SmokinHawk wrote: CurryStopstheRuns wrote:
SmokinHawk wrote:I would rather Hultzen gets the call. I've never been one to buy into the lefty vs. righty crap. Felix is a righty and he can retire any batter in MLB through his mastery of a half dozen pitches, and ability to throw a few others as well. The need for lefties in the lineup is overstated, at least for starting pitchers. What I like about Hultzen is his ability to throw decent heat, along with an array of strikeout pitches such as his changeup, 2 seamer, and slider. I would like to see he and Walker called up this season as after Felix and Iwakuma, our starting pitching rotation makes me pine for the likes of Jason Vargas.
What?! You say the lefty thing is overrated and then use one of the best pitchers in the game to demonstrate why it is not necessary like somehow Hernandez, Verlander, and the like grow on trees.
Pining for Vargus? I will not miss that guy. He would eat up innings, but was largely helped by Safeco if I remember correctly. He has had two good starts in a row for LAA, but was getting hammered before running into the buzz saw offense of Seattle, and the struggling Orioles.
Felix isn't the only dominant RHP in the game. Success as a starter seems to have more to do with how many pitches you can throw well, knowing when to throw them, rather than which hand those pitches are coming from. Lefty vs. righty may become an issue when your relievers start hitting the mound, and they only have one or two pitches at their disposal. Take Carter Capps for example. He's probably our best middle reliever, but he only throws two pitches, so they have to take him out versus left handed bats.
For starting pitchers, it really shouldn't matter whether they are left or right handed. Eventually every starter works through the rotation, and most starters will sit in a game until at least the 5th inning, meaning the quality of their pitches matters more than which hand is hurling those pitches.
I think the issue with your argument is that most starting pitchers are not anywhere near the talent level of Felix, Verlander, and any other supremely talented player. For those SPs who are in the middle, handedness vs batters does become a factor. I won't get into quoting numbers, but handedness isn't a myth, and it does apply to starters as well. If a pitcher is good enough, he can certainly transcend that (as in your example of Felix), but most pitchers are still going to have handedness splits in their stats.
That's not to say that you should run out an inferior pitcher based solely on his handedness, but if you have two equally appealing options, and one of them fills a need in your rotation (so that you can work your order around to get him in there vs lineups which feature a ton of lefties, for instance), why not lean towards that one?