Monday, May 9, 2011

It's Not Clay Rapada's Fault

There are things that concern me about Buck Showalter.

I am a supporter. I was a big fan of Buck getting the manager job here in Baltimore but there are things that he does that leave me scratching my head.

When the Orioles signed Clay Rapada this offseason, it seemed like an odd fit. He was a LOOGY and I wondered if this team could afford to carry a guy like that in the bullpen with so many young starters in the rotation. For his career, Rapada has allowed a .505 OPS to lefthanded hitters and a 1.111 OPS to righthanded batters. Rapada could be effective when facing lefthanded batters. He should face right handed batter somewhere between rarely and never.

So what has Buck done with Clay this season?

             PA   K   BB   HR   AVG    OPS
vs. LHB      19   7    1    0  .111   .269 
vs. RHB       7   0    2    2  .800  3.057

Righties are batting .800 against Rapada. Eight-hundred.

Clay Rapada may be demoted this week but he doesn't stink. He shuts down leftie batters and get abused by righties. This is what he is. And maybe he doesn't have a spot on this team. Maybe they need a more versatile reliever at this point.

But his 11.12 ERA isn't his fault. It's Buck Showalter's.

He's trying to fit a square peg into a round hole. I wonder what other decisions he is making using this logic.


The Oriole Way said...

Agreed. They should get rid of Josh Rupe, who stinks against everybody.

DempseysArmy said...

He's still riding that hot spring evidently...

Jeff said...

I still think Rapada should get sent down with Bergy being sent to the Bullpen when Matusz comes back. The problem with Rapada is his ... ok it's Mike Gonzalez. With Mike Gonzalez looking like his old self (at least a little) there doesn't seem to be a spot for Rapada.

DempseysArmy said...

Jeff - I don't disagree with that at all. I don't think this team can afford the luxury of carrying a LOOGY. Of course, it seemed that they couldn't carry one going into the season either...

The point is, he should not be facing righties but Buck kept letting him. He's only valuable if properly deployed.

Anonymous said...

He's also misusing Jake Fox. Fox should almost never face lefties. This is based on his major and minor league splits.

Instead, he has 19 PA against lefties, and only 12 PA against righties.

The 2011 results:
.000/.053/.053 against lefties
.364/.417/1.326 against righties

Brek said...

Jake Fox:

Career wOBA against LHP: .245

Career wOBA against RHP: .342

What has Buck done?

19 PAs against LHP, with a total of 1 walk and 0 hits. .037 wOBA

12 PAs against RHP, 4 hits (1 single, 1 double, 1 triple, 1 HR). .555 wOBA.

As backup catcher, he's not really the guy on the team you prioritize getting favorable match-ups, but it still makes you wonder what Buck is looking at (other than which side of the plate he stands on).

Would be nice to see him get a start at DH against a RHP, rather than subbing for Wieters or Luke against lefties.

DempseysArmy said...

Brek/Anon -

Wholeheartedly agree. I wrote about it over at

These are small things by themselves...just make you wonder about the decision making process.