Lefty vs. Lefty


So, my immediate thought after reading the tweet that we had traded for Laffey was how did he really differ from French? Both are left-handed, both are 25 and Jack Zduriencik says both are getting an opportunity to fight for that fifth starter spot.  So it just seems to be repetitive. But, to Baseball Reference, Statcorner and Fangraphs we go!

Let me stack it up for you how I see it.

AAA IP K/9 BB/9 ERA
Laffey 195 6.4 2.9 4.05
French 195 6.2 2 2.95

Looking at their AAA numbers they appear to be basically the same pitcher. Not a huge surprises. What was kind of an anomaly was that they both pitched 195 innings. Looking over a much larger

2009-10 IP LD% GB% FB% HR/FB% FIP xFIP
Laffey 177.1 20.9 49.5 30 4.45 4.23 5.03
French 155 19.3 30.9 49.8 9 5.3 5.63

While Laffey has been doing this longer and there is more data on him, French’s numbers have been consistently sucky since coming to Seattle.

Well… okay that’s not entirely fair. French is kind of an interesting guy in and of himself. We’ve seen his velocity numbers continue to drop over the last 18 months. He went from being Detroit Aaron Laffey in AA to a worse version of Jarrod Washburn in the majors. I’m still not sold that

Laffey keeps the ball on the ground and he keeps the ball in the park. French misses a few more bats and walks less people.

2007-10 IP wFB/C FB/v wSL/c SL/v wCH/c CH/v
Laffey 320.1 -0.34 (68.6%) 87.1 0.77 (18.4%) 78.5 0.14 (13%) 81.2
French 155 -1.14 (63.2%) 86.7 0.87 (15.2%) 78.8 -0.8 (21.6%) 76.6

French’s slider was one of his best pitches in 2009 and then turned around was one of his worse pitches in 2010. It seems like he traded it in favor of his change up. Not sure if I like that but it also should make him better against RHB.

Laffey’s fastball while average is really what puts him in front of French who has shown a lot of problems with his four-seamer. I think it’s primarily because of how straight it is… Velocity wise they similar, but as I mentioned before French is kind of a outlier when it comes to velocity.

Their sliders are very comparable but I think that Laffey does better with LHB because he uses it more often. But, should French ever decide to go back to it on a consistent basis I think that he would see it payoff for him.

The biggest disparity lies  in the change-ups. While French throws it more often the biggest thing that jumps out is the velocity difference between the two.

If I have to choose one of these guys I’m going to go with Laffey at this point. Should be interesting to see if either of these guys can contribute something to the big league club and if nothing else maybe you learned something from this post and it helped me put off home work for about an hour. YAY trades!

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Tags: Aaron Laffey Luke French