Saturday, March 21, 2009

More Gobble talk

Bob Dutton is concerned about the LOOGY-sized hole in the bullpen but Trey Hillman isn't:
“We just didn’t see him being a fit at this time,” Hillman said. “I’d prefer not to have a left-handed specialist.”

Trey has admitted to using Gobble incorrectly last season so I do believe him when he says this. Dutton, to his credit, noticed the contradiction in relation to the teams desire to have a left-handed starter.
Club officials have, however, long stressed the need for pitchers capable of handling the many tough left-handed hitters in the AL Central.

That view undergirds the Royals’ near insistence in working a left-hander into the rotation and explains why they overspent the market last December to sign veteran Horacio Ramirez, who hasn’t been an effective starter since 2005.

Thats called calling it like you see it and Dutton nailed it. I suppose if they were going with a six man bullpen then I'd agree that a LOOGY is a luxury they can't afford but since they insist on having seven why not keep a guy who can come in and get a Mauer or Morneau out in a tough situation?

Let's walk through their decision. Ramirez is not good but he's left handed so they want him in the rotation because the Central has a lot of good left handed hitters. Gobble dominates left handed hitters but since he struggles against right handers there is no room or him in the pen. Ramirez would pitch every fifth day, Gobble conceivably could pitch everyday. Okay, admittedly their logic escapes me.

So now with runners on 2nd and 3rd in the 7th inning with Justin Morneau at the plate who does Trey call upon?
Gobble 69 .200/.246/.323
Soria 139 .167/.261/.275
Farnsworth 122 .275/.375/.578
Cruz 110 .159/.310/.232
Waechter 122 .303/.358/.486
Tejeda 88 .225/.284/.413
Bale 45 .275/.356/.325
Peralta 97 .247/.330/.600
Mahay 110 .255/.327/.394

Cruz and Soria are the 8th and 9th inning options so they are out and I can't see him bringing in Tejeda no matter what the splits say. My money is on Mahay or Bale and I suppose that it will be fine but neither is Gobble. It will be interesting to see how many times Trey pulls them when the next hitter is right handed, I bet it happens more than once because he is more conventional than he lets on.

By the way left handed hitters hit .350/.403/.433 versus Ramirez last season. Take from that what you will.


  1. Gobble should have been kept as a left-handed specialist. We already have a should-be right-handed specialist on the team in Farnsworth. Either way, the point is moot. Their instance on using HoRam in the rotation is bizarre. And if Gobble faces lefties 60-70% of the time, there's no way he isn't more valuable to the club than Pena or Gload.

  2. It'll be interesting to see how many times a situation comes up where a LOOGY is warranted.