Should The Orioles Stick With Tommy Hunter In The Ninth?

Should The Orioles Stick With Tommy Hunter In The Ninth?

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Tommy Hunter - Baltimore Orioles RP

I feel like I’m doing a lot of complaining for a fan whose team just won five of their last six games. Losing to the Astros sort of feels like four losses though.

Despite their record last week, Tommy Hunter‘s performance in the ninth inning was a bit of a concern. Not enough of a concern for me to start looking at other options at closer, but enough to spend some time digging into the numbers and blogging about it.

You figure out where that ranks on the Concern-O-Meter.

Hunter appeared in four games over the past seven days, opponents were slashing .471/.550/.647 against him over that span. He walked three and struck out four.

The knock on hitter has been that he can’t get lefties out. However, if you look at his splits, you may be surprised to see that right handed batters are hitting better off him than lefties. I know I was.

vs. RHB: .375/.412/.531
vs. LHB: .308/.367/.500

Two stats contradict those slashlines though:

vs. RHB: 9.00 K/BB, .522 BABIP
vs. LHB: 1.67 K/BB, .333 BABIP

Against righties, he’s had a bit of tough luck with over half the balls in play finding gaps. He’s managed to struck out them out at higher rate though. Lefties are still a concern, the .333 BABIP likely won’t dip much over the course of the season and he hasn’t found a way to strike them out.