The difference between great relievers and the rest of them are their ability to get both left and right handed batters out. Most pitchers who have this ability to get out both handed batters are called starters. The following in a quick look at how the Royals bullpen's past handedness splits.
One important note to remember is that it takes a while for a pitcher's handedness split to level out. According to the "The Book", it takes 700 batters faced for RHP and 450 batters faced for LHP to get to a 50% level of certainty in a pitcher's handedness split. With that understanding, here is how some Royal relievers have done in the majors:
|vs LHH||vs RHH|
- With Soria's and Broxton's ability to get out both handed hitters, it can be seen why they have been entrusted with the closer role in the past. Both have pitched enough innings to have a good idea that this trait is for real. Greg Holland is the only other Royal reliever that has performed decently against both LHH and RHH, even though it was against a smaller sample size of hitters.
- Looking over the list, it can be seen why the Royals went out and signed Mijares and Broxton. No other pitchers besides Soria and Holland have been able to able to get out LHH. Mijares should only be used as a LOOGY though. He has a huge established split between his ability to get LHH (3.17 FIP) vice RHH (5.01 FIP) out.
- Tim Collins has problems pitching to LHH. How in the hell does have almost a 9 BB/9 vs. LHH? The little guy needs to find the strike zone.
- Aaron Crow is another pitcher that struggles mightily with LHH. The difference in his FIP between LHH and RHH was over 1.6. It might be nice to see him bring these two values closer together before he is tried in the starting rotation.
- Like Mijares being used as a LOOGY, Coleman may only be useful as a ROOGY. His K/9 (~11) and BB/9 (~3) vs RHH is outstanding. Against LHH, he does his best Crow and Collins imitation and has no command (7.3 K/9, 6.3 BB/9). Maybe it is something about having a last name that starts with C leading to an inability to pitch against LHH.