Goatriders of the Apocalypse

Maybe half of Milton Bradley is good enough

Why doesn’t Milton Bradley just bat right-handed all the time?

No one really seemed to be asking this question (unless I missed it over the last few months) until Sully’s article on the Trib’s site today.

“Asked if he considered asking Bradley to hit right-handed against righties and ditch his switch-hitting, Piniella said that's not something the Cubs want Bradley to implement.” – Paul Sullivan, Chicago Tribune

So why not?

I hate to rain on whatever parade you might be having this morning after the 4-game sweep of the Natinals, but I’m glad someone finally asked this question.

I realize part of the reason Bradley was brought to Chicago was so that his switch bat would bring more balance to a right-handed heavy lineup, but look at these splits…

Batting Righty
.333/.400/.476, 1 HR, 6 RBI

Batting Lefty
.201/362./327, 5 HR, 15 RBI

Woof. Granted Bradley has more dingers and ribbies from the left side of the plate, but those percentages from the right side are hawt. Sure we’d all like to see Daddy putting the ball into the bleachers with more regularity, but I think we’d all be just as happy if he got on base and hit the ball more consistently.

It seems like a right-handed hitting Bradley would fit beautifully into the No. 2 spot because of that batting average and OBP. The power just isn't consistent enough to justify him hitting left-handed anymore.

Anyone with switch-hitting experience care to comment on this? I’d love to hear what are the advantages and (more importantly) the disadvantages of switch hitting.

As for everyone else: What do you think of Bradley exclusively batting right-handed for the remainder of the season even against right-handed pitching? Pros? Cons?

Switch-hitting

I was a switch-hitter in "Juniors" league, which is basically one age group above little league. It was my first time actually playing baseball, so naturally, I was the kid who got cheered for fouling off a pitch. I can state, however, that while I had more power from the right side (I'm right-handed, so this makes sense), I hit the ball far more often batting left-handed. Now, this is partially because I had a much slower swing left-handed, and most of the pitchers in this league threw about 40 miles per hour, so I was way ahead when righty and timed better lefty. I should also mention that the one time we faced a guy with an actual fastball (about 70 MPH), I got the team's first hit (in the third inning) batting right-handed -- this guy actually threw hard enough that I wasn't way ahead hitting righty. (It wasn't much of a hit -- just a bloop over the shortstop's head -- and it was a bad pitch that I swung at, well high out of the zone, but that was always my sweet spot....) Long story short, it is my experience that switch-hitters often have very different swings from each side of the plate, and it's almost like having two completely different hitters. Instead of basing it on which arm the pitcher uses, it's probably a better idea to base switch-hitting on whether the guy throws mainly fastballs or mainly breaking pitches, as the swing speed is a bit different from each side.

I'd suggest the Cubs have "Sorry!" take BP against both fastballs *and breaking pitches* from each side of the plate, and see which he does better against from each side.

small sample size

Bradley has 70 PAs from the left side this year. That is too small a sample size to judge his productivity from that side. Last year, he raked as a lefty vs RHP to the tune of .341/.476/.651 compared to .312/.417/.523 as a righty. On his career, he's better from the left hand side than the right. Lou is right to not ask him to change based on 70 PAs this year.

Actually...

Actually Bradley has 199 PAs this season as a left-handed batter. He has 70 PAs from the RIGHT side of the plate. While his extremely solid numbers might be a bit inflated as a righty due to the small sample size, I think we can safely says he sucks hitting as a lefty this season.

http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/split.cgi?n1=bradlmi01&year=20...

Million dollar question

When Uncle Miltey is swinging right handed it is against left handed pitchers. So my guess is that batting RH against RH pitchers would be about the same as his hitting LH, best case. But, I will confess it would be cool to watch him freak out trying to do it.

I will confess that his RH

I will confess that his RH hitting probably won't be as strong against RH pitching as it is against the southpaws. But can it be worse than .201 BA?

I really think PsyMar's assessment of switch-hitting probably hit on the true issue here. Perhaps Bradley's control and/or bat speed just isn't the same when batting lefty.

At the very least I'd like to see Daddy try hitting right-handed against righties. What does he have to lose at this point?

i reed gud

obviously i cannot read a split chart on baseball-reference. in this case i still tend to fall on the 'if lou says let him be, then let him be' side, but the actual data doesn't support my earlier erroneous ranting. can't say that i strongly disagree with the 'make him bat righty all the time' argument.

maybe we can trade him straight up for adam dunn. that would be my suggestion.

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