Have you ever read a baseball story about a pitcher that says something along the lines of when he's on the mound, he turns opposing hitters into [MLB hitter]? It's a fun way to bring up the pitcher's opposing batting average, OBP, and so on in an easily understandable context. Of course, that does not mean those comparisons are problem free. After all, major league hitters are not the same. Some are more patient than others, some drive the ball a long way, some slap hits all over the field, and some are in the majors for their gloves. No matter what you do, you can't turn Jason Kendall or Craig Counsell into Adam Dunn.
But even though that's the case, there's nothing stopping us from using our Saturday to make those sorts of comparisons. I thought it would be fun to look at the Brewers pitching staff and see who they turn opposing hitters into from the mound. In order to keep things recent and not penalize/reward guys like Jeff Suppan for what he did ten years ago, I have used major league stats from 2006-present both for pitchers and hitters (sorry, Mr. Kendall). In the case of Braden Looper, I used his numbers as a starter. For Seth McClung, I used his time in Milwaukee. Feel free to disagree, but I think that's fair. I've given a couple options for each pitcher so you can take your pick.
|Brewers Pitcher||Opposing Hitter|
|Yovani Gallardo (.226/.298/.364)||Jeremy Reed (.253/.294/.369)
Brian Anderson (.227/.289/.370)
Jeff Suppan (.292/.355/.461)
|James Loney (.300/.353/.461)
Miguel Tejada (.309/.353/.459)
Fernando Tatis (.282/.354/.461)
|Manny Parra (.281/.361/.425)||Fred Lewis (.279/.356/.424)
Michael Young (.306/.354/.435)
|Braden Looper (.274/.324/.440)||Garret Anderson (.286/.324/.442)
Chad Tracy (.267/.328/.435)
|Dave Bush (.259/.312/.447)||Jay Bruce (.240/.309/.457)
Eric Byrnes (.261/.318/.446)
|Seth McClung (.234/.337/.363)||Juan Pierre (.296/.337/.370)
Scott Podsednik (.264/.328/.360)
|Todd Coffey (.294/.355/.448)||Mike Fontenot (.279/.356/.446)
Lyle Overbay (.278/.355/.453)
Carlos Villanueva (.241/.310/.417)
|Kevin Mench (.265/.312/.418)
Ivan Rodriguez (.283/.312/.418)
Tony Clark (.226/.315/.415)
|Mark DiFelice (.202/.244/.350)||Jason Smith (.205/.244/.352)|
|Mitch Stetter (.155/.308/.270)||Abraham Nunez (.220/.309/.276)|
|Trevor Hoffman (.210/.252/.332)||Jason Smith (.205/.244/.352)
Adam Melhuse (.210/.267/.321)
If you want to take Carlos Villanueva's time as a starter out of the equation, his comparisons are akin to Yovani Gallardo's. I realize Kevin Mench isn't currently in the majors, but a) it's Kevin Mench and b) I didn't know Ivan Rodriguez hits like Kevin Mench these days.
Jason Smith shows up twice, mainly because it's really hard to stay in the majors for even 250 plate appearances if you make that many outs. I had to use Abraham Nunez, who last had more than a cup of coffee in the majors in 2007, for much the same reason. He played in the Brewers system last year, though, and he's kind of a modern standard for light-hitting infielders so I think it works.
Oh, and today's White Sox pitcher, Jose Contreras? His .277/.335/.424 since 2006 lines up nicely with Billy Butler (.282/.335/.423) and Gary Matthews Jr. (.271/.337/.425).