I typed up a long reply to the most recent article about Rondon, I realized it was better suited as a Fanpost.
Essentially Brunce Rondon is awesome at getting right handed hitters out, and TERRIBLE at getting left handed hitters out, which is a pretty important thing for a closer to be able to do.
He hasn’t show the ability to get left handers out, stats from 2012:
A+: vs. L FIP: 4.52, SIERA: 3.92, BB/9: 6.48
A+: vs. R FIP: 0.80, SIERA: 1.25, BB/9: 2.40
AA: vs. L FIP: 4.82, SIERA: 4.09, BB/9: 6.23
AA: vs. R FIP: 2.58, SIERA: 2.81, BB/9: 2.08
AAA: vs. L FIP: 7.70, SIERA: 5.42, BB/9: 13.5 (!)
AAA: vs. R FIP: 1.95, SIERA: 2.69, BB/9 2.25
The hallmark of a closer is that you can call him into the game regardless of who is coming up to bat, Bruce Rondon does not profile as a closer, he profiles as a right handed specialist. He doesn’t walk righties, only lefties. Frankly lefties own him. Yes this is small sample size but the fact is over his minor league career Rondon owns a 1.93 FIP and 3.42 BB/9 against right handers and a 4.69FIP and 9.32 BB/9 against left handed hitters. We shouldn’t be trying to drop him into the closer box just because he throws 100MPH+.
Lets compare this to Al Al.
2012: (Only threw 13.1 innings)
vs. L FIP: 0.76, wOBA: .168, BB/9: 3.00
vs. R FIP: 3.37, wOBA: .247, BB/9: 7.36
2011: (better year to compare, 43.1 innings)
vs. L FIP: 1.42, wOBA: .208, BB/9: 4.19
vs. R FIP 2.61, wOBA: .221, BB/9: 7.50
Now Al Al, gives up his share of walks, lots and lots of them, but he also strikes out even more batters than Rondon 13.50 K/9 and most importantly this was done in the major leagues! Al Al gets both lefties and righties out at a pretty amazing rate a 1.59 ERA and 2.11 FIP for his career.
Or what about Benoit:
vs. L: FIP: 3.99, wOBA: .308, BB/9: 2.92
vs. R: FIP 4.57, wOBA: .308, BB/9 2.65
vs. L: FIP: 2.54, wOBA: .288, BB/9: 3.77
vs. R: FIP: 3.33, wOBA: .228, BB/9: 1.39
Benoit’s 2012 numbers are somewhat inflated by the large number of home runs he gave up: 1.77HR/9 driven by a 18.2% HR/FB compared to a 1.17 HR/9 and 10.1% HR/FB for his career. But when you look at his 2011 numbers too you can see that Benoit is pretty good at getting both lefties and righties out. There is this perception that Benoit doesn’t have the mentality for a closer and can’t pitch in high leverage situations. Personally I think this is a bunch of crap, he pitched pretty well last year in the playoffs which is pretty high pressure and high leverage.
I would much rather see Benoit or Al Al coming out of the bullpen in the 9th inning instead of Rondon, or some combination of the 3. I absolutely do not want to see Rondon coming into the game to face a string of lefties, I think I’d break my TV because the walks would come and they would be so predictable.
This is a FanPost and does not necessarily reflect the views of the Bless You Boys writing staff.