Monday, February 7, 2011

Gonzalez: Kimbrel and Venters might share closing duties

At a time of year when reports of baseball players switching from glasses to contacts pass for news, stories like the one David O'Brien broke on his Twitter feed are a veritable bounty by comparison.

O'Brien goes on to say...

So what do we do with this? Well, like every other tidbit of information we get from now until opening day, we're going to overanalyze it.

The handedness issue immediately jumps out. In just 20 2/3 major league innings last year, Kimbrel - the righty - didn't betray a discernible platoon advantage (.079/.255/.105 vs. RHB, .176/.317/.206 vs. LHB).*

The lefty, Venters, offers more data thanks to a strong rookie campaign that saw him face 349 batters. But even with a much larger MLB sample than Kimbrel, Venters also doesn't betray a platoon split (.207/.312/.232 vs. RHB, .198/.310/.260).

So where does this leave us? In short, it leaves us with two very good, very young relievers that the manager apparently intends to use frequently in close-and-late situations. Platoon advantage or no, that's something about which we can be glad.

*Obviously, Kimbrel logged far more innings in the minors last year, but if L/R splits are available for the minor leagues, I don't know where to find them.

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