Left-Handed Bats Have Been Archer’s Kryptomite
Entering Friday’s start against the Minnesota Twins Tampa Bay Rays righty Chris Archer had been torched by left-handed batters. They were batting .450/.511/.825 (18-for-40) with a trio of home runs. He had struggled with his command walking six while striking out only five.
Jason Collette at The Process Report (here) provided an in-depth look at Archer’s season. Specifically, he examined his struggles against left-handed batters and a new position on the rubber. “Change is not easy nor are the results immediate.” Collette wrote. “Archer is clearly trying something different this year, and while it is helping his moneymaker be even better against righties, his numbers are rather bankrupt against lefties through four outings.”
Twins Manager Paul Molitor stacked his lineup with six left-handed batters. Let’s get the negative out of the way first. Logan Morrison, who entered the game batting .068/.180/.091 (3-for-44) without a homer, belted his first homer in the second inning.
Overall Archer held the seven left handed batters to 3-for-17 while striking out one and walking one. Below is how the left-handed batter has hit right handed pitching this season and how they fared against Archer last night.
Joe Mauer – .342/.457/.474 (13-for-38)/0-for-3 with a strikeout.
Eddie Rosario – .238/.289/.405 (10-for-42)/0-for-3
Logan Morrison – .054/.167/.081 (2-for-37)/1-for-3 with a home run
Jason Castro – .176/.243/.294 (6-for-34)/0-for-2 with a strikeout
Max Kepler – .270/.386/.568 (10-for-37)/1-for-2 (single)
Robbie Grossman – .059/.111/.059 (1-for-17)/0-for-2
Eduardo Escobar – .297/.341/.514/ 1-for-2 with a double, walk
Collette also pointed to a change that Archer had made this season. He is referring to where he stands on the rubber as shown in the tweet below:
Looking at Archer's early struggles vs LHB & noticing he's moved over quite a bit from the 1B to the 3B side of the rubber (9/17 vs 4/18) pic.twitter.com/yHUkBF6OLz
— Jason Collette (@jasoncollette) April 20, 2018
Hopefully, last night was the night Archer, pitching coach Kyle Snyder, and fans will point back to as the game that the change finally paid dividends (more on his struggles here). At least for now, it’d be a safe bet that teams are going to stack their lineup with as many left-handed bats as they can muster up.