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Friday, May 23, 2014

NYT: Suzuki Would Relish a Chance to Pitch One More Time

But if the game had continued longer, it could have been the second time this year Manager Joe Girardi had to call upon a position player to pitch. If the situation comes up again, Ichiro Suzuki may be the man. A former high school pitcher who has thrown in an All-Star Game, the 40-year-old Suzuki has ambitions to get back on the mound at least one more time before he retires.

“I would be happy to help if they need me,” he said, his eyes brightening at the prospect of it.

Suzuki pitched to one batter in the 1996 Japan All-Star Game, and with his free-and-easy delivery, he induced a ground ball for an out from a pitcher.

Suzuki has two strong pitches.

“Fastball and slider,” he said with pride. “But like all Japanese pitchers, the splitter is my bread and butter.”

Girardi, who has seen video of Suzuki’s appearance, said he would consider using him in an emergency.

“I’ll definitely ask him if he can do it,” Girardi said. “It looks like he has pretty good stuff.”

Suzuki does shoulder exercises and plays long toss to keep his arm strong all year long, he said, and could probably throw 40 to 50 pitches with no problem.

“If they need 100 pitches, I would have to get stretched out,” he said through his interpreter, Alan Turner.

Good cripple hitter Posted: May 23, 2014 at 02:27 PM | 67 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: ichiro, new york yankees, shingo takatsu, things that need to happen

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   1. John Northey Posted: May 23, 2014 at 03:04 PM (#4712187)
In these days of short benches a guy who can relieve as well as hit & field would be useful. I remember Vance Law nearly being in that role for the Expos in the mid-80's as his dad was a Cy Young winner and he had a good arm. I recall seeing him warming up in a few games on TV when the score was still close. Over 2 years he was used 6 times in Montreal - down by 10/12/6 in '86, 9/8/9 in '87 so never used in a close game. In 1991 he got into one more game for Oakland down by 10. Overall 8 IP 9 H 4 R 3 ER 3 BB 2 SO 134 ERA+. Not bad. A shame they never did give him more of a shot but a guy who was solid at 2B/3B and other positions with a lifetime 94 OPS+ had enough value not to need to use him as a pitcher I guess.
   2. Tim Wallach was my Hero Posted: May 23, 2014 at 03:14 PM (#4712196)
Ichiro could pitch 200 innings if he wanted to.
   3. booond Posted: May 23, 2014 at 03:30 PM (#4712208)
Ichiro could pitch 200 innings if he wanted to.


200 shutout innings
   4. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: May 23, 2014 at 03:38 PM (#4712216)
In these days of short benches a guy who can relieve as well as hit & field would be useful.


The Red Sox toyed with David McCarty in such a role in 2004. He wound up only pitching three times; home opener, a random blow out and last day of the season but they danced around it. Kieschneck of course (spelling doesn't count!)...has anyone else been tried like that recently?
   5. Davo Dozier Posted: May 23, 2014 at 03:47 PM (#4712228)
The Tigers had damn well better let utility infielder Danny Worth give it a shot. He pitched a scoreless inning yesterday, striking out two of the four batters he faced in the process.
   6. Davo Dozier Posted: May 23, 2014 at 03:56 PM (#4712236)
When I manage a team in OOTP simulations, I always make sure the 25th guy on my roster is a position player who is not-terrible at pitching. He'll ideally toss about 40 innings of ~6.50 pitching in blowouts, in addition to his duties as a position player.
   7. PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth) Posted: May 23, 2014 at 04:03 PM (#4712243)
This is the first time I can recall seeing Ichiro Suzuki referred to in print as "Suzuki".

Davo Dozier: I do the same thing and often wonder why major league teams don't do the same. There have to be fifth outfielders kicking around who

(a) with a little practice, can throw up a 7.00 in blowouts and save the bullpen, and
(b) aren't enough of an asset as a position player for the team to be too worried if they blow their arm along the way.

There is probably a good reason why this isn't done; if there weren't someone would have tried it by now. I'm not sure what exactly it is.
   8. Good cripple hitter Posted: May 23, 2014 at 04:07 PM (#4712249)
This is the first time I can recall seeing Ichiro Suzuki referred to in print as "Suzuki".


It's (probably) a New York Times formatting thing. I almost switched the headline to "Ichiro Would..." but figured it was obvious enough.

I always wonder why the Jays don't do something like this. They love to carry extra relievers (often to the point where they get very little work in) so it'd be nice if they had other skills. Then again, that'd ruin their "hold an 8th reliever for a week or two, DFA him, repeat" routine.
   9. Pat Rapper's Delight Posted: May 23, 2014 at 04:08 PM (#4712251)
Is it a sign that bullpen roles might be just a tad bit over-regimented when in this era of 7 and 8-man bullpens, we need more position players pitching more innings in order to "save the bullpen"?
   10. PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth) Posted: May 23, 2014 at 04:16 PM (#4712256)
Saving the bullpen is a concern when your starter gets knocked out in the second inning no matter how many relievers you have.
   11. Jeltzandini Posted: May 23, 2014 at 04:20 PM (#4712262)
Has there been a rise in starters getting shelled early but staying in anyway to save the bullpen a few innings? I've noticed it more but that could be confirmation bias.
   12. Random Transaction Generator Posted: May 23, 2014 at 04:31 PM (#4712267)
I always wonder why the Jays don't do something like this. They love to carry extra relievers (often to the point where they get very little work in) so it'd be nice if they had other skills.


Pinch runner?
The Jays have done it twice so far this year. It's been done 5 times in total for AL teams in 2014.

April 26th, the Indians used Cory Kluber as a pinch-runner in the 9th inning (for Giambi).
May 4th, the Jays used R.A. Dickey as a pinch-runner in the 8th inning (for Navarro).
May 5th, the White Sox used Andre Reinzo as a pinch-runner in the 12th inning (for Konerko).
May 10th, the Jays used Sergio Santos as a pinch-runner in the 9th inning (for Navarro).
May 10th, the Astros used Dallas Keuchel as a pitch-runner in the 9th inning (for Krauss).
   13. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: May 23, 2014 at 04:43 PM (#4712270)
This is the first time I can recall seeing Ichiro Suzuki referred to in print as "Suzuki".

Yeah! I actually expected this to be about the Royals' post-Nomo bust Makoto Suzuki.
   14. Greg K Posted: May 23, 2014 at 04:48 PM (#4712272)
When I manage a team in OOTP simulations, I always make sure the 25th guy on my roster is a position player who is not-terrible at pitching. He'll ideally toss about 40 innings of ~6.50 pitching in blowouts, in addition to his duties as a position player.

I once drafted a college closer who had gold glove ratings as a CF. For a while I was using him as a defensive replacement/reliever, but when he got good enough to close after a year or two it make became difficult to find situations where I wanted him in CF but not on the mound. His defensive skills did deteriorate very quickly once he no longer got regular at bats though.
   15. TJ Posted: May 23, 2014 at 05:14 PM (#4712288)
My beloved Tigers should trade for Ichiro- he would be at worst out 7th inning reliever...
   16. Ray (RDP) Posted: May 23, 2014 at 05:25 PM (#4712296)
Girardi, who has seen video of Suzuki’s appearance, said he would consider using him in an emergency.


And yet when Girardi actually needed a position player to pitch in a blowout game he went to Dean Anna.
   17. Bhaakon Posted: May 23, 2014 at 05:32 PM (#4712302)
Teams would probably be more worried about their backup SS or C being unavailable because he threw too many pitches the night before than they would be enamored with the potential roster flexibility.
   18. bobm Posted: May 23, 2014 at 05:34 PM (#4712304)
I just noticed that the BB Ref Play Index Pitching Game Finder has a check box labeled "Typically a position player".
This is determined by career games played.
Note that a position switcher like Rick Ankiel or Babe Ruth will be included in this list


Ex.: From 2013 to 2014, A non-pitcher for his career, sorted by greatest pitches

                                                                                                
Rk             Player          Date  Tm Opp    Rslt  AppDec  IP H R ER BB SO HR Pit Str IR IS BF
1        Casper Wells    2013-08-24 PHI ARI L  7-12 18-18 L 0.2 3 5  5  3  0  0  40  22  0  0  8
                                                                                                
2           Mike Carp    2014-04-24 BOS NYY L  5-14    9-9f 1.0 0 1  1  5  0  0  38  15  0  0  7
                                                                                                
3        Leury Garcia    2014-04-16 CHW BOS  L  4-6 14-14fL 1.0 1 2  2  2  0  0  25  11  0  0  6
4      Skip Schumaker    2013-04-29 LAD COL L  2-12    9-9f 1.0 2 0  0  1  0  0  25  13  0  0  6
                                                                                                
5      Skip Schumaker    2013-06-28 LAD PHI L  1-16    9-9f 1.0 1 0  0  2  1  0  24  12  0  0  6
                                                                                                
6         Danny Worth    2014-05-22 DET TEX  L  2-9    9-9f 1.0 1 0  0  0  2  0  20  12  0  0  4
7        David Murphy    2013-06-04 TEX BOS L  5-17    8-8f 1.0 1 0  0  0  1  0  20  12  0  0  4
                                                                                                
8           Dean Anna    2014-04-19 NYY TBR L  1-16    8-8f 1.0 3 2  2  0  0  0  17  14  0  0  6
                                                                                                
9      Anthony Recker    2013-06-30 NYM WSN L  2-13    9-9f 1.0 1 2  2  1  0  1  16   5  0  0  5
10       Casper Wells 2013-06-28(1) CHW CLE L 10-19    9-9f 1.0 0 0  0  1  1  0  16   8  0  0  4
                                                                                                
11        Drew Butera    2014-05-17 LAD ARI L  7-18    8-8f 0.2 2 2  2  0  1  1  15  11  0  0  4
12     Mitch Moreland    2014-05-06 TEX COL L  1-12    8-8f 1.0 0 0  0  0  0  0  15  10  0  0  3
13   Martin Maldonado    2014-04-30 MIL STL  L  3-9    8-8f 1.0 1 0  0  0  0  0  15   9  0  0  4
                                                                                                
14        Ryan Raburn    2013-08-08 CLE DET L  3-10    9-9f 1.0 0 0  0  0  1  0  13   8  0  0  3
                                                                                                
15      John McDonald    2013-08-24 PHI ARI L  7-12  18-18f 0.1 2 0  0  0  1  0  12  10  2  1  3
                                                                                                
16        Drew Butera    2014-05-14 LAD MIA L  3-13    9-9f 1.0 0 0  0  0  1  0  11   8  0  0  3
17        Jake Elmore    2013-08-19 HOU TEX L  5-16    8-8f 1.0 0 0  0  0  0  0  11   8  0  0  3
                                                                                                
18      Jamey Carroll    2013-08-05 MIN KCR L  0-13    8-8f 1.0 0 0  0  0  0  0   9   7  0  0  3
                                                                                                
19       Lyle Overbay    2014-05-19 MIL ATL  L  3-9    8-8f 0.1 0 0  0  0  0  0   6   3  2  0  1
                                                                                                
20           Sam Fuld    2013-09-02 TBR LAA L  2-11    8-8f 0.1 0 0  0  0  0  0   5   2  2  0  1
21   Alberto Gonzalez    2013-05-15 NYY SEA L  2-12    9-9f 0.1 0 0  0  0  0  0   5   2  2  0  1
                                                                                                
22    Steven Tolleson    2014-05-14 TOR CLE L  4-15    9-9f 0.1 1 0  0  0  0  0   4   4  0  0  2
23      Josh Harrison    2013-08-09 PIT COL L  1-10    8-8f 0.1 0 0  0  0  0  0   4   3  2  0  1
24        Rob Johnson    2013-08-07 STL LAD L  4-13    9-9f 0.1 0 0  0  0  1  0   4   3  2  0  1
                                                                                                
25    Daniel Descalso    2014-05-12 STL CHC L  5-17    9-9f 0.1 0 0  0  0  0  0   2   1  1  0  1
Rk             Player          Date  Tm Opp    Rslt  AppDec  IP H R ER BB SO HR Pit Str IR IS BF


Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 5/23/2014.
   19. bobm Posted: May 23, 2014 at 05:39 PM (#4712307)
   20. Walt Davis Posted: May 23, 2014 at 05:46 PM (#4712310)
Saving the bullpen is a concern when your starter gets knocked out in the second inning no matter how many relievers you have

This is why God created Dick Tidrow.

In DM for kicks I semi-platooned Prior and Choi at 1B on an awful Cub team. Prior had some silly DM batting line -- something like 220/250/500 with a ton of doubles. I gave it up because it seemed it wasn't giving him credit for full rest between starts.

Sean Doolittle is presumably a PH of last resort for the A's.

   21. PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth) Posted: May 23, 2014 at 05:48 PM (#4712312)
I doubt Doolittle is much better a hitter than J. Random Pitcher at this point. Not to mention the A's wanting to use Doolittle as a pinch hitter rather than as a relief pitcher would require an outlandish scenario.
   22. catomi01 Posted: May 23, 2014 at 06:06 PM (#4712326)
I don't know why - but this type of thing is one of my favorite parts about baseball - position players pitching, catchers in the middle infield, outfielders playing the infield...just seems to make the game more fun - and count me among the group who thinks it would be worthwhile for the 25th man to be the last guy on the bench and last guy in the pen - I think the main issues preventing this are 1 - risk to the player - even a low-level asset like the 5th OF'er or 2nd utility infielder is still valuable to the team, and the manager must feel like he owes it to the players to minimize any chance of injury risk - a guy like dean anna, if he blows out his arm, it hurts the yankees only a little sure, but whatever career he had a shot at might be out the window. That would weigh pretty heavy on a manager's mind I think.
2nd, and this is more the longer-term non-need for a dedicated guy for this role, is that it is remarkably easy to shuttle guys back and forth to AAA, options and the 10 day rule complicate it, but almost every team has enough pitchers on the 40 man with options (or who are fungible enough to risk going through waivers) that it makes more sense to just let your mop-up guy throw 50-60 pitches in a blow out, and get swapped out with his near equivalent at AAA - then when that guy gets used up, swap back (or if its inside of 10 days - a different equally fringe guy). Basically if you have 3 guys with options on the 40 man roster, you can use the 1 active roster spot pretty interchangeably.
   23. Curse of the Andino Posted: May 23, 2014 at 06:23 PM (#4712335)
2nd, and this is more the longer-term non-need for a dedicated guy for this role, is that it is remarkably easy to shuttle guys back and forth to AAA, options and the 10 day rule complicate it, but almost every team has enough pitchers on the 40 man with options (or who are fungible enough to risk going through waivers) that it makes more sense to just let your mop-up guy throw 50-60 pitches in a blow out, and get swapped out with his near equivalent at AAA - then when that guy gets used up, swap back (or if its inside of 10 days - a different equally fringe guy). Basically if you have 3 guys with options on the 40 man roster, you can use the 1 active roster spot pretty interchangeably.


Yeah, CC Showalter, Buck (and Duquette), who are bringing up relievers for as little as one or two outings, then sending them back down.
   24. Canker Soriano Posted: May 23, 2014 at 06:24 PM (#4712336)
From 1914 to 2014, A non-pitcher for his career, sorted by greatest number of games pitched in all seasons

This seems to make Doug Dascenzo the king of the modern position pitchers. 4 appearances, 5 IP, 3 hits, no runs.
   25. valuearbitrageur Posted: May 23, 2014 at 06:24 PM (#4712337)
http://bbref.com/pi/shareit/PX6cJ


Your list is missing Micah Owings & Matsuzaki, neither of which were typically a pitcher after their first couple seasons.
   26. PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth) Posted: May 23, 2014 at 06:26 PM (#4712338)
I remember Doug Dascenzo as the other guy, besides Rickey and Unit, who threw left and batted right.
   27. valuearbitrageur Posted: May 23, 2014 at 06:27 PM (#4712340)
And yet when Girardi actually needed a position player to pitch in a blowout game he went to Dean Anna.


No Manager would ever use a player of Ichiro's caliber on the mound when he's so close to making Pete Rose cry.
   28. bobm Posted: May 23, 2014 at 06:33 PM (#4712343)
Owings

                                                
Year    Tm  Lg Age   G GS Batting Defense   P PH
2007   ARI  NL  24  35 27      34      29  29  6
2008   ARI  NL  25  36 18      35      22  22 14
2008   CIN  NL  25   4  0       4       0   0  4
2009   CIN  NL  26  41 19      39      26  26 16
2010   CIN  NL  27  27  0      25      22  22  7
2011   ARI  NL  28  34  4      31      33  33  1
2012   SDP  NL  29   6  0       6       6   6  0
         6 Seasons 183 68     174     138 138 48


Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 5/23/2014.
   29. Fred Lynn Nolan Ryan Sweeney Agonistes Posted: May 23, 2014 at 06:58 PM (#4712361)
I doubt Doolittle is much better a hitter than J. Random Pitcher at this point. Not to mention the A's wanting to use Doolittle as a pinch hitter rather than as a relief pitcher would require an outlandish scenario.

Reddick certainly throws hard and hits much better than J. Random Pitcher. He could still get outs here & there, couldn't he?
   30. Random Transaction Generator Posted: May 23, 2014 at 07:16 PM (#4712372)
Casper Wells, Dewayne Wise, and Josh Wilson pitched for two different teams in the same season.

I don't know if anyone else has done that.
   31. bobm Posted: May 23, 2014 at 08:17 PM (#4712391)
[30] Willie Smith: For 1968, A non-pitcher for his career, sorted by earliest date

                                                                          
Rk         Date  Tm Opp    Rslt AppDec  IP H R ER BB SO HR IR IS BF GDP WP
1    1968-06-01 CLE WSA  L  2-6   8-9f 2.0 1 0  0  0  1  0  0  0  6   1  0
2    1968-06-24 CLE DET L  3-14   7-9f 3.0 1 0  0  1  0  0  0  0 11   0  0
3    1968-08-27 CHC SFG  L  4-8   6-8f 2.2 0 0  0  0  2  0  2  0  8   0  1


Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 5/23/2014.
   32. Walt Davis Posted: May 23, 2014 at 09:18 PM (#4712419)
you can use the 1 active roster spot pretty interchangeably.

It's more than one spot and it's been going on for at least a decade, probably longer.

Typical team needs about 480-500 relief IP. With 7 relief slots, that's about 70 per slot; make it 8 slots and it's still 60. Last year there were only 35 relievers who hit the 70 IP mark, only 92 that hit the 60 IP mark. There are even only 128 who made it to 50 innings. Pretty much everything after the top 3-4 relief slots is churn whether due to injury, fatigue or crappy performance. The 210th reliever threw 28 innings.

Now my cutoff on that was 95% of appearances in relief so it misses guys who were tossed out of the rotation or added 2-3 starts ... but even 2-3 starts can throw off a search like that. And of course roster expansion in Sept gives teams lots of guys to spread the load around.

So far in 2014 there are a few "regular" mop-up types ... g/ip ... Jerome Williams 13/26, Craig Stammen 14/26, Jeanmar Gomez 13/25, Donn Roach 13/24, Todd Redmond 12/24. A guy like Redmond is perfect for that -- 29-year-old AAAA starter, I'm sure he'd be happy to blow out his arm for $500,000 (as long as it wasn't somehow seriously life debilitating).

I was a bit of a fan of the young Jerome Williams and was quite happy when the Cubs picked him up. Then everything went completely haywire from 24 to 28, came back as a replacement-level starter. I'm not entirely sure why teams pay him $2 M to stick around but I'm happy for him. He's sitting on over $6 M career earnings. 1s pick, he might well be over $7 M.
   33. Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: May 23, 2014 at 09:21 PM (#4712420)
Dear listmakers,

How about a list of position players with the best pitching WAR or RAR or RAA?

Sincerly,
A Big Fan.
   34. Greg K Posted: May 23, 2014 at 11:17 PM (#4712445)
I remember Doug Dascenzo as the other guy, besides Rickey and Unit, who threw left and batted right.

Also Jimmy Key.

And me, of course.

EDIT: Though I suppose Key is easy to miss as he apparently only had 3 PA at the major league level. There's no excuse for leaving me out of your list though.
   35. Cblau Posted: May 23, 2014 at 11:21 PM (#4712446)
I still don't understand why the Blue Jays didn't do that with John Olerud. When he came out of college, there was a big question as to whether he should be a pitcher or first basemen, but they insisted they couldn't let him pitch, even in blowouts. Like #6 says, if all he does is save the regular pitchers 30-40 innings a year, that has a lot of value.
   36. Greg K Posted: May 23, 2014 at 11:24 PM (#4712448)
The throw left/bat right thing always interested me because I am 100% lefty dominant in every aspect of life. Writing, throwing, handling objects of all shapes and sizes. My right arm is effectively useless for even the simplest of tasks. What always confused me about batting is that I feel like I'm batting left-handed and the exercise is just mis-named. My bottom (left) hand is doing all the work and my top (right) hand is just there along for the ride. I'm assuming this is not how most people hit (otherwise all lefties would hit right-handed). I'm assuming the top hand is usually dominant...is this true for switch hitters from both sides of the plate? Or for right-handed throwers who bat left-handed? Or does Jose Reyes' bottom hand (for example) dominate when he's batting from the left side?
   37. Pasta-diving Jeter (jmac66) Posted: May 23, 2014 at 11:29 PM (#4712450)
I remember Doug Dascenzo as the other guy, besides Rickey and Unit, who threw left and batted right.

Also Jimmy Key.

And me, of course.

and Cleon Jones
and Sandy Koufax
and my Dad
   38. Athletic Supporter can feel the slow rot Posted: May 23, 2014 at 11:31 PM (#4712452)
double
   39. Athletic Supporter can feel the slow rot Posted: May 23, 2014 at 11:31 PM (#4712453)
This is the first time I can recall seeing Ichiro Suzuki referred to in print as "Suzuki".

Davo Dozier: I do the same thing and often wonder why major league teams don't do the same. There have to be fifth outfielders kicking around who

(a) with a little practice, can throw up a 7.00 in blowouts and save the bullpen, and
(b) aren't enough of an asset as a position player for the team to be too worried if they blow their arm along the way.

There is probably a good reason why this isn't done; if there weren't someone would have tried it by now. I'm not sure what exactly it is.


I think we're proceeding from a faulty assumption that given a meaningless inning, you'd rather spend it on a position player. Spending it on a pitcher gives you more data to evaluate, and gives them practice time. Also, even if you are losing a blowout, there is no reason to care about the difference between a 7 ERA and an 18 ERA, and nobody is confident enough to put in a 7 ERA in a winning blowout (I don't think I've ever seen a position player in a 9-inning game his team was winning by any margin). So I don't think that 7 ERA skill would be of any real use.
   40. bobm Posted: May 23, 2014 at 11:48 PM (#4712460)
Dear listmakers,

How about a list of position players with the best pitching WAR or RAR or RAA?

Sincerly,
A Big Fan.



Spanning Multiple Seasons or entire Careers, From 1901 to 2014, For players in the saved report : (From 1914 to 2014, A non-pitcher for his career, sorted by greatest number of games in all seasons matching the selected criteria: Results), sorted by greatest WAR for Pitchers

                                                                                                      
Rk               Player  WAR   G  GS  GF  W  L SV     IP   H   R  ER  BB  SO  ERA   BF              Tm
1             Babe Ruth 20.6 163 147  12 94 46  4 1221.1 974 400 309 441 488 2.28 4896         BOS-NYY
2         Johnny Cooney  9.1 159  75  67 34 44  6  795.1 858 409 329 223 224 3.72 3421             BSN
3          Hal Jeffcoat  6.6 245  51 106 39 37 25  697.0 772 365 327 257 239 4.22 3053     CHC-CIN-STL
4           Rick Ankiel  3.5  51  41   1 13 10  1  242.0 198 119 105 130 269 3.90 1039             STL
5         George Sisler  2.5  24  12   8  5  6  3  111.0  91  36  29  52  63 2.35  453         SLB-BSN
6        Johnny Lindell  1.2  55  28  19  8 18  1  251.2 247 147 125 161 146 4.47 1141     NYY-PIT-PHI
7         Rube Bressler  1.2 107  52  42 26 32  2  540.0 511 267 204 242 229 3.40 2235         PHA-CIN
8           Jimmie Foxx  1.0  10   2   8  1  0  0   23.2  13   4   4  14  11 1.52   97         BOS-PHI
9     Brooks Kieschnick  0.7  74   0  24  2  2  0   96.0 110  51  49  26  67 4.59  425             MIL
10         Ossie Orwoll  0.7  39   8  22  6  7  3  136.0 142  82  70  56  65 4.63  598             PHA
11          Ben Chapman  0.5  25  16   7  8  6  0  141.1 147  77  69  71  65 4.39  642         BRO-PHI
12           Marv Gudat  0.5   8   2   5  1  1  0   27.2  30  12  10   4   2 3.25  115         CIN-CHC
13         Eddie OBrien  0.4   5   1   2  1  0  0   16.1  16   6   6   4  11 3.31   68             PIT
14        Woody Wheaton  0.4  11   1   7  0  1  0   38.0  36  17  15  20  15 3.55  166             PHA
15            Dee Moore  0.4   2   1   1  0  0  0    7.0   3   1   0   2   3 0.00   27             CIN
16         Frank Brower  0.4   4   0   4  0  0  0    9.2   7   2   1   4   0 0.93   38             CLE
17       Rocky Colavito  0.3   2   0   1  1  0  0    5.2   1   0   0   5   2 0.00   23         CLE-NYY
18         Willie Smith  0.3  29   3  10  2  4  2   61.0  60  26  21  24  39 3.10  258 DET-LAA-CHC-CLE
19            Max Macon  0.3  81  29  35 17 19  3  297.1 307 171 140 128  90 4.24 1314     STL-BRO-BSN
20             Al Libke  0.3   5   1   4  0  0  0    9.1   7   2   2   6   4 1.93   38             CIN
21   High Pockets Kelly  0.3   1   0   1  1  0  0    5.0   4   0   0   1   2 0.00   20             NYG
22          Chris Davis  0.2   1   0   1  1  0  0    2.0   2   0   0   1   2 0.00    8             BAL
23        Doug Dascenzo  0.2   4   0   4  0  0  0    5.0   3   0   0   2   2 0.00   18             CHC
24           Myril Hoag  0.2   3   0   2  0  0  0    4.0   3   0   0   1   0 0.00   15         SLB-CLE
25        Pepper Martin  0.2   2   0   1  0  0  0    4.0   2   1   1   2   0 2.25   13             STL
Rk               Player  WAR   G  GS  GF  W  L SV     IP   H   R  ER  BB  SO  ERA   BF              Tm
26         Bobby Reeves  0.2   1   0   1  0  0  0    7.1   6   3   3   1   0 3.68   29             BOS
27       Bernie Friberg  0.2   1   0   1  0  0  0    4.0   4   2   2   3   1 4.50   17             PHI
28           Hack Eibel  0.2   3   0   2  0  0  0   10.1  10   4   4   3   5 3.48   40             BOS
29          Paul Strand  0.2  29   5  20  7  3  1   95.0  95  44  25  38  52 2.37  393             BSN


Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 5/23/2014.
   41. SeanBerry Posted: May 24, 2014 at 12:05 AM (#4712461)
The throw left/bat right thing always interested me because I am 100% lefty dominant in every aspect of life. Writing, throwing, handling objects of all shapes and sizes. My right arm is effectively useless for even the simplest of tasks. What always confused me about batting is that I feel like I'm batting left-handed and the exercise is just mis-named. My bottom (left) hand is doing all the work and my top (right) hand is just there along for the ride. I'm assuming this is not how most people hit (otherwise all lefties would hit right-handed).


Same for me. I'm left-handed but I bat righty. I definitely feel my left hand is the one in control when I bat.

I also play hockey and golf right-handed. Do you play any other sports where you have to use a bat or stick? I always figured that I ended up a right-handed batter because of hockey. In hockey, you'd better have your strongest hand at the tip of the stick, in case you have to handle your stick with one hand only to reach or poke the puck or cut a pass, etc. you get to use your strong one. So for a lefty it seems beneficial to play hockey right-handed.

   42. Greg K Posted: May 24, 2014 at 12:36 AM (#4712464)
I also play hockey and golf right-handed. Do you play any other sports where you have to use a bat or stick? I always figured that I ended up a right-handed batter because of hockey. In hockey, you'd better have your strongest hand at the tip of the stick, in case you have to handle your stick with one hand only to reach or poke the puck or cut a pass, etc. you get to use your strong one. So for a lefty it seems beneficial to play hockey right-handed.

Yeah I play hockey right-handed (and have also noted the convenience of having the dominant hand at the end of the stick). I've never actually played a round of golf, but when I swing a club at the driving range or mini-golf it's right-handed. I play tennis left-handed, but I'm about a million times more comfortable playing a backhand, where again my bottom (left) hand does all the swinging through. Actually in table tennis I take almost every single shot on the backhand (sort of simulating the bottom hand swing through of a baseball stroke), to the point where I sort of contort myself into a sideways spin shot on the backhand even if the ball is hit to my forehand side. A bit like a catcher backhanding a running fastball that he really ought to turn his glove around for.
   43. cardsfanboy Posted: May 24, 2014 at 12:47 AM (#4712466)
I also play hockey and golf right-handed. Do you play any other sports where you have to use a bat or stick? I always figured that I ended up a right-handed batter because of hockey. In hockey, you'd better have your strongest hand at the tip of the stick, in case you have to handle your stick with one hand only to reach or poke the puck or cut a pass, etc. you get to use your strong one. So for a lefty it seems beneficial to play hockey right-handed.


I was always a switch hitter in hockey, there was almost no control difference between the two for me. When I switched hit in baseball though, my ability to consistently make contact left handed was vastly different, but I also had more power as a left handed batter.
   44. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: May 24, 2014 at 01:01 AM (#4712471)
I remember Doug Dascenzo as the other guy, besides Rickey and Unit, who threw left and batted right.


Cody Ross is the most prominent member of that club at the moment.

It is rare, far more rare than the TR/BL combination (which accounts for 42 percent of all lefthanded hitters in MLB).

Guy and I were discussing this a few years back. He believed the TR/BL types were being taught that way, while I argued that it was likely natural inclination behind it. I've since begun surveying those types of players when I run into them at my son's little league games, and all but one* was done because that's what felt natural (and the one who wasn't actually switched to lefthanded hitting because of an early childhood injury, not for competitive reasons).

I've probably spoken to between 10-15 kids/parents thus far.
   45. Jarrod HypnerotomachiaPoliphili(Teddy F. Ballgame) Posted: May 24, 2014 at 01:16 AM (#4712473)
My son is right-handed but bats from the left side. He does this only because when he was two years old he'd copy my right-handed stance as though he was looking in a mirror. Seemed to work for him so I encouraged it.
   46. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: May 24, 2014 at 01:30 AM (#4712474)
My son is right-handed but bats from the left side. He does this only because when he was two years old he'd copy my right-handed stance as though he was looking in a mirror. Seemed to work for him so I encouraged it.


Cool. This and the injury show there are more origin than Guy and I originally considered (though forced to pick, this would have to go on his side of the ledger).

   47. Russlan is fond of Dillon Gee Posted: May 24, 2014 at 01:33 AM (#4712475)
By the way, Ichiro is hitting .373/.425/.433 and is now 233 hits away from 3000. I really do hope he gets there.
   48. Oscar Geronimo Posted: May 24, 2014 at 01:44 AM (#4712477)
@ 47: He has a better OPS than the Yankees' regular OF - he should be starting, and should be shamelessly accruing hits!
   49. Jose Canusee Posted: May 24, 2014 at 07:59 AM (#4712501)
22. catomi01 Posted: May 23, 2014 at 06:06 PM (#4712326)
I don't know why - but this type of thing is one of my favorite parts about baseball

Same reason people like detective stories where the suspect is not guilty and a surprise person was the culprit. Or why they have chess problems where you win by promoting the pawn to a knight.

19. bobm: Great link to the list of players. Had never heard of #3 Chubby Dean. Did not pitch at all in 1936 as 20 YO rookie 1B (78 OPS+ in 374 PA) and 9 IP in 1937 (79 OPS+ in 358 PA). So he did what Doolittle might have done if Connie Mack were running the Oakland A's. That was 2/3 of his lifetime PA and all of his 3 lifetime HR's. He mostly pitched with PH and occasional 1B appearances after that and didn't degrade with the bat, finishing with a consistent 79 OPS+ to go with his 80 ERA+, getting as many as 19 starts in a season. By 1941, even this replacement-level utility wasn't enough to keep his job and the A's waived him and Cleveland picked him up, which turned out to be a decent move as he didn't get drafted until the later part of 1943. Not that his stats were way better against wartime competition but...(thanks to both of you who read so far) we get this cool stat (se the fielding section):
PHA-383.2 IP 3 of 6 steal attempts successful
CLE-302 IP 0 of 9 steal attempts successful
in 1942 for example, Cleveland's catchers caught 39% of attempts vs league 23% so they were pretty good, but Dean must have developed a wicked pickoff move.
   50. bobm Posted: May 24, 2014 at 08:38 AM (#4712504)
http://www.baseball-almanac.com/deaths/chubby_dean_obituary.shtml

Appeared in The New York Times on December 21, 1970 / Obituaries / Chubby Dean
Chubby Dean Obituary

Chubby Dean, 54, Pitched For Athletics and Indians

RIVERSIDE, N.J., Dec. 21 (AP) — Alfred Lovill (Chubby) Dean, a pitcher for the Philadelphia Athletics and Cleveland Indians in the nineteen thirties and forties, died today at his home, 319 Middleton Street. He was 54 years old.

After his baseball career, Mr. Dean was director of athletics for the Army at Fort Dix and for the European Command at Nuremberg, Germany.

He was a distant cousin of Dizzy and Daffy Dean, pitching stars for the St. Louis Cardinals.

Survivors include his widow, the former Jean Edinger, a daughter, Donna, and a brother, Dayton, retired athletic director for Duke University.

Dean, a lefthander, began his major-league career as a first baseman. In eight seasons, he compiled a pitching record of 30 victories and 46 losses.
   51. The Clarence Thomas of BBTF (scott) Posted: May 24, 2014 at 08:51 AM (#4712509)
Yeah, Ichiro is having a renaissance season, and he's getting into a decent number of games. If he stays healthy he could get within realistic distance of 3000.
   52. FrankM Posted: May 24, 2014 at 10:31 AM (#4712533)
#31 - I wouldn't call Willie Smith a non-pitcher. He was primarily a pitcher in his minor league career, and pitched a fair amount his first two MLB seasons (1963 & 1964).
   53. Canker Soriano Posted: May 24, 2014 at 11:03 AM (#4712546)
Chris Davis! Man, that was a great game. And back when everyone thought Davis was just going to be another flameout 1B who showed power in the minors and then nothing.
   54. Mirabelli Dictu (Chris McClinch) Posted: May 26, 2014 at 09:02 AM (#4713360)
I'm assuming Ruth and Davis are the only two players in Major League history to win a game as pitcher of record and have 50 home runs in a season. That's going to be a trivia question in the near future, for sure.
   55. Squash Posted: May 26, 2014 at 10:43 AM (#4713382)
Same for me. I'm left-handed but I bat righty. I definitely feel my left hand is the one in control when I bat.

The reason (my theory at least) that righties bat "righty" and lefties lefty is that the footwork is the same, i.e. you're leading with the same foot each way. I personally was a righty thrower who hit lefty, definitely felt my right hand was running the show when hitting, but it was interesting how the body "thinks" depending on whether the dominant leg is anchoring or reaching out and how that adjusts your personal physical strategy.
   56. Greg K Posted: May 26, 2014 at 12:11 PM (#4713407)
The reason (my theory at least) that righties bat "righty" and lefties lefty is that the footwork is the same, i.e. you're leading with the same foot each way. I personally was a righty thrower who hit lefty, definitely felt my right hand was running the show when hitting, but it was interesting how the body "thinks" depending on whether the dominant leg is anchoring or reaching out and how that adjusts your personal physical strategy.

This is interesting. Other than batting/hockey the only thing I do right-wise is that I'm right-footed in soccer. For the resident soccerphiles, is there any correlation between handedness and footedness?
   57. Howie Menckel Posted: May 26, 2014 at 12:25 PM (#4713411)
lefty-righty:

I play/played every sport left-handed, including soccer, tennis, football, basketball, volleyball serving, badminton, and baseball hitting and throwing - except for hockey.

The catch? My twin bro, a righty, and I each got hockey sticks at the same time as kids. It took us a while to realize we both were "doing it backwards," and we never switched.

We each got golf clubs a year or two later, and played together on the HS varsity golf team, but I was lefty as usual and he was righty. Of course, that sport's equipment is more differentiated even in the stores, and one rarely "goes to the backhand" in golf (generally when a big tree is in the way of a regular swing, and even there you didn't use the back of the club).

P.s. Are there any right-handers here?
:)

   58. bobm Posted: May 26, 2014 at 12:28 PM (#4713412)
I'm assuming Ruth and Davis are the only two players in Major League history to win a game as pitcher of record and have 50 home runs in a season. That's going to be a trivia question in the near future, for sure.

Foxx did both, but not in the same season.
   59. Greg K Posted: May 26, 2014 at 01:07 PM (#4713429)
My favourite left-handed quirk is that in high school I decided to pick up the bass guitar and teach myself how to play. I got one for $40 from a flea market, and obviously it was right-handed. I suppose I could have re-strung it, but I literally had no idea what I was doing, so I just decided to play it upside down. It made sense to me, the low string is low and the high string is high. I never really got any good, but I could play a song or two and would occasionally jam with some friends (we had made a "band" of sorts, in that we would hang out in someone's basement or at parties and try to play songs...the one rule was that in order to join you had to have zero experience before hand.)
   60. The Ghost's Tryin' to Reason with Hurricane Season Posted: May 26, 2014 at 02:41 PM (#4713478)
I know more hockey players are lefties, but not why. A search reveals that a majority of Americans shoot right, but Canadians and others trend left. Theories abound.
   61. Greg K Posted: May 26, 2014 at 04:24 PM (#4713531)
I know more hockey players are lefties, but not why. A search reveals that a majority of Americans shoot right, but Canadians and others trend left. Theories abound.

In an effort to find out myself I came across this which is a very in depth analysis of the technical aspects of a wrist shot. The author actually uses a few baseball visual analogies to explain the process.
   62. PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth) Posted: May 26, 2014 at 04:26 PM (#4713533)
American kids, even today, mostly learn baseball before hockey, and so putting the dominant hand further up the stick feels right to them. Canadian kids universally learn hockey before baseball, and are usually taught to put their dominant hand at the bottom of the sick. Why Canada developed that tradition I'm not sure, but Canadians seem to think it's easier to control the stick that way (though that sounds like confirmation bias to me).
   63. Greg K Posted: May 26, 2014 at 04:31 PM (#4713536)
American kids, even today, mostly learn baseball before hockey, and so putting the dominant hand further up the stick feels right to them. Canadian kids universally learn hockey before baseball, and are usually taught to put their dominant hand at the bottom of the sick. Why Canada developed that tradition I'm not sure, but Canadians seem to think it's easier to control the stick that way (though that sounds like confirmation bias to me).

This actually makes some sense, as though I'm Canadian, I did learn baseball before hockey, and I go dominant (left) hand on top (right-handed). I think whichever sport you learn first, you'd be more inclined to play the other one the same way (bat right/shoot right, bat left/shoot left) no matter which way you throw.
   64. Howie Menckel Posted: May 26, 2014 at 04:47 PM (#4713545)

so how did we screw it up?
:)
   65. cardsfanboy Posted: May 26, 2014 at 05:10 PM (#4713554)
American kids, even today, mostly learn baseball before hockey, and so putting the dominant hand further up the stick feels right to them. Canadian kids universally learn hockey before baseball, and are usually taught to put their dominant hand at the bottom of the sick. Why Canada developed that tradition I'm not sure, but Canadians seem to think it's easier to control the stick that way (though that sounds like confirmation bias to me).


I'm not sure I'm getting this. In baseball, your dominant hand is "up" and it's because it's the control hand. Your less dominant hand is at the end of the stick and it provides power. It seems natural to put the dominant hand closer to the head of the hockey stick for that same reason.
   66. PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth) Posted: May 26, 2014 at 07:29 PM (#4713657)
Makes sense to me, CFB, but most of the Canadians I talk to who hold the stick the Canadian way swear they can control it better with the dominant hand at the bottom. I'm not sure it actually matters much beyond people just being most comfortable with whatever they've been doing since they were four. I mean, some baseball players switch hit and do fine.
   67. Davo Dozier Posted: May 26, 2014 at 08:31 PM (#4713685)
Today's Yankee game is still tied through twelve innings...if this goes to the 18th Ichiro may just get his chance!

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