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« Vogelsong Mixing Pitches, Getting Chases | Main | Dunn Against Lefties? »

Boone Logan vs. Lefties

Boone Logan is the New York Yankees' only lefty reliever in the pen.  Pedro Feliciano is not likely to return very soon, if at all this season. And while Damaso Marte plans to be back after the All-Star break, he too could be gone for the whole season. So Logan is a pretty important part of that bullpen, especially against lefty-heavy lineups like the Red Sox.

Logan had a rough start to the season.  Through his first 14 appearances, he gave up 9 hits to lefties in 29 plate appearances, including two doubles and one home run.  However, he's turned things around as of late, yielding just 4 hits to left-handed batters in his last 26 faced.  Location seems to be a big part of his turnaround.

(Click image to enlarge)

The big difference has been Logan's ability to throw outside to lefties.  Earlier in the season, you can see that he was leaving the ball over the heart of the plate. But since May 15th, he's been able to keep the ball away, and the results have been much improved.

2011 Boone Logan vs. LHB
First 14 Games10629.360.3646.9%.413
Last 14 Games10726.269.28634.6%.236

Logan has struck out 11 lefty batters this season, 9 of which have come since mid-May. Since tightening up his location, Lefties have been swinging and missing more against him. Prior to May 15th, opposing LHB were making contact on 81.4% of their swings against Logan. But in the past 6 weeks, that number has dropped to 70.2%.

Opposing batters are also swinging at more of Logan's pitches out of the zone (25.6% to 31.3%). This is one of the many benefits that come with locating on the edges. Batters can not sit on pitches over the middle if Logan constantly locates to the outside of the plate. Instead, they are forced to swing more at those borderline pitches so as to avoid getting caught looking.

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