Scott Hairston is still a free agent and our Los Angeles Dodgers should act quickly to pluck him from New York. Word is that Scott is looking to either re-sign with the Mets or change dugouts and join their cross town rivals, the vaunted Yankees. Why should the Dodgers sign Scott Hairston? To compliment Andre Ethier.We know that as a complete package, Andre Ethier is a good player. What you may or not be aware of is that versus right handed pitchers, Ethier is an excellent player. Against southpaws he is a very below average hitter. Luckily for the Dodgers and for Ethier, nearly three quarters of the starters in the national league are right handed, so nearly three quarters of the time Andre Ethier is very good. That doesn’t mean that the other 25% of the time can’t be improved.
Here are his splits by year:
2011 versus R: .321 AVG, 10 HR, .468 SLG, .410 OBP. 47% better than average.
2011 versus L: .220 AVG, 1 HR, .305 SLG, .258 OBP. 43% worse than average.
2010 versus R: .318 AVG, .20 HR, 564 SLG, .396 OBP. 59% better than average.
2010 versus L: .233 AVG, 3 HR, .333 SLG, .292 OBP. 30% worse than average.
Andre Ethier is a beast versus right handed pitchers. Adversely, Andre Ethier is one of the very worst hitters in all of baseball when a lefty toes the rubber. To further exasperate the issue, the emergence of the left handed relief specialist has slowed his knack for late game heroics. Opposing managers just bring in a lefty when Ethier comes up with the game on the line – and why wouldn’t they?
Here is where Scott Hairston comes in. Let’s take a look at his splits:
2012 versus L: .286, 11 HR, .550 SLG, .317 OBP. 35% better than average.
Career versus L: .276 AVG, 39 HR, .500 SLG, .325 OBP. 19% better than average.
I won’t include his statistics for all seasons nor his splits versus right handers since the point here is to bring him in as a platoon partner. And in fairness, as recently as 2010 Hairston showed a reverse split. Rumors have it that he’s looking for a two year deal, and if two-years and 6 million will do the trick the Dodgers should jump on it. Using their career numbers, if we use Andre 75% of the time and Hairston 25% of the time, the total stat line will look something like: .310, .525 SLG, .365 OBP.
This duo should combine for 25 – 30 HR and rank about 40% better than the average NL hitter. This makes for a top 10 outfielder in all of baseball. Certainly not on the level of a Braun or a Trout, but think Matt Holliday circa 2012 (unfortunately not the 2007 Holliday). Matt Holliday was the fifth most valuable outfielder in all of baseball last year according to wRC+. Now this is just back-of-napkin math, but it’s significant. It also takes away the oppositions ability to use a lefty specialist as long as Hairston is on the bench.
So join the grass roots movement today. Sign Scott Hairston – the only viable lefty-masher left on the market.
In other news:
Palmer is intriguing as he posted a respectable season with the Angels in 2009 which included 13 starts but he has gotten progressively worse since then. Castro is a career journeyman who didn’t play in the majors in 2012, struggled in 2011 but had one of his finest seasons in 2010 and has always been considered as passable behind the plate. Barden provides 3B depth in case of the dreaded injury bug.
Troncoso enjoyed a very successful campaign with the Dodgers in 2009 but slipped into mediocrity in 2010 before seeing his 2011 derailed by injuries. He didn’t pitch in the majors in 2012, spending the season in AAA, but he’s just 3 years removed from a strong showing and the Sox aren’t risking much by taking the gamble.