Originally written June 13, 2012 on SF Giants Nirvana:
Last night during the game, Jon Miller and Duane Kuiper were talking about Clay Hensley‘s season. Specifically, they were talking about the fact that Hensley to this point has been better against left-handed hitters than right-handed hitters. Looking over Hensley’s career, he actually has been slightly better against southpaws than righties. Which means that in the Giants bullpen three pitchers are better against lefties (Affeldt, Hensley, Lopez) and two others, due to their role, likely won’t be used specifically due to matchups (Casilla as the closer, Loux as the long reliever). That leaves two relievers who will likely be matched up against tough righties, Sergio Romo and George Kontos. This could end up being very good for Kontos as his scouting report indicates that a middle relief ROOGY-type role could suit him well.
Kontos profiles as a middle reliever in the long-term because of two glaring flaws. For one, he’s always had trouble against left-handed batters because he lacks a changeup. The tagged him for a .281/.345/.484 batting line with six homers in 142 plate appearances in Triple-A this year, and he’s shown a similar split throughout his minor league career. On the bright side, he does crush righties.
If Kontos can end up being similar to Ramon Ramirez, a pitcher who was known for his platoon splits and had a similar home run rate in the minors than Kontos, then he could turn out to be a very valuable piece to the Giants bullpen this year.
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