Jimenez and Feierabend
Cesar Jimenez and Ryan Feierabend are two of the youngsters the M’s are taking a look at and trying to figure out where they fit into the organization’s future plans. Both are left-handed, both have quality major league change-ups, and both throw fastballs in the mid-80s. And, because of their repertoires of pitching, both have one other big thing in common – they’re much better against right-handed hitters than left-handed hitters.
This is true of most pitchers who have a great change-up and not much else. The change is primarily a weapon to use against opposite handed hitters. The change-up from a lefty to a lefty ends up fading right back into the down-and-in wheelhouse that so many hitters love, but against a right-hander, the movement leads the ball away from the hitter, making it more effective. While the common belief is that a change-up is effective because of its speed, the movement of the pitch is also a big key.
Because both Jimenez and Feierabend feature quality change-ups and below average everything else, they really have nothing to throw left-handed hitters. Their mid-80s fastballs and crappy breaking balls hang like meatballs, and LH hitters simply tee off, just like Texas did last night. Against a line-up with more RH hitters, he’d have done better.
These reverse split type of pitchers are tough to find a role for, honestly. Because they don’t have anything to get LH hitters out, they’ll struggle in the rotation, and there aren’t many managers on earth who will use a southpaw as a bullpen specialist to get right-handed hitters. Realistically, both of them are probably looking at careers in long relief if they don’t learn how to spin a breaking ball to counteract left-handed bats.