Interesting to note that the As, who seem to be the shining example of using platoon splits to their biggest advantage, are just about squarely in the middle of the pack, and are close to 100 points worse than last season. Baseball!
I would also be interested in seeing an analysis of who got the most out of each PH — instead of comparing the numbers to league averages, compare the player hitting to the player hit for and see whose decisions make the most sense (though this would definitely be a ton more work). Maybe the As really are doing well, they’re just working with a lower talent level than most teams.
Comment by Catoblepas — September 25, 2013 @ 1:56 pm
I’m a little shocked at the Reds being so high given the times I watched Miguel Cairo (.187/.220/.280 in 156 PA) and Wilson Valdez (.206/.236/.227 in 208 PA) pinch hit last year and Cesar Izturis (.194/.246/.242 in 137 PA) this year. This ignores a lot of better and more used pinch-hitters over the last 5 years, but I wouldn’t have thought the Reds bench was much above average. Great article, learned something.
The phLI, average leverage for pinch hitters, for Baltimore for the last five years is 1.57 which is 8th in the majors over that time frame. Of course since NL teams often pinch hit for the pitcher regardless of leverage, NL teams mostly have much lower phLI numbers. Only the Yankees, with a phLI of 1.33, have a phLI lower than an NL team over the last five years. It would seem that its the Yankees who are most likely to use pinch hitters to rest veterans which makes sense considering their roster.
Could some of that 21 point drop in wOBA come from facing more difficult pitching? Pinch Hitters are primarily going to face Relief Pitchers instead of Starting Pitchers. If so, how much of this could account for that drop?