | 2:39 pm

      Thanks Mike.

      I guess Torre must have overused Villone in 2003-2005 as well as 2006.

      Even though Villone was not on the Yankees 2003-2005……..

    5. Raf
      September 19th, 2006 | 3:16 pm

      As you can see, LH-batters still have a hard time hitting the ball consistently against Villone – even during his “bad” time.
      Granted, it’s a small sample size, but I still have a bit of a problem with a lefty specialist that allows an .815 OPS against lefties.

    6. September 19th, 2006 | 3:16 pm

      Did I say anything about Torre overusing Villone?

      All I was trying to do was point out that Villone has a history of stuggling in the second half.

    7. Don
      September 19th, 2006 | 6:45 pm

      Mike that wasn’t aimed at you. It’s an inside joke.

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