Carlos Zambrano is a friggin' Beast
Sure, he hit a homer and a double yesterday, both of the non-cheap, boldly struck, bat-crackin' variety. We've seen this monster crack the shiznit out of the ball before. It pained me that it passed noon here in the Great Midwest and none of us had made notice of Citizen Z's feats yet. Kurt is probably gamely suffering from carpal tendinitis for all the typing he provided on here this past weekend, so that's his excuse. But it's expected, I guess. We've seen it before. We all know Zambrano is a modern-day Babe Ruth.
But he's not. (That would be Micah Owings, I think). The main reason he is not Babe Ruth is that Ruth wasn't worth dick hitting right-handed. And, until this morning, neither was Big Z, or so I thought. I'm here to tell you that I am wrong. Because, as you can see, yesterday, Z split them taters right handed against Mr. Randy Wolf.
This is where perception and lack of attention to the statistics can hurt you. It seemed to me that all of Z's hitting damage was done from the left side of the box. I figured that his batting right-handed against lefties was an affectation - I didn't remember him doing much right-handed. Granted, he doesn't do it as often, due to the preponderance of right-handed pitchers, but I could only remember one good right-handed shot he hit before yesterday, and wondered out loud to people - he is obviously a right-handed person, so shouldn't he be a stronger right-handed hitter?
In his career, he has 531 plate appearences, 147 as a right-handed hitter. He has sixteen homers, SIX as a right-handed hitter! He has a .275 average with a .458 slugging percentage as a right-handed hitter, compared to .226/.361 from the left. As a left-handed hitter, he has a tOPS+ of 87, outstanding for a pitcher, but honestly, weak for a legitimate pinch hitter or DH. Right-handed, tOPS+ is 135. Even in only 147 plate appearences, that's getting it DONE, mister man.
This is the kind of frivolous analysis you come to GROTA for, kids. Since our primary power-hitting PH (the Great Hoff) is left-handed, I propose to dear old Uncle Lou that Scarlos, Che Zambrano himself, become our first-choice pinch hitter VS. left-handed pitching.
Against right-handed pitching, meh. Only in an extra-inning game.