Sunday, May 25, 2014

Dodgers have a Southpaw problem

Yesterday I wrote about the Dodgers' continual problems with defense, as evidenced by their 5-3 loss to the Phillies on Saturday in which four of those runs could've easily been avoided with better D.

Then I remembered a comment made during the game by either Charlie Steiner or Orel Hershiser (forgive me, I forgot which one), and that's their inability to hit left-handed pitchers.  So I checked the stats.  Boy were they not kidding.

Coming into today's games, the Dodgers are dead last in all of baseball with a .217 average against lefties.  Ouch.

Here's a look at how some of the key left-handed hitters are doing against Southpaws:

Andre Ethier: 4-for-22, .182
Adrian Gonzalez: 11-for-59, .186
Dee Gordon: 8-for-41, .195
Carl Crawford: 5-for-24, .208
Totals: 28-for-146, .192

And now, here's a look a some of the key right-handed hitters:

Matt Kemp: 8-for-51, .157
Juan Uribe: 6-for-32, .188
Justin Turner: 8-for-37, .216
Hanley Ramirez: 9-for-39, .231
Scott Van Slyke: 11-for-35, .314
Yasiel Puig: 14-for-41, .341
Totals: 56-for-235, .238

Team Totals Overall: 99-for-457, .217

For some guys, this is surprising.  A-Gon is obviously better against righties, but also has a career .276 average against lefties.  Kemp has long pounded lefties for a .333 average.  Hanley is at .306.

For others, it's not a surprise.  Ethier has been saddled his whole career with the stigma of not hitting lefties (.234), and he's once again proving why he can't quite be considered an everyday player with numbers that pathetic.  Crawford (.258) and Gordon (.216) also are much worse against lefties.

The bottom line is everyone on here, with the exception of Puig and Van Slyke, has to perform more to their career averages against Southpaws.  Not only are most of these numbers down, but in some cases, not even on the same planet as to where they've been in the past.

There's really no excuse for guys like Kemp and Hanley to continue to look so lost against lefties.  They've both feasted on these types of pitchers in their careers, and now is the time to step up and perform to that level again.  If not, then expect the rest of the National League to load up on lefties whenever they play the Dodgers.  The numbers prove it works.

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