After last night's news, all you guys probably want to talk about are Yu Darvish and Prince Fielder. Too bad. Here, we're not going to talk about Yu Darvish and Prince Fielder. We're going to talk about the' new lefty specialist. And he's not even a new lefty specialist. He's a lefty specialist the Mariners already had once before. But this is what we're doing. Shut up and take it.
There exists a school of thought, with plenty of evidence, that platoon splits regress towards average platoon splits. That guys with reverse platoon splits probably don't have reverse platoon splits, and that guys with extreme platoon splits probably don't have such extreme platoon splits. I'm not doing this school of thought much justice with my explanation, but it'll get the job done.
The less data you have on a player, the more you have to regress his numbers. The more data you have on a player, the less you have to regress his numbers. Okay, so now keep that all in mind.
George Sherrill first arrived in the Majors in 2004. Since then, he has faced 613 left-handed batters. Of those, ten have homered, 43 have walked, 208 have struck out, and four have been hit. Lefties have posted a .515 OPS, and against them Sherrill has posted a 2.20 FIP and a 2.71 xFIP.
Over the same span, Sherrill has faced 774 right-handed batters. Of those, 17 have homered, 110 have walked, 112 have struck out, and four have been hit. Righties have posted a .793 OPS, and against them Sherrill has posted a 5.17 FIP and a 5.74 xFIP.
A total of 452 pitchers have thrown at least 100 innings against lefties since 2004. Sherrill's FIP ranks #1, and his xFIP ranks #4.
A total of 565 pitchers have thrown at least 100 innings against righties since 2004. Sherrill's FIP ranks #523, and his xFIP ranks #564.
George Sherrill's numbers probably have to be regressed a little bit. But even though George Sherrill isn't a sidearmer, he looks to have some of the most extreme platoon splits in baseball. He's murder, absolute murder on lefties, but righties just gobble him up. This is a joke about how Sherrill has posted the same xFIP against righties since 2004 as Jimmy Gobble. All right.
This is a good thing or a bad thing, depending on how you look at it. Presumably the Mariners are going to use Sherrill as a specialist, so I think it's more of a good thing. It's weird that he was used as a closer in the past, but, Alfredo Simon and Jorge Julio. I don't know what this proves but I love remembering Ryan Kohlmeier.. Other recent Orioles closers include Ryan Kohlmeier,
Should the Mariners have bothered signing an aging free agent lefty specialist, given their situation? It's probably not necessary, but given that Sherrill is inexpensive, and given that he's a veteran, he fits what the Mariners were going for, and he costs less than other veterans the Mariners might have targeted. It's just impossible to complain about something like this.