That springtime hope is especially strong when you look at his numbers this year. He hasn’t given up many hits – just 22 in 27 innings, which is good. He strikes people out at a decent rate – about the major league average of six per nine innings. He’s given up four home runs, and that’s really only one more than you might like to see.
The troubling part is the walks. He has walked players about 50% more than average, but control is something the Twins (and pitching coach Rick Anderson) are pretty good an instilling. Of all the faults he could have – and let’s be honest that freely acquired talent is gonna have faults – that’s the one you might choose.
So why is he available? Because he doesn’t do what he was supposed to do – get left-handers out. Unfortunately, that’s also exactly what he is supposed to do with the Twins. This year, lefties are posting a higher OPS (776) than right-handers (702) against Flores. This isn’t just small sample size – that’s been the case over the last three years (852 vs 773) too.
Hmm. Time for a sidebar…
Whenever you see this argument made, be very wary of how many times pitchers have faced each side of the plate. For instance, you may have heard that left-handed batters hit left-handed pitcher Glen Perkins better than right-handed batters, and that’s been true, with southpaws hitting .325 vs. .287 that right-handed batters hit.
Your Saturday just got better.