Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Who Needs Lefties, Part Two

In my last post, I looked at teams that used only two lefthanded pitchers in a season. In response to a comment on that post, I figured it would be worthwhile to look at teams that didn't use any lefties. If you go back to the early days of professional baseball, it would be easier to list teams that did use a lefty - the 1876 NL had no confirmed lefthanders (three clubs had pitchers of unknown handedness). Teams remained lefty-averse (or at least didn't employ memorably-handed hurlers) through the early 1890s.

Only four teams since 1900 have gone through an entire season without a single lefthander:
But does it really matter how many lefties you have if you never use them anyway? Here are the teams since 1954 with the fewest batters faced by lefthanders:
Note: the 1994 Los Angeles Dodgers (206 BF), 1994 Oakland Athletics (314 BF), 1981 Cincinnati Reds (344 BF), and 1994 Cleveland Indians (346 PA) played in strike-shortened seasons.

With six games left to play, the 2009 Cardinals duo of Trever Miller and Dennys Reyes has faced a combined 335 batters.

This year's Cardinals and a couple other teams above spoil my ending a bit, but it sure looks to me like the answer to "Who needs lefties?" is "winning teams."

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