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The Value of a LOOGY.


TheCrew07

I've posted before that I've always found the concept of a LOOGY very troubling considering that even the best hitters get themselves out 60% of the time. I just don't see how a relief pitcher adds value 1/3 of an inning at a time. I'm willing to be proven wrong but I just don't see the value in wasting a pitcher when the odds are already in the defense's favor, regardless of who's at the plate.

 

I get splits... but even if a left handed hitter rakes and hits .350 against righties, he's still going to get himself out more often than not. I have no problem switching to a lefty, but why not a lefty than can get more than one batter?

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I agree that their value is overstated. To be fair though, they are usually used against tough lefties in high leverage situations (a bunch of runners on and/or late in a close game), so that ups the value of that one AB. Still, I there are plenty of good RH relievers who can get lefties out as good or better than the average left handed reliever and they can get more than one out.

 

If I were a manager, I'd like to have one but I don't think it's a must have.

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Doug Melvin would agree with you. He has stated he wouldn't mind getting a lefty for the pen, but he would prefer to get somebody who could go a whole inning or more.

Fan is short for fanatic.

I blame Wang.

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For a LOOGY to have positive value for a team, two things have to happen. First, the team has to use him right -- use him in as nearly as possible every situation he can help you; don't let him hurt you (by facing righties). Second, whatever net value the LOOGY adds must be greater than the net value another type of extra player could add -- another bullpen righty who might just be a better pitcher overall, an extra IF or OF (or C) who could add some skill the team lacks.

 

That second part is the thing that makes me really dubious about LOOGYs. By definition, a LOOGY is a guy who is good at getting out lefties but isn't good enough to get out righties with any regularity. The thin margin a LOOGY provides seems to me very unlikely to be the best use of a roster spot, given all the free talent that's out there.

 

Greg.

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The problem with LOOGYs is that they take a roster spot away from a position player. While managers and gms love LOOGYs so they can play the platoon advantage, they concede the platoon advantage on the other side by losing a position player. In other words, if more teams would just give up on the idea that they need a LOOGY, they could carry an additional hitter to counter the LOOGYs of their opponents.
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