Coming into the 2010 season, the Mariners thought they were getting a guy with a knockout splitter to stick in the back of their bullpen.
While League's ERA improved over 2009, the peripheral numbers did not.
His strikeouts were cut in half, the walks went up and he didn't use his splitter with the frequency that some had hoped he would.
As we noted before, his fastball is a solid pitch against right-handed batters. Not so much against lefties.
The splitter is effective against both, but it seems he doesn't use it enough, and the times that he does, it's fairly predictable.
Last season, in any count in which there were any number of balls and less than two strikes, batters may as well have been sitting fastball. In a 1-1 count, he used the two-seamer 81 percent of the time. In all other counts in this category, it came no less than 95 percent of the time.
When in a 2-2 count, this biggest guessing game had to be played by the batter, with the fastball only coming 58 percent of the time. In all other two-strike counts (except full counts), the splitter came often.
It seems that League has little faith in his splitter when he's behind in the count. His fastball just isn't good enough against left-handed batters to be thrown exclusively in those counts, which probably leads directly to his 4.65 xFIP against lefties versus the 2.71 he ran against righties.
We only have eight innings of work to examine this season, but it doesn't appear much has changed.
League has a real weapon that could make him a stellar closer. He just needs to use it better.