Left Never Felt So Right

Spencer Arroyo pitched for the Dash, but he never came out of the bullpen (Jody Stewart/W-S Dash).

When Matt Wickswat made his first 2012 appearance with the Dash Wednesday night, Winston-Salem finally did something that all big league squads took care of within the season’s first few weeks.

The Dash finally used a left-handed pitcher out of the bullpen.

It took Winston 90 games, but the club finally pulled off the feat. Shockingly, one other full-season minor league team still has not used a lefty out of its bullpen. The Akron Aeros, Cleveland’s Double-A affiliate in the Eastern League, have played 90 games without using a southpaw as a reliever.

For what it is worth, both the Dash (53-36-1) and the Aeros (52-38) have the best records in their leagues.

The state of Ohio does not like lefties, it seems. The only two other full-season squads who have used a left-handed reliever less than 10 times are in the state of Ohio. Low-A Dayton (Cincinnati) has used a lefty reliever four times, while Low-A Lake County (Cleveland) has done so on eight different occasions.

Wickswat is only the third lefty to work for the Dash this season. Wednesday night’s starter Blair Walters is the only other one still on the roster, while Spencer Arroyo made 14 starts before a promotion to Double-A Birmingham.

I wouldn’t expect other teams to adopt the “don’t use a left-hander out of the bullpen” philosophy, but it has worked well for the Dash. And Wickswat did post a perfect eighth inning of relief, so southpaw bullpen arms are working on a perfect season in Winston-Salem.

- Brian

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