Nats called up Ron Villone from the minors. It’s not the most exciting news, just the song plays in my head every time I hear his name, so I really wanted to write something about him. They dropped Mike Hinckley down, probably due to intense amounts of suckiness.
First, on Villone. What the lefty does very well is pitch to other lefties. Righties, on the other hand… oh there’s a pun there! Hi-larious. But people, there’s nothing funny about the way he pitches to righties. Here’s his career and the last 5 years:
So if you scroll down the list, his overall numbers aren’t too bad. Seems like an effective pitcher. And if you see what he does against lefties, looks real good. Too many walks, but low power, OPS of .700 for his career. And the last 5 years, his left handed opponents haven’t topped .630 OPS. But righties do much better against him. The career OPS against them is .783 instead, and the last 3 years it’s been higher. In other words, if he goes against righties more than once in a while, you should be worried.
As for Hinckley, he was a disappointment this season. This guy was great last year and it was expected again. Also a lefty, he has pitched well to them this year. Here’s his brief career:
What’s interesting about this is that last year he was actually better against righties. This year – not so much. However, he was still pretty good against lefties. So if they are just looking for a lefty specialist, Hinckley can still do that. Maybe better than Villone. But I’m not going to say that this is a bad move. Those OBP’s are much higher than the AVG’s, and it’s because he’s walking alot of people. So he may be down in the minors to try to work on his control. Or to work on proving he can pitch to both righties and lefties. Both of these can to be done in the minors, and with the bullpen issues the Nats have been having, maybe the big leagues isn’t the place to work things out.