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Additional Note On Kanekoa Texeira

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I already talked about Texeira a few weeks ago, so if you want to know how I feel about him as a big league reliever, go read that. But there is one thing in there that I'd like to address. Texeira, throughout the minors, has pitched effectively against left-handed hitters. This, of course, surprised me, what with Texeira being a righty ~sidearming sinker/slider guy. Based on his profile, I saw no reason to believe that this was anything more than a statistical mirage, and that Texeira would struggle against high-level lefty bats as he advanced.

Well, I found something out today from an article that I missed last week. Via Jim Street:

"We thought [Texeira] could be able to help us in the bullpen," Kingston said. "Our scouts pointed out that he was actually better against left-handed batters than right-handed batters because he developed a really good cut fastball.

"Our bullpen is predominantly right-handed, so it was a good fit."

I'd never heard of this before, but it certainly changes things. Texeira is still a righty ~sidearming sinker/slider guy, but he's apparently that guy with a cutter, too. There's no reason to doubt the M's, here, and it certainly helps explain why we've seen what we've seen. Based on PITCHfx work done by Dave Allen, the platoon split for a cut fastball is not statistically significant, meaning it is similarly effective against both lefties and righties when thrown by a right-handed pitcher. You know how Mariano Rivera pretty much only throws a cutter, and has actually pitched better against lefties? Yeah. A good cutter is a great weapon against opposite-handed bats, and knowing that Texeira throws one turns on a dark bulb.

A year ago, Texeira struck out 24% of the lefties he faced. Now we have some idea how, and now I'm higher on him than I already was.