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Playoff Waiver Wire: Sean Rodriguez

Posted By Erik Hahmann On September 30, 2011 @ 2:15 pm In Shortstops,Strategy | No Comments

There aren’t many players who have bigger gaps in talent from one side of the plate to the other than Sean Rodriguez. The Rays shortstop has shown impressive talent against the Ned Flanderses of the world over his career. This season he’s been 43 percent better than league average against southpaws and 38 percent worse than average against right handers. The differences in OBP and wOBA this season are staggering as well.

             LHP          RHP

OPS     0.864      0.567
wOBA 0.377    0.259

His walk right is 6% higher and there’s a .107 point difference in ISO (.201 to .094). Luckily, somewhat, for him he’ll be facing C.J. Wilson and Derek Holland in games one and two of the ALDS.

Sadly for the Rays, Wilson doesn’t have any massive platoon splits; right handed batters have a .658 OPS vs .650 for lefties. He pitched his best in September, putting up a 2.65 FIP and 9.88 K/9 in 37 innings. Pitching in the hitters haven’t that is Arlington hasn’t phased him either; his FIP of 3.43 at home is still excellent. Rodriguez has only faced Wilson seven times, so the small sample alert applies, but has two hits, including a home run and a walk.

Derek Holland has more noticeable splits. Right handed batters put up a .765 OPS against him as opposed to .601 for righties, and a 4.13 FIP (LHB) compared to 3.40 (RHB). His BB/9 jumps from 1.93 to 3.44 when a right hander steps into the box. He’s had a very good year, finally taking the leap many of us expected him to, but is certainly hittable for a good right handed bat. This is where small sample sizes get you in trouble, as Rodriguez is hitless in five at bats against Holland. He’s better than that.

Rodriguez isn’t a well known player and his overall numbers won’t inspire much confidence in the average fan, but when you dig deeper you can see the value he provides when put in the right situation. Joe Maddon is the best in baseball at putting his players in the best possible situations to succeed.


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