... 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.
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.