Applying The Pinch Hit Penalty To Cheslor Cuthbert
Applying Dolphin’s 6% estimated penalty to Cheslor Cuthbert and his current .328 wOBA (to use consistent statistics) drops to .308. If we presume that the 6% similarly applies to OPS and Batting Average those numbers drop from .764 to .718 (OPS) and .290 to .272 (BA).
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That’s not good, but they’re a lot better than Raul Mondesi’s .237 wOBA, .196 batting average, and .542 OPS.
But, raw numbers aren’t the whole story.
Ned Yost has to manage for more than one game. Yes, you’re in a playoff race and you’d expect your players to understand you need to chase every edge to win. But, 21-year-old rookies can have fragile confidence. If your manager expresses confidence in you in a key situation, it could help Mondesi succeed for the rest of the season.
At this point, it’s pretty clear that Ned Yost wants Raul Mondesi’s exceptional range and speed on the basepath in the lineup. Perhaps Tuesday’s decision was, in part, about helping Mondesi succeed over the last 30 games of the season.
Certainly, the move did work. Mondesi stole second after Hiller hit him with a pitch, and advanced to third on Jarrod Dyson‘s single to center. After Dyson stole second and Hiller struck out Lorenzo Cain, the Yankees escaped walking Hosmer, and bringing in reliever Chasen Shreve. Shreve then struck out Kendrys Morales and induced a fly ball from Salvador Perez.
In the end, the KC Royals players need to put the loss behind them. But manager Ned Yost can benefit from reviewing his decisions.