MLB's 10 Most Worthless Hitters Against Lefty Pitchers

Ben WarwickContributor IMay 31, 2011

MLB's 10 Most Worthless Hitters Against Lefty Pitchers

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    Randy Johnson is one of the most famous lefthanders to throw a baseball. He struck out his fair share of people, including some on this list.
    Randy Johnson is one of the most famous lefthanders to throw a baseball. He struck out his fair share of people, including some on this list.Christian Petersen/Getty Images

    The end of the second month of baseball is upon us, and with that comes a list of some of the best (and worst) trends so far in 2011.

    The 10 players on this list have proven thus far to be quite ineffective against southpaws. Lefties have always been harder to hit for some, but these 10 hitters have proven this year that hitting left-handers is even tougher than usual.

Brandon Inge, Detroit Tigers

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    MINNEAPOLIS, MN - MAY 11: Brandon Inge #15 of the Detroit Tigers hits an RBI triple against the Minnesota Twins during in the ninth inning of their game on May 11, 2011 at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Tigers defeated the Twins 9-7. (Photo by Ha
    Hannah Foslien/Getty Images

    The Tigers third baseman made it to the All-Star Game in 2009 but has since fallen off. He's hitting only .201 with one home run and 12 RBI.

    Against lefties this year, Inge is only hitting .234 in 47 at-bats. He has just three RBI, and though his one home run did come off a left-hander, he only has 11 hits.

Jorge Posada, New York Yankees

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    NEW YORK, NY - MAY 24:  Jorge Posada #20 of the New York Yankees hits a double in the ninth inning against the Toronto Blue Jays at Yankee Stadium on May 24, 2011 in the Bronx borough of New York City.  (Photo by Michael Heiman/Getty Images)
    Michael Heiman/Getty Images

    Jorge Posada has had a very tumultuous 2011 season in New York, at one point already contemplating leaving baseball entirely. He has had arguments with his manager, but perhaps his biggest sin in the eyes of Yankees fans is hitting production against lefty pitching.

    In 27 at bats so far in 2011, Posada has gone hitless against southpaws, including 0 RBI and a .182 OBP. He has struck out in 41 percent of those at bats, and has looked completely lost from a side of the plate he once used as a weapon.

    A career .291 hitter against lefty hurlers--in comparison to .265 against righties--it is strange to see Posada struggle so mightily this season. It's impossible to do any worse than a .000 batting average.

    He will have to hope for a quick turnaround, as DH duty can be taken away from him if Andruw Jones and Eric Chavez form a successful platoon dynamic upon Chavez' return from the DL.

Jacoby Ellsbury, Boston Red Sox

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    NEW YORK, NY - MAY 14:  Jacoby Ellsbury #2 of the Boston Red Sox heads to second base against the New York Yankees on May 14, 2011 at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx borough of New York City.  (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
    Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

    Jacoby Ellsbury has been an integral cog in the Boston Red Sox machine for years. His .298 average, six home runs and 27 RBI have significantly helped the Red Sox regain their momentum after an 0-6 start.

    However, Ellsbury hasn't been able to hit left-handers all year. He's hitting just .224 versus southpaws with no home runs and just two RBI. Ellsbury may be on the path to greatness in 2011, but he needs to step his game up against lefties if he wants to continue his success.

Carlos Gonzalez, Colorado Rockies

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    DENVER, CO - MAY 27:  Carlos Gonzalez #5 of the Colorado Rockies hits an RBI single to score Eric Young of the Rockies as catcher Yadier Molina #4 of the St. Louis Cardinals backs up the plate in the third inning at Coors Field on May 27, 2011 in Denver,
    Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

    Carlos Gonzalez came within nine home runs and two RBI of the Triple Crown last season. Though he's gotten off to a slower start this year, Gonzalez is warming up and is once again a legitimate threat to win the prestigious award.

    He can't seem to hit left-handers, however. So far in 2011, he's only hitting .224 with one home run and nine RBI. Gonzalez has to start hitting better against left-handers if he hopes to get back on track this year.

Torii Hunter, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim

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    MINNEAPOLIS, MN - MAY 28: Torii Hunter #48 of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim reacts to a strike out by the Minnesota Twins during the ninth inning of their game on May 28, 2011 at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Twins defeated the Angels in ten
    Hannah Foslien/Getty Images

    One of the all-time great outfielders in the majors, Torii Hunter is a Hall of Fame player. In 2011, though he's only hitting .249, he's knocked out eight and knocked in 24, and he's helping the Angels compete in the AL West.

    There's one kink in Hunter's game this year—he's only hitting .217, doesn't have a homer and has only brought in five against southpaws. Whether or not you're one of the greats, those numbers don't stack up.

Jimmy Rollins, Philadelphia Phillies

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    WASHINGTON, DC - MAY 30:  Jimmy Rollins #11 of the Philadelphia Phillies walks to the dugout after striking out against the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park on May 30, 2011 in Washington, DC.  (Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images)
    Greg Fiume/Getty Images

    Jimmy Rollins is helping a lacking offense in Philadelphia by hitting .265 with three homers and 18 RBI. Those numbers may not be great, but with an offense like that in Philadelphia, .265 isn't half bad.

    What is bad, however, is his .230 average against lefties. He has one home run and just five RBI against lefties and has to step it up if he wants to help the Phillies to October.

Honorable Mention: Buster Posey, San Francisco Giants

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    SAN FRANCISCO, CA - MAY 22:  Catcher Buster Posey #28 of the San Francisco Giants heads to the dugout after getting out of an inning against the Oakland A's at AT&T Park on May 22, 2011 in San Francisco, California.  The Giants won 5-4 in 11 innings.  (Ph
    Brian Bahr/Getty Images

    As if Buster Posey didn't have enough problems, he was barely hitting over .200 against lefties before he went down with a season-ending leg injury. One home run, six RBI and a .205 average won't cut it against left-handers, and unfortunately for Posey, those numbers will stick for the rest of the year.

Andre Ethier, Los Angeles Dodgers

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    LOS ANGELES, CA - MAY 27:  Andre Ethier #16 of the Los Angeles Dodgers looks on after hitting a solo home run against the Florida Marlins in the sixth inning at Dodger Stadium on May 27, 2011 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)
    Jeff Gross/Getty Images

    One of baseball's biggest threats at the plate this year has done nothing but fizzle against left-handers. Ethier is hitting just .200 against lefties so far in 2011 and has just six of his 26 RBI against left-handers.

    Without Ethier's power bat, the Dodgers take a severe hit. If he can't get it going against lefties, Ethier and the Dodgers could find themselves watching the postseason from home.

Ryan Howard, Philadelphia Phillies

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    PHILADELPHIA, PA - MAY 26: Ryan Howard #6 of the Philadelphia Phillies hits a one run double during the game against the Cincinnati Reds at Citizens Bank Park on May 26, 2011 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Drew Hallowell/Getty Images)
    Drew Hallowell/Getty Images

    Ryan Howard has been one of the sources of the Phillies' lackluster offense, hitting only .252 though he has hit 12 home runs and brought in 42. Against lefties, however, Howard has been even more off, hitting a paltry .197 with nine RBI.

Ike Davis, New York Mets

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    DENVER, CO - MAY 10:  Ike Davis #29 of the New York Mets hits a two RBI single off of starting pitcher Jason Hammel #46 of the Colorado Rockies in the first inning at Coors Field on May 10, 2011 in Denver, Colorado.  (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
    Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

    The Mets haven't been all that great in 2011, and Ike Davis' performance against left-handers is one of the reasons why. He's hitting just .163 against southpaws. It doesn't matter who you are or who you play for—that's awful. No home runs and just four RBI don't exactly scream success.

Honorable Mention: James Loney, Los Angeles Dodgers

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    LOS ANGELES, CA - MAY 27:  James Loney #7 of the Los Angeles Dodgers rounds second base after hitting a solo home run against the Florida Marlins in the second inning at Dodger Stadium on May 27, 2011 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Jeff Gross/Gett
    Jeff Gross/Getty Images

    He's hitting .249 with three home runs and 18 RBI, but against lefties, he's next to helpless—he's hitting a horrible .188 with just two RBI. It's hard to believe a hitter with the talent of Loney can't seem to find a groove against lefties.

Dan Uggla, Atlanta Braves

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    PHOENIX, AZ - MAY 18:  Dan Uggla #26 of the Atlanta Braves bats against the Arizona Diamondbacks during the Major League Baseball game at Chase Field on May 18, 2011 in Phoenix, Arizona.  The Diamondbacks defeated the Braves 5-4 in eleven innings.  (Photo
    Christian Petersen/Getty Images

    Could there have been a more pointless trade during the 2010 offseason? Dan Uggla for Omar Infante (who also made the cut on this list) couldn't have worked out any worse for either team. Uggla is hitting just .178 on the year, and it's a surprise he has seven home runs and 16 RBI.

    Against lefties, he's even worse. With an average of .115 (that's just six hits in 52 at-bats), no homers and just one RBI, Dan Uggla hasn't been cutting it at second in Atlanta.