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Maddon's In-Game Switch Makes Sense

One of the things that many of the detractors pointed out about Joe Maddon last year was his lack of playing the percents. He would leave Jon Switzer in against right-handed hitters and in return would be granted not with his lead still intact, but with a defecit thanks to the right handed slugger who just went boom on him.

Well yesterday Maddon did something that should give us some hope for this season and the bullpen.

The Rays were pitching in the bottom of the eighth and out came Shawn Camp, a la the Ant Killer known for his double play mastery, to face left handed batter Trot Nixon. Now this wouldn't make sense because Nixon simply can't hit left handed pitching (.204 last season) but as you know, we have no left handed relievers at this point. Camp retired him, and although he's isn't at all good against left handed hitters or Nixon either with a .350 BAA lefties Nixon being 2-2 off of him, Camp found a way to get him out.

Next up was left handed slugger Travis Hafner and after him left handed (in reality he's a switch hitter, but either way he'd batting from the left side against the Rays righties) Victor Martinez, Maddon made a pitching change and brought in Jae-Kuk Ryu, who in his minor league career had a .239 BAA left handed batters.  Ryu would retire both without incident and thus ended the inning.

Now obviously Camp v. Nixon made little to no sense, and Ryu should've faced all three, but it looks like Joe Maddon may play the favored odds more this season than last. Perhaps he's mixing a little Moneyball with his Blink?