Friday, March 2, 2018

Who's left in the AL? Apparently the Twins

The other day I commented on how left-handed the Twins lineup has become and suggesting that the bench should have a right-handed lean as a result.

Well, in a related development, the great Joe Posnanski posted this piece on the odd lack of left-handed hitting in the American League. He surmises that this will have an effect on roster makeup and play an outsized role in this year's expected duel for Eastern domination between the Yankees (elite right-handed power) and the Red Sox (two top-grade lefty starters).

From the Twins perspective, they appear to be zigging when everybody else is zagging. Rattle off the names of Cleveland's imposing starting rotation -- Kluber, Carrasco, Salazar, Bauer -- and you realized, they're all right handed. A lineup stuffed with lefties seems like a good idea against these guys.

But then you turn to the Twins bullpen, with southpaw specialists Taylor Rogers and Zach Duke. Who are they coming in to face? Kansas City used to have lefties in the middle of its order, but Eric Hosmer's gone and Mike Moustakas -- still a free agent -- probably isn't returning, and Alex Gordon is a shell of his former self. The best hitters the White Sox have, Jose Abreu and Avisail Garcia, are right-handed. Whatever remains of Miguel Cabrera's talent is still right-handed. The Tribe does have Jason Kipnis and (if healthy) Michael Brantley and a pair of top-shelf switch-hitters, but all told there's not a lot of demand in this division for LOOGYs.

Unless you're facing a Twins team with Joe Mauer, Logan Morrison, Eddie Rosario, Max Kepler, Jason Castro and a handful of switch hitters.

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