How good is Nicky Lopez when facing RHP?

Lately I've been spending way too much time trying to determine if Lopez's defensive prowess is sufficient to overcome his offensive shortcomings. So, I'm going to step thru an assessment I did today that I believe shows his defense more than overcomes his offensive shortcoming against, at least against RHP.

So, let's start w/ Lopez's overall season numbers:

  • 233 PA, -6.4 Off, 8.8 Def
Therefore, his overall rates of Off & Def on a per 600 PA basis are:
  • -16.5 Off/600
  • 22.7 Def/600
  • 6.2 (Off+Def)/600
So, all of the above shows that his defense does in fact make up for his lack of offense. However, what do these numbers look like against different handedness of pitching?
  • the 22.7 Def/600 is independent of the hand w/ which opposing pitcher throws
So, let's focus on getting to his Off vs. each hand of pitching. Lopez's handedness splits are as follows:
  • vs. RHP = 82 wRC+, .296 wOBA, etc.
  • vs. LHP = 70 wRC+, .280 wOBA, etc.
He's clearly better when he has the platoon advantage. So, let's figure out a way to get his Off/600 vs. RHP & vs. LHP. To do this let's consider his wRAA vs. each hand of pitching:
  • -3.5 wRAA in his 189 PA against RHP
  • -1.4 wRAA in his 44 PA against LHP
Turn the above into a per PA or per 600 PA rate &:
  • vs. RHP = -.019 wRAA/PA & -11.1 wRAA/600
  • vs. LHP = -.032 wRAA/PA & -19.1 wRAA/600
These rates make sense, because while Lopez is bad (well below average) against all handedness of pitching, he's not as bad against RHP. Now, convert these wRAA numbers into Off:
  • vs. RHP = -3.5 wRAA vs. RHP / -4.9 wRAA vs. all pitching * -6.4 Off vs. all pitching = -4.6 Off
  • vs. LHP = -1.4 wRAA vs. LHP / -4.9 wRAA vs. all pitching * -6.4 Off vs. all pitching = -1.8 Off
Take these values & convert them to per 600 PA:
  • vs. RHP = -4.6 Off / 189 PA * 600 PA = -14.5 Off/600
  • vs. LHP = -1.8 Off / 44 PA * 600 PA = -24.9 Off/600
So, recalling back to above that Lopez overall is 6.2 (Off+Def)/600 regardless of the handedness of the opposing pitcher, here's where we are when the handedness of the opposing pitcher gets factored in:
  • vs. RHP = -14.5 Off/600 + 22.7 Def/600 = 8.1 (Off+Def)/600 [0.1 of rounding here at the end]
  • vs. LHP = -24.9 Off/600 + 22.7 Def/600 = -2.3 (Off+Def)/600 [0.1 of rounding here at the end]
Therefore, in an overall sense, vs. all handedness of pitching, Lopez's defensive abilities are sufficient to overcome his lack of offense. However, against LHP this ends up not being the case. This means that against RHP he turns out to be fairly productive.

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