What exactly is a LOOGY? Are they pitchers who come into a ballgame for their specific expertise at making left handed hitters look like little leaguers? or are they simply a guy who pitches with the wrong hand? A LOOGY is defined by two distinct features: 1. They throw lefty (righties need not apply) 2. They can't get Right handers out. If a LOOGY can't get lefties out (a LNOGY in the common tongue) he has no purpose on a professional sports team because it means he is utterly useless. Yet time and again we see mandatory LOOGY after mandatory LOOGY fail to do their one, small,
insignificant super important job. I'd like to know why we all have to suffer through this.
According to B-Ref, 31.3% of all batters are left handed, meanwhile 60.6% are right handed (with 8.1% going both way). On the throwing side, 78.4% are right handed and a mere 21.6% are left handed. I'm not a doctor, but looking at these numbers I would think that being able to get that 60% out would bring the most value, and selecting from the larger talent pool would be more worthwhile, especially in the context of limited roster spaces and finding the best possible pitchers.
Joe Girardi says no. He prefers the use of two LOOGYs (The Double LOOGY). A major league bullpen usually maxes out at 7 pitchers. To me, someone who can simply get batters out, handedness be damned, would be much more valuable. No one NEEDS a lefty. As far as I know there isn't any left handed quota.
Lets look at the Yankee pen, ranked by their FIP versus lefties:
- This man has a 2.40 FIP against lefties and a 3.22 FIP against righties.
- A pretty even 2.49 FIP against lefties and a 2.61 FIP against righties
- Against lefties he has a 3.23 FIP.He owns a disgustingly bad 8.84 FIP against righties (not a typo) along with an 8.60 BB/9.
- 3.36 FIP versus lefties and a 4.01 FIP versus righties
- 3.36 FIP versus lefties with a 10.30 K/9 and a 5.37 FIP versus righties with a 5.40 K/9
- This one has a 4.14 FIP against lefties and a 2.68 FIP against righties
- David Robertson is a right hander. I'm confused. This is the mark of a LOOGY who is also good enough to get righties out.
- Obviously Mo. He gets you out and he doesn't give a crap what side of the plate you're on.
- Mr. Clay Rapada himself, the quintessential LOOGY.
- Cory Wade seems to be pretty even and boring.
- Boone Logan thinks he isn't a LOOGY. Boone Logan is wrong. This man should not be allowed to even look at a righty, despite last year's reverse splits anomaly.
- Proven Closer (tm) Rafael Soriano might actually be a ROOGY, but that doesn't exist so he continues to pitch to everybody!
Simply put, Joe Girardi knows about splits, he's heard of them, especially since he demands lefties and platoons his DH, but I don't think he actually reads them. He simply labels someone and that's about it. If you didn't notice our two Lefty Specialists are not even the best at getting lefties out, in fact, if it wasn't for Soriano they'd actually be the WORST at getting lefties out. Let me say that again. Our Lefty Specialists are actually the worst at getting lefties out. Ouch. Having two of these guys take up space in a 7 man bullpen (
14% 28.5%) sufficiently limits the amount of value the bullpen can bring to the table.
Boone and Clay should not be allowed to face right handers ever, and yet Girardi continues to throw them out there because he needs someone to pitch a whole inning, effectively displaying that two LOOGYs make no sense when trying to manage everyone's workload. Girardi basically said that Boone Logan wasn't good enough at his job, so we need another one. Why not just get rid of Logan? Or why then get a guy who is utterly useless at anything related to stopping righties. Instead of two LOOGYs, we could have given that spot (preferably both spots) to someone like DJ Mitchell or really anyone else who can pitch an entire inning.
ROOGY: If LOOGYs are a thing, why aren't ROOGYs a thing? Why let a guy who CAN'T get lefties out continue to pitch to lefties? Isn't that taking away from the role of the LOOGY? If you're going to let a ROOGY pitch to a lefty and hope he can get by, why does a Lefty Specialist even exist? Since there are a lot more right handed hitter than left handed hitters, obviously a ROOGY would be more valuable than a LOOGY. Rafael Soriano should not be allowed to face left handed hitter, but he still does. Closer!
LOOGY: An enigma, wrapped in a mystery, wrapped in bacon. David Robertson is proof of the stupidity in all this: LOOGYs need to suck, otherwise they can just pitch to everyone and D-Rob definitely doesn't suck and he definitely isn't considered a LOOGY. Therefore, to be a Lefty Specialist you must first be inferior. That makes sense. Also he's not a lefty.
Managers are married to Baseball Cliches and the power of the lefty is just another one of those nonsense ideas that never gets questioned because everyone is doing it. I say carry the best pitchers possible, regardless of handedness or at least start paying attention to splits for right handers too because they do exist. Thankfully one man's stupidity is another man's food on the table. I'd like to get a chance to try out; I'm a lefty and I most certainly can't get right handed hitters out, so sign me up.
LOOGY Count: 20