A quick look at Randy Flores

Fan Confidence Poll: May 16th, 2011
The RAB Radio Show: May 16, 2011
(AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

The Yankees have a trio of unusable lefty relievers (Pedro Feliciano, Damaso Marte, Kei Igawa, unusable for different reasons) on the payroll (each at $4M salaries too) and just one lefty reliever actually on the roster. Boone Logan did a fine job against southpaws late last season (.178/.268/.178 with 19 K in 45 at-bats from August 1st on) but has been spotty in 2011 (.360/.429/.560 with just two whiffs in 26 at-bats). Since none of the first three guys will be available anytime soon, let’s talk about someone that is available, Randy Flores.

Flores, now 36, opted out of his minor league deal with the Padres yesterday, which was his contractual right. He has Yankees ties; they drafted him in the ninth round way back in 1997, but later traded him to the Rangers for Randy Velarde after the 2001 season. Yeah, he’s been around a while. Flores is a generic upper-80’s fastball, low-80’s slider lefty specialist, and his career numbers against same-side batters aren’t special: .275/.345/.435 with 103 strikeouts in 533 plate appearances. Over the last three seasons, those numbers are even worse: .295/.376/.514 with 31 strikeouts in 167 plate appearances.

The overall numbers aren’t all that impressive over the course of his career, but Flores has certainly had some very effective years in the bigs. Of course they came a few years ago, mostly with the Cardinals from 2002 through 2007. But we know the deal with lefty relievers (and relievers in general), sometimes they just run off a strong stretch of pitching without any notice. The Yankees have Andy Sisco stashed away in Triple-A, but he’s been just okay against lefties in a limited sample: four hits, six walks, and seven strikeouts in 29 batters faced. That’s who we’re looking for an upgrade over.

I’m all for adding relief depth, but Flores isn’t the kind of guy the Yankees have to move mountains to go out and sign. They’re already carrying 13 relievers, but one of them is very expendable (Amaury Sanit) and another could go if needed (Luis Ayala),  so a roster spot is hardly a problem. It’s just a matter of whether or not Flores is willing to join the team that drafted him to be the temporary second lefty out of the bullpen. If he does, great, if not then no big deal. He probably won’t pitch all that well anyway.

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Fan Confidence Poll: May 16th, 2011
The RAB Radio Show: May 16, 2011
  • jayd808

    Maybe you should rename the article “A Blessedly Quick Look at Randy Flores.” Your conclusion: “If he does, great, if not then no big deal. He probably won’t pitch all that well anyway,” didn’t exactly rock my cage. Why not sit down and write a definitive article about the losing teams and who might become available? This was a waste of reading time.

    • jsbrendog

      this comment was a waste of your time as well.

      • sean

        readers have a right to post opinions–right or wrong—can’t shout them down everytime someone takes issue with a posted article

  • Kosmo

    Flores doesn´t do it for me.Pass.Getting another lefty is the least of NYs problems.
    Where is Steve Hamilton when you need him ?

    • Accent Shallow

      Concur.

      Logan has sucked, but he’s hardly been the biggest issue in the pen, and Flores is no panacea. That said, sparks can find their way into lots of bottles . . .

  • Clay Bellinger

    Eh, he’s not great, but with the expendable spot he’d be worth a shot. He’s put up some decent AAA innings, better than Sisco anyway.

  • FernandoP

    Pass on Flores. I said it before and you said it here, he does not have good numbers versus lefties so that should rule him out. My two favorite options are Tim Byrdak (Mets) and George Sherrill (Dodgers). Both guys have solid numbers versus lefties and should come fairly cheap. Plus both guys are not signed beyond this season.

    Sean Burnett (Nats) would be a great addition, but would surely require much more in a trade. It’s a possiblity as Yanks and Nats have made a few trades in the last few seasons(Clippard for Albaladejo & Maxwell for Olbrychowski).

    • Clay Bellinger

      Byrdak, Sherrill, and Burnett would all be nice. I think the idea here though, is that Flores isn’t only cheap, he wouldn’t cost anything. Wish that the highly anticipated Randy Choate comeback happened. We wouldn’t even have to discuss this spot.

      • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

        Choate’s not going to keep it up all year, but… an 11/0 K/BB against lefties in 19 PA? A .105/.105/.105 split v. LHB?

        Hey-Zeus H. Montero, that man is on fire.

        • Clay Bellinger

          Yeah, I mean no way he keeps things at that pace, but he’d been filthy. Been pretty awesome for the last couple years too.

  • infernoscurse

    randy flores? these are the yankees, they should trade for francisco liriano just to be the lefty specialist

    • Studs Lonigan

      Andy Pettitte…
      Blammo! In dee face! In dee face!

  • Yank the Frank

    Why bother. We’re finding enough ways to lose games.

  • CMP

    Let Swisher be a LOOGY. He’s not hitting worth a shit so maybe he can help out in the pen.

  • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

    Dontrelle Willis is doing quite well for Cincinatti’s AAA club. Strikeouts are up, walks are down. Career .206/.282/.294 line against big league lefties, thanks to his funky delivery that they can’t square up on.

    I’m just saying.

    • Accent Shallow

      When it comes to D-Train, I vacillate between “so crazy it just might work . . .” to this

      • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

        Yeah, I don’t think he’s good enough to start for a big league team anymore, but I think he could be a solid-to-elite LOOGY.

        He’s a little like Feliciano: that combination of decent velocity, tons of movement (sometimes too much, even) on his breaking stuff, and that sweeping arm angle absolutely ties up and baffles opposing lefties (especially pull-happy low BA/high SLG Thome-esque guys). They can’t pick up the ball until it’s on top of them (or they swing over the top of a slurvy breaking ball 8 inches lower than they thought it was).

        If we’re only using him against the other team’s lefty batters for an out or three a night, I think he could be effective.

    • Phife Dawg

      That’s so crazy that it might just work. Make that 2 members of the “Black Aces” on our squad.

  • Monteroisdinero

    Speaking of Steve Hamilton above, can anyone post the “Folly floater” game with Tony Horton? That was a Yankee classic. Never see that again.

    • LarryM.,Fl.

      I’m sure old enough to remember the game. Those guys had a lot of character.

    • Fairweather Freddy

      I remember that game. Think I saw that clip on Youtube. He had another pitch called the “immitation hummer” which he would also stop his motion and then fire a fastball. Definitely was entertaining.

    • Kosmo

      Check it out on Youtube.

  • LarryM.,Fl.

    There must be some kid in AAA who could be our lefty specialist. Hell he could be a righty and be our lefty specialist. The fans will never know.

    Tickets prices are sure to be heading south this year and next if the team continues its descent to mediocrity.

    Oh, yeah no to Flores.

    • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

      Tickets prices are sure to be heading south this year and next if the team continues its descent to mediocrity.

      I doubt either of those things happen.

  • Fairweather Freddy

    With Price going tonight, anyone think they start Nunez at 3rd, DH Arod and play Jones in left with Gardner sitting out?

    • Clay Bellinger

      Would be nice for the folks sitting around first. Maybe Nunez will hook em up with some souvenirs.

      • Fairweather Freddy

        I think Nunez’s arm is better suited for 3rd than shortstop

        • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

          I think Nuñez’s arm is better suited for first base than shortstop.

          • Gmat2

            His arm is better suited for DH