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The “Replacing Jamie Walker” Saga

Once again, it looks like the Tigers are throwing around the idea of going one lefty short in their pen instead of force feeding us just any old left hander.  Wil Ledezma doesn’t really fit the bill because he’s a starter and it looks like one of the many non-roster/minor league deal lefties they brought in won’t be up to the task so Jose Mesa’s name is being thrown around as a “right handed” alternative.

Big mistake.  If you look at the numbers that really matter, Mesa was a wreck in 2006.  Yes he pitched in Denver but he didn’t strike out many batters and he walked a ton.  Yes, lefties hit “only” .270 against Mesa but his OBP against was a sky high .378 and lefties slugged .444 against.  That’s an OPS against well over .800, which isn’t good considering that you’re expecting the guy to “shut down” left handed hitters.

In addition, 2006 was sort of an exception so it might be a fluke year.  In 2005, lefties hit .309 with an OPS against of almost .900 and in 2004, lefties hit .331 against him.  2003 was an odd year because he was very good against lefties but not so much against righties but the point is, I don’t think Mesa is a guy that we want coming into a critical situation to get even a decent left handed batter out.

[…] Just a couple of days go, I talked about how I wasn’t too keen on Jose Mesa being in the Tigers bullpen.  Apparantly, Mesa is a really hard worker as this story indicates.  Nice read and they also touch on the 1997 World Series which eventually led to Mesa’s longstanding feud with Omar Vizquel after he wrote some disparaging comments about Mesa in his book. […]

Posted by TigerBlog » Blog Archive » Jose Mesa Profile on March 1st, 2007 at 7:03 am

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