Thursday, December 8, 2011

Will Jim Leyland Use Octavio Dotel Properly?

It looks like the Tigers are about to consummate (with full carnal knowledge) a deal with Octavio Dotel .  According to the fine work done by Jon Paul Morosi, Enrique Rojas, and Danny Knobler, it appears to be a one year deal with a vesting option (most likely based off of 2012 appearances) for a second year.

Since I am not yet sure of the price (or the years) involved in this deal, I am not ready to declare it a good/bad/neutral signing.  However, I am sure of this much:

Octavio Dotel should be a right-on-right guy exclusively.

In 2011, Dotel yielded a .198 OBP and a .211 SLG to righties.  Against lefties, he surrendered a .345 OBP and .500 SLG.  In 2010, Dotel handled righties to the tune of .245 OBP and .331 SLG, while lefties threw up a .331 OBP and .517 SLG.  2008: .297 OBP, .355 SLG vs righties; and .422 OBP .577 SLG vs lefties.

So, in short, Doc Oc Dotel is a premier relief option vs righties and a downright liability vs lefties.  So, he profiles as a right-on-right guy who never has to face lefties.  Because of this, he will pair up nicely with Daniel Schlereth (the much maligned Tigers reliever who is quite adept as shutting down lefties [seriously, check his splits]).

Most bullpens could not afford to have a guy whose only job was to get out righties in the 6th or 7th inning, but the Tigers are blessed to have a clear 8th inning and 9th inning guy (and by "blessed" I mean that they brutally overpaid for each of those spots).  Because of this, the Tigers can afford to dedicate a roster spot to Dotel.  Furthermore, the presence of Phil Coke and Al Alburquerque (aka 'Padre K'), who can each get out both lefties and righties also allows for a Dotel-type.

Here’s hoping Jimmy Leyland understands Dotel’s strengths (and clear limitations), and uses him where he can excel – against right-handed hitters (remember him dominating righties throughout the 2011 playoffs?...to quote my buddy…"Dotel made a mockery of Braun in the playoffs”), and almost never against lefties.

After seeing Jimmy misuse Schlereth and Pauley in 2011, however, I fear Jimmy will overuse Dotel, negating much of his value.  So, here’s an open request to Jim Leyland…

DO NOT LET DOTEL PITCH TO LEFTIES.   THEY CRUSH HIM.   LET HIM FOCUS ON RIGHTIES, WHERE HE WILL ASSUREDLY DOMINATE.

1 comment:

  1. Update: it looks official now. Still waiting on price.

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