photo © 2011 WEBN-TV | more info (via: Wylio)I can’t understand what the Red Sox are doing when it comes to Dan Wheeler. This man is clearly a right hand specialist and should never face a left handed batter.
Monday night after getting through a right handed section of the Athletics order he was brought back on to face the switch hitting Chad Pennington. Pennington had a strong at bat and finished with a double to right field. I was shocked to see this as I had seen the numbers when they signed Wheeler and his splits are very clear.
Against LHB: 4.94
Against RHB: 3.50
Then I looked through his 2011 so far and the Red Sox have not been paying attention. So far in 2011 Wheeler has faced 15 left handed batters and 15 right handers. They have largely been low and medium leverage situations, but like last night they quickly let games get out of reach.
Unless the game is truly a mop up situation there is no reason you should be letting Wheeler face left handed batters. Bobby Jenks was the clear choice in the 8th inning as his splits are even better against lefties with a 2.71 career FIP against lefties.