The Rangers addressed their huge hole in left field yesterday. Halfway, at least.
Texas signed Robbie Grossman to a one-year, $2 million deal. When you look at his numbers, you might scratch your head and think, “Is this guy better than what they had?” That’s a fair question. The ten-year veteran hit .209 last year with two teams, Detroit then Atlanta, with a .310 on-base and a .622 slugging percentage. His OPS+ was 80, putting him twenty percent worse than league average.
So why would the Rangers sign Grossman?
To start against lefties. Grossman really is two players. He’s an All-Star against left-handed hitters. He’s a Rougned Odor against righties. His splits are glaring:
Versus lefties: .320 AVG/.436 OBP/.876 OPS.
Verses righties: .163/.253/.509.
Those numbers are so lopsided, it’s almost like he’s blind in one eye.
The challenge with a guy like Grossman is, starters go about four or five innings now. So, if you put him in your starting lineup to face a left-handed starter, more than likely he will get only two cracks at the guy. One the other team brings in a righty, the Rangers either have to accept the automatic out or replace him. Meaning: he is going to burn roster spots.
But, against lefties, Grossman is better than what the Rangers have. Much better. They are just going to need to use him appropriately. Off the bench in the ninth against a lefty. Starting against a lefty. Those kind of things.
The Rangers hole in left wasn’t solved. But they got a nice, partial patch for the problem.