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Entries in Tommy Hunter (2)

Sunday
Jul312011

Koji Uehara good pick up for the Rangers

WWhen you look at the strong desire by so many teams for set-up men coming out the bullpen, you have to think that the Rangers made a really good deal acquiring Koji Uehara from the Baltimore Orioles.

Uehara is a 36-year old righty who is having a superior season out of the pen. In 43 appearances he has thrown 47 innings with an ERA of 1.72 and a microscopic WHIP of 0.702. He has recorded 13 holds, but he has allowed six homers. His control is outstanding, he has walked only eight while striking out 62 batters (11.9 per 9 innings), a 7.75 strikeout to walk ratio.

Let's take a look...

Uehara has faced 174 batters this seasonOverall batters are hitting just .152 against Koji. Righties are only hitting .171, but what makes Uehara particularly valuable is that lefties are hitting only .136.

Uehara against lefties

Koji pounds the outside against leftiesUehara has faced 96 lefties, allowed a mere 12 hits including two doubles and three homers. He has walked eight and whiffed an amazing 34. For the most part, batters have not been able to go to the opposite field against Uehara, in spite of the predominance of outside zone pitches. Of the 12 hits allowed only two have been to left: a double by Matt Stairs and an infield single by Roger Bernadina, both of the Nationals. Just 18 outs have been record to the left of second base and centerfield.

Uehara with runners on base

Koji has pitched with 57 runners on baseWhile Uehara has allowed 4-of-10 inherited runners to score, the data is somewhat misleading. All four runs scored as a result of a pair of two-run homers from Kevin Youkilis (4/27) and Johnny Damon (5/6). With runners on base, batters are 6-for-52 with 3 walks and 20 strikeouts. He has not given up an extra-base hit with a runner on base since Damon in early May, covering 32 appearances. Overall, batters are hitting .115, righties hitting .227, lefties .033. Lefties are 1-for-30 with runners on base against him and that's the Damon homer. 

As Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News points out:

"The Rangers will, in all likelihood, control Uehara, 36, for 2012. He has a vesting option in his contract that kicks in at 55 appearances. He is currently at 43. The vesting option is for $4 million. The Rangers will also receive "significant" cash from Baltimore."

If Uehara can come close to the same success with Texas as he has with the Orioles, the deal sending to Chris Davis and Tommy Hunter to Baltimore, may prove to be both a bridge to the closer and a bridge back to the World Series.

Monday
Nov012010

Huff vs. Hunter

Last night, Aubrey Huff deposited a first pitch cutter from Tommy Hunter into the right field seats for a two-run HR.  It was all the offense the Giants would need to win the game.  In the regular season, Huff was one of the best cut fastball hitters in the league.

Top 2010 NL Batters vs. the Cutter by wOBA (min. 50 PA)Aubrey Huff In Play SLG% vs. Cutters since 2008As noted during the broadcast last night, Hunter had to endure a nine pitch at bat from Freddy Sanchez just prior to Huff's third inning AB.

Freddy Sanchez's 3rd Inning ABMuch was made of how Huff was able to get a good look at Hunter's stuff with Sanchez fouling off pitch after pitch ahead of him.  But as you can see, Hunter pitched Sanchez fairly carefully. That AB probably did more to tire out Hunter and disrupt his rhythm.  After finally retiring Sanchez on a ground out, he then grooved the very next pitch right over the heart of the plate.  Huff did not miss it.

3rd Inning, Hunter vs. Huff