I don’t think we’re going to know for sure who’s on the NLDS roster for the Reds until Wednesday, but I’m going to guess the offensively they will have their eight regulars plus Hanigan, Janish, Heisey, Cairo, Francisco and Nix.
If that guess is right, they would have ten right-handed hitters for the series with the Phils. Regulars Ramon Hernandez, Brandon Phillips, Orlando Cabrera, Scott Rolen, Jonny Gomes and Drew Stubbs and reserves Ryan Hanigan, Paul Janish, Chris Heisey and Miguel Cairo.
Of those ten righties, five have been pretty good against right-handed pitching this season:
So the bad news is that’s five righties who hit right-handed pitching pretty well. The good news is that Hanigan and Hernandez can’t catch at the same time and Cairo and Heisey will likely be coming off the bench.
The other five righties have been less impressive against right-handed pitching this year:
I think we should expect to see a lot of Cabrera, Gomes, Phillips and Stubbs in the series. All four of them have had some problems with righties this season and gotten a lot of opportunities.
If the roster guess is right, there will be four lefty hitters for the Reds. Starters Joey Votto and Jay Bruce and bench players Juan Francisco and Laynce Nix. Francisco only got 55 at-bats all season and didn’t fare exceptionally well against anyone. He hit 283/340/413 in 46 at-bats against righties and went 2-for-9 against lefties.
Votto, as you probably know, hammered right-handed pitching this year. Bruce and Nix were also good, but not quite as terrifying:
Here’s what those lefties did against left-handed pitching this year:
If you’ve been losing sleep wondering what lefty on the Phils is going to get out Votto and Bruce, you might want to take a break. The numbers above suggest you might not need a lefty to go after Bruce. He has actually been better against left-handed pitching than right this season. He has hit for about the same average, but walked at a higher rate and delivered extra-base hits at a better rate. That’s a little curious given that in 2009 he was awful against lefties, hitting 210/313/330 against them while he blasted 20 home runs in 245 at-bats against righties.
Still, given what he’s done this year I feel okay using a righty against him. Votto is good against lefties, but has been significantly better against righties over his career.
Here’s what the 14 players, both lefties and righties, did over the last 14 days of the regular season:
The bad news there is that Votto and Bruce come into the series hot. Bruce is 10-for-his-last-25 with four home runs. Votto 8-for-his-last-25 with three home runs.
Stubbs was hitting 237/307/401 for the year at the end of the day on September 6. He has hit 350/442/675 over his last 95 plate appearances.
Phillips tore things up over the last two weeks, but that’s a recent development. Between September 3 and September 24 he went 12-for-83 with a double and a home run, posting a 145/220/181 line. He finished the regular season going 6-for-13.
Gomes hit .364 in May and .246 in all the other months combined. He put up a 301/320/438 line over 19 games to end the season.
Hernandez is hitting 257/341/338 over 85 plate appearances since August 23.
Cabrera and Rolen both coming into the series in a funk. Cabrera went 2-for-5 with a double to end the season, but had been 6-for-his-last-39 with a double before that (154/195/179). The difference between Rolen and Cabrera is that Cabrera is a bad offensive player playing badly while Rolen has been a great offensive player but is playing badly. Rolen was hitting 303/374/542 at the end of the day on August 17. He has gotten 144 plate appearances since in which he has hit 234/313/375.
This is no time for him to wake up.
Did you know there is a Start Log for playoff starts since 2007? There is.