The Jays are very well-stocked in lefty pitching. The following table shows the 2013 Marcels projections for the top 13 pitchers on Toronto's depth chart, sorted by throwing hand:
The Jays will most likely be throwing 2 lefty starters; Happ appears slated for a bullpen-spot starter role. The Jays will also be throwing a couple other good lefties, Oliver and Perez, out of the bullpen. Overall, 43% of the innings projected to be thrown by these guys will be from lefties; by comparison, in MLB last year, 30% of innings were thrown by lefties.
The Yankees are ill-equipped to match up, on paper anyway. Last year the Yankees struggled against lefties - here are their team batting splits:
|Hand||PA||BA||OBP||SLG %||GPA||BA Plus||OBP Plus||SLG % Plus||GPA Plus|
As the Plus stats indicate, the Yanks were below average against lefty pitching, above average against righties. And the Yanks are likely to do worse against lefties in 2013, for a few reasons:
- In the off-season, the Yankees lost 2 key right bats - Russell Martin and switch-hitting Nick Swisher. Their likely replacements - Cervelli, Stewart, Romine, Rivera, Diaz - do not exactly inspire confidence.
- The front office did pick up Youkilis; however, that was to plug the hole A-Rod's hip injury created, so that's more or less a wash.
- Everyone else got a year older.
Still, hope spring eternal, especially as spring approaches. The following list described some items Yankee fans can hope for in this respect - if a few of these materialize, the lineup against lefties may not be as poor as I fear:
- Granderson hits like he did against lefties in 2011, as opposed to how poorly he's hit them in his career.
- Ronnier Mustelier hits his way into the lineup in spring training. He's hit well in his minor league career, and strikes me as the Yankees most major-league-ready hitting prospect.
- Nunez can play shortstop competently and allow Jeter to DH without inflicting Jayson Nix upon us.
- Rivera or Diaz surprises (me anyway) with some hitting competence against lefties.
- A-Rod returns in good form. after the all-star break.
Finally, let's put this in context - I do not mean to make too much of appearances against Blue Jay lefties. The Jays' best starters, Dickey and Josh Johnson, are likely to be righties, and the Yankee regular lineup against righties also went downhill this off-season. Other teams will also have an opportunity to load up on lefties. But I just found it interesting to note that the Yankees are particularly weak against an area where the Blue Jays are strong.