Lefty curse is over: Long live the curse

Clayton Kershaw

Clayton Kershaw

Seemingly without warning, the 33-year curse that has afflicted left-handed starting pitching in the I-75 League is no more.

All of a sudden, clubs are having trouble beating southpaws. Witness the fact that 10 of our 15 teams have losing records against lefties after 100 games:

* 6-21 (.222): Chatfield
* 7-23 (.233): English
* 5-13 (.278): Springfield
* 8-21 (.381): Iowa

Cole  Hamels

Cole Hamels

* 10-16 (.384): Michigan
* 15-22 (.405): Applegate
* 11-16 (.407): Wisconsin
* 9-12 (.429): Satellite Beach
* 10-13 (.435): South Grand Prairie
* 11-13 (.458): Superior

The league as a whole has a losing record against LHPs: 162-222 (.422), while it is beating up RHPs, 588-528 (.527). This might be the first time this has happened in league history.

How did this happen? As recently as last year, lefties were struggling per usual, with  I-75 offenses going 342-307 (.527) against them, while just 858-893 (.490) against righties.

Could it be that our 15-team league (expanding out from 12) has diluted the lefty bashers to the point where southpaws can finally have realistic effectiveness?

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Mock draft 2014: Plenty of good cards available

If the 2014 I-75 League Draft were held today, we would be looking at one of the strongest player pools we’ve seen since converting to the retention league format.

Barring a total collapse in the final two months, a major pitching bonanza lies ahead for our 35th annual draft. Not only are there some top young pitchers available, they also happen to be among the pitchers having the best years in the majors this year.

On top of that, there’s a good selection of position-playing talent to salivate over as well. So as teams ponder their buy-or-sell mode with the July trading deadline approaching, let’s look at the top 15 players who await in March:

1. Yasiel Puig, OF, Los Angeles Dodgers: 22-year-old slugger with a bazooka for an arm is still hitting at a Roger Freed-like pace through 177 at-bats: .379 average, 1.012 OPS.  He strikes out a lot, but he can run, field, throw, hit for average and hit for power.

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