Sunday, June 13, 2010

Pablo Sandoval's Right Handed Struggles

The Panda has been in the middle of nasty slump which has especially hurt him from the right hand side. He hasn't been squaring up the ball against left handed pitching and his poor performance has really dragged down his numbers.

This season the platoon splits have been large and noticeable.

vs RHP as LHB191173521215181522.301.356.468.824.318
vs LHP as RHB7670164106510.229.276.314.591.262
Provided by View Original Table
Generated 6/13/2010.

As a left handed batter Pablo has not had a bad year and just about everything matches up with what he did last season. The difference is that last year he raked as a right handed batter and this season he has hit like an 8 hitter from the right side.

vs RHP as LHB47442713430519654068.314.373.541.914.334
vs LHP as RHB159145551406251215.379.428.6001.028.392
Provided by View Original Table
Generated 6/13/2010.

So what's changed?

The one thing that jumps out from last season to this season is that his batting average on balls in play is down .130 points. Maybe he was lucky last season or maybe he has just been unlucky this season or somewhere in between. This could be explained by checking out the batted ball information between the seasons.

In 2009 from the right side Pablo had a 21.4% line drive rate, 45.8% ground ball rate, 32.8% fly ball rate and a 2.3% infield fly ball rate. This season from the right side Pablo has a 11.5% line drive rate, 55.7% ground ball rate, 32.8% fly ball rate and a 15% infield fly ball rate. Hitting less line drives and more infield fly balls explain a lot of what has happened to the balls he has put into play.

There isn't too much in the walk rate or strike out rate that is of concern the numbers are pretty similar from this year to last year and there isn't too much of a difference between the numbers as a righty vs. as a lefty. The spray charts show that he is continuing to use all fields but he hasn't hit for much power like he did last season.

I am not too concerned about the Panda, yet. The splits seem to suggest that Sandoval has been unlucky and should come back to somewhere in between where he was last season and where he is now. Waiting for that to happen can be a little hard but hopefully it will happen soon.

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