In his short career, Yankees lefty reliever Clay Rapada has certainly bounced around a lot. He started in Chicago, moved to Detroit, then it was on to Texas, Baltimore, and then finally the Bronx. One of the things Rapada said he was looking for when he signed with the Yankees was a chance to pitch for a team with a strong rotation where he could fill a very specific role. In other words, he wanted to be a strict lefty specialist.
Which makes sense. Rapada is not an especially good pitcher, but he does one thing well and that’s get lefties out. In his career he has held them to a .261 OBP and a .486 OPS. He gets rocked by righties though, who have a career .485 OBP and 1.193 OPS.
The thing is, Girardi brought him in on Saturday to face the left handed Carlos Pena, fine, good. However, after Rapada walked Pena, Girardi left Rapada in who quickly gave up a
home run double to the right handed Evan Longoria. That left a pair of runners in scoring position for Matt Joyce, a lefty, who blooped a soft single into left, but because Girardi let Rapada face a tough righty it resulted in two runs.
If Rapada is going to be on the Yankees and be successful, his manager has to put him in positions for that to happen. That means he should never face right handed batters, particularly very good ones. The guy needs to be a strict lefty specialist otherwise he shouldn’t be on the team because unfortunately, he isn’t good enough.