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  1. It can’t hurt them. The AAV of the deal is less than 1.5 million and the Cards payroll is down by about 10 million from last year. Also, Miller has a big health risk, Ring and Manning have performance issues and Katsuhiko Maekawa is asian. Reyes is good bet to produce at a relatively high level, and will add some stability to the pen.

    Comment by vivaelpujols — March 6, 2009 @ 10:46 pm

  2. I am not really sure why you would call out Gardenhire’s usage of Reyes or expect his percentage of righties faced to drop in St. Louis. The percentages you list are actually pretty low. The perception of left-handed specialists as guys who go entire seasons only pitching to left-handers one out at a time is not really rooted in reality, and usage patterns like Reyes’ are in fact the norm. Since 2000, less than 1 lefty per year on average (and none in the last 3 years) has pitched at least 25 innings and faced a smaller percentage of righties than Reyes did in 2007, and only an average of 3 per year have faced proportionally fewer than Reyes did last year. About 7-8 per year are at or below 50%.

    Both of LaRussa’s lefties last year, Ron Villone and Randy Flores, faced right-handed batters over 50% of the time. None of his lefties this decade have faced fewer than 44% right-handers in at least 25 innings of work, one has faced under 46%, and four have faced under 50%. Very few relievers who are not late-season or short-term call-ups face fewer righties in a season than that, and LaRussa’s lefties are no exception.

    I think they could have been ok with the group they had too, but more depth in the bullpen is never a bad thing, and Reyes is probably a safer bet to contribute than any of the other three. There has been some concern about Miller’s health as well that held up negotiations with him for a while and ended with a smaller deal for him, so they might be adding extra insurance against that as well. All in all, I think it was a good move.

    Comment by Kincaid — March 6, 2009 @ 11:01 pm

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