Commentary

The perils of pinch-hitting

Before you rip the skipper, consider the problems of bringing stale bats off the bench

Originally Published: January 21, 2010
By Matthew Carruth | FanGraphs.com
Carlos GomezJohn Williamson/MLB Photos via Getty ImagesEven though Gomez struggled at the plate, Gardenhire made the correct call not to pinch-hit for him.

Editor's note: Hot Stove U. is a six-week course devoted to higher learning, a series consisting of 30 need-to-know topics for 2010.

The Setup

Game Two of the American League Division Series between the Minnesota Twins and New York Yankees is remembered most for Mark Teixeira's dramatic walk-off homer in the 11th inning. However, what happened in the top of that inning is more interesting.


So what happened? Gardenhire had to make some moves, right? And since you know our thesis, you can assume he pinch-hit some guys, no? He did. They failed. It wasn't a big surprise. But to dive into the decline in productivity associated with PH-ing, well, for that you gotta be an ESPN Insider. Come and get it; it's interesting stuff.