SF Giants: Hitters struggling against right-handed pitchers
By Jeff Young
The SF Giants offense has hit plenty of home runs but it has struggled to really get going, especially against right-handed pitching. The season is young, so some of this might be written off within a couple of weeks, but it is difficult to overlook the early-season struggles from the key left-handed bats.
SF Giants: Hitters Are Struggling Against Right-Handed Pitching
In 2020, San Francisco fared much better against left-handed pitched (.838 OPS) than they did against righties (.764 OPS). To that end, they added several key, left-handed bats to the 40-man roster to create a little more balance.
Tommy La Stella was the main addition, but Jason Vosler and LaMonte Wade Jr. have both shown the ability to handle righties at various stops in their respective pro careers. Vosler and Wade are waiting in the wings in case an injury arises, whereas La Stella is set to be a fixture in the lineup in 2021.
Outside of these three names, the Giants brought back the same cast from the 2020 season including Brandon Belt, Alex Dickerson, Brandon Crawford, and Mike Yastrzemski. Crawford brings defensive value and Yastrzemski is a steady presence regardless of who is pitching, but Belt and Dickerson are in the lineup to do damage against right-handed hurlers.
None of the Giants’ five left-handed bats on the 26-man roster have gotten off to a good start so far:
- Belt: .077/.200/.077 line with 1 RBI and 7 strikeouts in 15 PAs
- Dickerson: .083/.214/.333 line with 1 HR, 1 RBI and 4 strikeouts in 14 PAs
- Crawford: .111/.158/.278 line with 1 HR, 1 RBI, and 4 strikeouts in 19 PAs
- Yastrzemski: .136/.208/.273 line with 1 HR, 1 RBI, and 10 strikeouts in 24 PAs
- La Stella: .167/.286/.333 line with 1 2B and no strikeouts in 7 PAs
As you can see from the list above, we are still swimming in teeny, tiny sample territory, so rushing to judgment would be doing so without all of the information. Nevertheless, as a team, the Giants have posted a .525 OPS against righties.
For that number to improve, the left-handed bats will need to lead the charge and they will. In fairness, Yastrzemski and La Stella might be dealing with lingering pain from being hit by a baseball near the end of camp, whereas Belt got a late start and appears to still be searching for his timing at the plate.
The Giants are a mere six games into the season and the offense has not fully clicked yet. That is due in part to the struggles against right-handed pitching, and it will be a trend to follow as the season progresses.