We all know LH specialist is broken... Topic

... but just how broken.

Like everyone else, learned long ago that LH specialists are useless. I messed around with them a bit my first couple of seasons, and that was the last time I used them. (So maybe 3 years, 60 seasons ago)

Well, I have a team (Chicago Gray Stockings, Satchel Paige) that I didn't really expect to go anywhere and decided to waste a roster spot on a LH specialist and see just how bad it was. After all, I've learned a lot of HBD since I last used that pitching role and maybe I missed something.

The pitcher in question... Mr Andy Buchholz...

Looked to be a good candidate... LHP of course... pretty high vL (79)... good control (83)... 3 pitches rated 80+ and 1 rated 74.
Plus his stamina (16) and duruability (35) don't really allow him to be a workhorse out of the pen.

My initial plan was to leave him at LHS for the entire season, but I had a trade offer that I like that involved Mr Buchholz that cut my experiment short. Still...

Through 105 team games, Andy had appeared in 10 games and pitched 6.2 innings. He faced 13 LHB and 10 RHB. He was awesome in his limited appearances. My bullpen on this team has 6 other relievers. One is set as a LRA, the others are all SUA or SUB. Andy is the only LHP in the pen. His pitch settings were the 6th inning or later, with pitch count settings of 10/15.

In those same 105 team games, the rest of the bullpen faced 387 LHB. So, my LHS faced 13 out of a possible 400 LHB faced by the bullpen, as the only LHP in the pen. Clearly something needs tweaking.

Some suggestions...
1- When it has already been determined that the starter is going to be pulled, and the game is close (within 3 runs?), and the next two batters due up are both LH... if there is a LHS avail, he should always be used.

2- Anytime the tying or go ahead runner are in scoring position, and the starter has been determined to be pulled (or the bullpen is already in the game) and a LHB is coming to the plate, if a LHS is avail, he should always be put in the game (unless maybe the current reliever is also LH)  Even is the current reliever hasn't hit his TPC or hasn't otherwise been determined to be pulled.

Anyway, so I guess this thread is half observation/ half suggestion. I figured all of the other HBD vets haven't used LHS in, well, forever and there might be another inquiring mind who would find recent LHS findings worth 60 seconds to read. Any other thoughts/ observations of course welcome.

9/7/2013 1:42 PM
I think if they aren't going to make it relevant, they should just scrap the designation.
9/7/2013 2:18 PM
Correct me if im wrong, but In my limited experience the sim doesn't look any further ahead than one batter. If that's the case, should the correct use for this pitcher be SuA with a 5/10 count? I would think that would make him a LOOGY.

9/7/2013 2:36 PM
Interesting suggestion damag. I've never heard that about the engine before. Maybe that'll be my next little experiment.
9/7/2013 2:52 PM
You did notice I said "limited experience." I said one batter because every time I've ever tried to have a pitcher avoid a matchup against a really poor split, the pitcher always ends up staying in too long and facing the kind of matchup I didn't want.
9/7/2013 3:41 PM
I had a player designated as a LHS for two entire seasons and he averaged about 20 innings each season.  He should have been effective in that role but was obvoiusly was hardly ever used.  I forget the player, it was multiple seasons ago.  I just switched him to subB and he got plenty of work.

Perhaps my coach ratings were too low to take advantage of the proper matchups when they presented themselves?
9/7/2013 11:01 PM
Coaches only affect development.  They have no effect on gameplay.
9/8/2013 12:08 AM
#36 Manager's Office Q. What's the difference between the different pitching roles (mopup, long A/B, LH/RH specialist, setup A/B and closer A/B)?

The pitching designations represent how you, the manager, would like that pitcher to be used, which may or may not matchup to how the pitcher was used in real life that particular season. Here are the general guidelines:

  • Rest: Only use this pitcher as a last resort
  • Mopup: This pitcher should only be used in blowouts.
  • Long Relief: This pitcher would be called on in a situation in which the starter is pulled early in the game (6th inning or earlier). A long may also be used later in the game depending on the situation and who is still available in the bullpen.
  • Specialist : These are pitchers who are almost solely used just to get the opposing team's most feared hitter out late in a close game. For example, a left-handed specialist will enter the game to face the opponent's best left-handed hitter (and vice versa).
  • Setup: This pitcher will be primarily used in the later innings to preserve small leads, small deficits or ties.
  • Closer: This pitcher will be primarily used late to close out a game. This role works in conjunction with the Managerial Setting for closers.


The A/B designation is an additional control for setting pitcher usage. An A designation will almost always be used before a B designation of the same role, e.g. if you have one pitcher set to Setup A and another set to Setup B, the Setup A would receive priority in a setup situation. If both pitchers are set to A, then the SimManager will decide who to use based on the situation (opposing righties/lefties, pitcher fatigue, etc.).

Each of these roles work with your Player Settings to determine actual usage, primarily the "Min Inning Available" setting. A typical scenario would be Mopup can enter in any inning, Long Relief in 4th or higher, Setup in 6th or higher and Closer in 8th or higher. But that's where you come in and can specify ideal usage.

*** Please note that if you don't designate a pitcher for a specific role, you may be sending the wrong (or right) message to the SimManager. For example, if you put all of your bullpen pitchers on rest, that would be an indication to the SimManager to leave the starter in as long as possible, regardless of his call bullpen and pinch-hitting settings. Another example might be setting all of your pitchers to rest except for a closer. This would indicate to the SimManager to leave the starter in until a save situation arises. If the starter is getting shelled in the 5th inning, the SimManager would leave him out there rather than use a closer in the 5th inning. It's recommended to have at least 1 pitcher set for each role. Not having a pitcher available at a specific role may have undesired results.

9/8/2013 10:59 AM
Based on the above information, if the LHed hitter coming to bat isn't their best hitter, its unlikely your LH specialist will come in.
9/8/2013 11:02 AM
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We all know LH specialist is broken... Topic

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