Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Making Sense of the Tankersley Signing

By: Clayton Collier

  The signing of LHP Taylor Tankersley on the surface appears to be a mediocre move, but an in-depth look reveals a method to the madness.

  Tankersley has been with the Marlins for his entire major league career so he knows the division. It is not a huge factor but is a slight benefit knowing the premiere bats in the NL East in advance. Not only does Tankersley know the division, but he been a reliable arm versus the NL East. Tankersley has a career 3.24 ERA vs. the Phillies and a 1.93 ERA at Turner Field.

  The 27-year old southpaw could serve as the lefty specialist in 2011. A lefty specialist is an arm out of the bullpen used for the purpose of getting the tough left-handed batters out. Lefties have posted .223 batting average and a .313 on-base percentage against Tankersley in his career. Most of the time, these tough lefties, like a Brian McCann or Ryan Howard, bat in the 3rd and 4th spots in the lineup. Tankersley has held the 3rd and 4th spot in lineups to a microscopic .185 batting average in his career. Although he has struggled mightily the past few seasons, Tankersley, if used in the proper role, could become an excellent addition to a reshaped and now somewhat formidable bullpen.

  For a signing that isn't exactly a blockbuster deal, there is a lot of hidden potential for Tankersley.

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